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Winter closure to 4WD's

A reminder that the 42 Traverse is closed to 4WD use from the end of April until the 1st of December in accordance with the Department of Conservation CMS.
It is important that this is respected.
Now with reduced scratching!

Friends of 42 Traverse would like to like to say “thank you very much” for everyone’s efforts on Saturday 21 November. We had more than 30 volunteers out on the track and as far as we know there were no injuries... although most people probably slept well that night!
An outstanding result to get so much trimmed back in one day and the clearance should make the route much more pleasant to get along through the summer.  There’s still that Blackberry on the Owhango end that DOC will need to help control with spray, but overall a huge improvement. Another 10 kilometres trimmed!
We decided that a further organised session on the Sunday was not needed this time.

DOC have been advised of a collapsing culvert towards the river on the South side.  There is potential for that culvert to completely collapse under the weight of a vehicle so caution is needed.
(Work has since been done to repair that culvert)

Thank you once again to all those volunteers for your time and effort.

An update from a four wheeler who drove the 42 Traverse at the end of December... "We did the track yesterday. Great track and really enjoyed it.The steep bit eroded at the bottom that you mentioned is a bit technical. There is a spring flowing there causing a hole and a step. We got our trucks up after a bit of shovel work and helped a couple of following trucks with a strop.
Unfortunately a couple of Hiluxes had a go with a bit of speed. First one did a cv and second one a steering arm. Offered transport but they preferred to stay and sort.
The culvert is just a bit further along and has marker tape and seems fine although we didn’t stop to inspect.
Rest of the track very good".
Can you help to cut back the 42 Traverse on 21 November?
 

In an effort to ensure that the iconic 42 Traverse vehicle route across the Tongariro Forest is in good shape to allow probably more use this summer than is usual, the Friends of 42 Traverse Inc., along with the Department of Conservation (DoC), have arranged for a vegetation cut back along that route.  Work was done in June this year and there is still around ten kilometres to tidy up.

 
Volunteers are the key to this effort and the usual pattern of working, is to break into groups comprised of some people with cutting tools and others to clear the cut debris off the track.

 
We need your help to get this work done.

 
This effort is outside the usual seasonal access for 4WD's, which will allow clearing work to be done without having other vehicles on the route. The weekend is that of 21/22 November 2020. The usual plan is to work the Saturday and if conditions allow, on the Sunday morning before heading home.

 
As in past events, the plan is to meet for a briefing at 9.30am on the Saturday morning, form into working groups of less than 10 people and head into the track for the day.
 
The meeting place will be at the ‘pumice pit’, several kilometres in on Kapoors Rd  (DoC signposted on SH47)
 
Please register interest at info@friendsof42traverse.nz so there is an idea of numbers attending.

 
There is an option of using the Downhill Ski Club lodge in National Park for accommodation
 
It is $30 per person per night. Please contact the club booking officer directly at booking@skiclub.org.nz   and mentioning the 42 Traverse Cut Back. Christine will organize a group booking and will need the name of each guest and the number of nights they wish to stay.

 
Under the Health and Safety procedures of the Department of Conservation, they do not allow the use of chainsaws by volunteers. They do allow us to use powered 'pole saws', brush cutters etc. with appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment) It is suggested that all people bring work gloves and hearing protection.
 
The use of slashers and machetes is discouraged, as they often leave sharp points on branches that can spike tyres and people.

 
For fuel, it has been suggested that the central NI is costly, with Taihape or Te Kuiti / Taupo fuel prices being cheaper.
 
It would be great to get a good turnout of volunteers.

A Unique View of the Tongariro Forest Recreation
The internet has some amazing resouces and one that has been identified is 'Strava' an outdoors 'fitness' aligned site that records its running and cycling members activiy locations. These are shown on a 'heatmap' and on checking the heatmap of the Tongariro Forest, it shows the popular areas clearly. https://www.strava.com/heatmap#11.37/175.47483/-39.07021/hot/all

It should be noted though, that some indicated routes may have been organised events with specific permisions and additionally, motorised recreation is only allowed on the actual 42 Traverse route, not on other tracks within the Tongariro Forest.
Ruapehu Bulletin article on 1 July 2020 about the cut back of the 42 Traverse in June.

Cut Back Effort Amazing

It was always going to be a risk to attempt a cut back project during winter in the Tongariro Forest, but that didn't deter 32 volunteers from turning up at Owhango on a Saturday morning. They worked until 3.30pm  and 14 of them turned up again by 9.00am on Sunday to work from the Kapoors Rd end of the 42 Traverse. Overall their efforts made a great difference and contributed over 200 man-hours of labour.
The weather was kind and ideal for the work being done, which was great, as there were people who'd travelled from Wellington, Napier, Taupo, Auckland, Rotorua, Tauranga and many other places... Thank you!
Again the primary source of volunteers was the four wheeling community and support from other user groups would be welcomed.
Checking GPS co-ordinates, it looks like there was almost 10 Kilometres trimmed on the Saturday and 2 Km on the Sunday.
That leaves about 10 Kilometres still to do across the central section and there's a suggestion that maybe another effort in late November 2020 might achieve an overall cutback. A tentative date is November 21/22.




Top left; Clint Handcock from Rotorua
Top right; David Sole (foreground) and Darren Young, both from Wellington
Centre left; Rosie Sargent from Rotorua
































Confirmation of a vegetation cutback
13/14 June 2020

The Department of Conservation have stated: "I can confirm that we would appreciate the Clubs assistance for track clearing after the closure of the track".

This is outside the usual seasonal access for 4WD's, but will allow clearing work to be done without having other vehicles on the route. The weekend is that of 13/14 June 2020. The usual plan is to work the Saturday and if conditions allow, the Sunday morning before heading home.

As in past years, the plan is to meet for a briefing at 9.30am on the Saturday morning , form into working groups of less than 10 people and head into the track for the day.

The meeting place will be at Owhango this year. Grant from Owhango Adventures has given permission for us to meet in their carpark. [The old 'pub' at the south end of Owhango]

For fuel, it has been suggested that the central NI is costly, with Taihape or Te Kuiti / Taupo fuel prices being cheaper.

You can register interest at info@friendsof42traverse.nz

There is an option of using the Downhill ski lodge in National Park for accommodation
It is $25 per person per night. Book at http://www.skiclub.org.nz/bookings/nonmemberbooking

Under the Health and Safety proceedures of the Department of Conservation, they do not allow the use of chainsaws by volunteers. They do allow us to use powered 'pole saws', brush cutters etc. with appropriate PPE  (personal protection equipment) It is suggested that all people bring work gloves and hearing protection.

The use of slashers and machetes is discouraged, as they often leave sharp points on branches that can spike tyres and people.

The usual pattern of working is to break into groups comprised of some people with cutting tools and others to clear the cut debris off the track.

With the seasonal temperatures likely to be low, people should bring suitable clothing for working outdoors. Food and drink is your responsibility.

Winter Closure to 4WD Vehicles
A reminder that the 42 Traverse is closed to 4WD vehicles from the end of April until 1st of December each year in accordance with the Department of Conservation Management Strategy for Tongariro Forest.
42 Traverse open for Summer

The Department of Conservation (DoC) have confirmed that as from Monday 2 December 2019 the 42 Traverse opened to 4x4's for the Summer season. Users are reminded that the usual volunteer vegetation trimming was not done this Spring, so some sections may be 'scratchy'.  While there are a number of branch tracks leading off the 42 Traverse, only the main track is to be driven.  Other tracks are used by DoC to manage the Kiwi program only.

Please avoid damaging the 42 Traverse, as it is vital for its future as a 4x4 vehicle recreation route that it is seen to be respected by all users.
Cut Back for 2019 cancelled
Due to the low number of available volunteers this year, a decision was made to cancell the planned cut back over 23/24 November.  Permission from DOC for the work and vehicle use was appreciated and it is hoped that possibly that permission may againg be granted for a weekend in May 2020.
Thank you to all those who had made contact and volunteered and please get the word out that this year's event is cancelled
DoC approval for a 2019 cut back has been received.

The dates for 2019 are the 23/24 November.
The usual plan is to work the Saturday and if conditions allow, the Sunday morning before heading home.

As in past years, the plan is to meet for a briefing about 9.30am on the Saturday morning 23 November, form into working groups and head into the track for the day. Although the route is closed to 4x4’s from 30 April until 1 December, an exception for the weekend has been granted to those involved in the work effort.

Some people are happy to stay overnight in National Park and if conditions allow, we often go back in to continue trimming until around noon, before heading home. We are able to again get the use of a ski lodge in town. Use of the Downhill Ski Club lodge is available at $23 per person per night and to book directly...
http://www.skiclub.org.nz/bookings/nonmemberbooking      For the Saturday evening dinner, a shared BBQ is suggested

A condition of the clearing effort is that we don’t use chainsaws for Health and Safety reasons. Other power tools are allowed on the basis that suitable safety equipment (Personal Protection Equipment/ PPE) is used by the operators (That includes petrol powered 'polesaws')

The meeting place for the 9.30am Saturday briefing will be the 'pumice pit' at the end of Kapoors Road. There will be more detail ahead of the weekend.
To register your interest in helping, please email Peter Vahry
Earthworks on damaged culvert completed
15-2-2019
The Department of Conservation (DOC) confirmed on 15 February that work to repair the culvert damaged in last year's winter storms has been completed and access right through is available to 4WD vehicles.

While very dry conditions currently exist, DOC advise that the route remains open, but care must be taken to avoid starting any fire.
Volunteers make a difference again on 42 Traverse
More than twenty volunteers converged on Owhango on Saturday morning, 17 November, to head into the 42 Traverse with the aim of cutting back encroaching vegetation. Armed with hand saws, brush cutters and pole saws, the teams managed to clear slightly more than six kilometres of track... a great effort! The recorded travel was more, as the group also did a preview of conditions further towards the Waione Stream.  Considerable areas of Blackberry were found and a spray programme may be needed to control that weed.
Wet conditions on the Sunday morning resulted in the cancellation of further work on the cutting back.

At this date it is not possible to drive right through the 42 Traverse, as a significant culvert collapse is preventing 4WD travel at about a mid point on the route. The photo does not fully show the extent of the damage but this short bit of video does!
Cut back of 42 Traverse planned

The annual volunteer effort to cut back vegetation along the 42 Traverse route is planned for the weekend of 17 / 18 November 2018.
These events provide an opportunity to contribute to the maintenance of this unique vehicle route and a chance to meet other enthusiasts.
It is a long track and to make a realistic impression on the continually growing vegetation we need plenty of volunteers.  Not everyone has to wield cutting tools... just as important are the teams clearing cut material off the track.

Due to DOC health and safety requirements, unless you can meet their set standards, chainsaws will not be allowed to be used. In brief, the DOC requirements are the holding of Unit Standards 6916 and 6917, a current First Aid certificate, a safety plan in place and having completed an external competency assessment! If chainsaw work is needed it is the aim to have DOC staff available.
The plan is to utilise scrub-bars/ brush-cutters for most work and it is allowable to use 'pole saws' as their cutting chains are well away from the operator.  For the guidelines around scrub-bars etc

Normally the route is closed in November to 4x4's, but DoC have allowed it over that weekend for those working on the cut back.
The plan is to work through Saturday from about 9.30am and continue on Sunday until about noon.  Not everyone will want to do both days and help either day is most welcome.  Those wanting accommodation in National Park can book at

 
To register your interest in helping please email info@friendsof42traverse.nz  
Ferrets are killing Kiwi in Tongariro Forest

Date:  22 June 2018

DOC biodiversity rangers are in hot pursuit of ferrets which are hunting North Island brown kiwi in Tongariro Forest.
At least 10 kiwi have been killed by ferrets since early March, and DOC has put extra resources into catching these predators.
Disappointingly, a recent routine daily check of a key ferret trapping site showed a number of traps had been stolen, damaged or thrown over bank.

Tongariro Operations Manager Bhrent Guy says DOC needs people to help catch these ferrets, and the best way to do that is to leave the traps in their strategic locations. He said rangers were shocked and dismayed when they found the traps broken and tossed. “It is a real shame, as one ferret trap can make such a difference,” he said.

The Tongariro kiwi team have had some success in catching a large male ferret they believe has been hunting kiwi within its territory, however, the challenge continues as ferrets are still targeting kiwi. Owhango Alive (external site link), an active community group, continues to help save the kiwi and has put out over 30 new DOC 200 traps that were given to them by the rangers. Also, one farmer has caught 11 ferrets in the last nine months.

If you are keen to help save the kiwi in Tongariro Forest, please email sfaire@doc.govt.nz

For media enquiries contact:

Stacey Faire, Supervisor/Senior Community Ranger
Mobile: +64 27 542 8219
Email: sfaire@doc.govt.nz

Media link
Ruapehu Bulletin report on the 42 Traverse cut back of 11/12 November
Volunteers make a difference

Thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time and energy to help cut back some of the vegetation along the 42 Traverse. There were just over forty people involved over the 11/12 November and despite some logistics constraints with moving vehicles on a single lane track, the teams achieved more than expected... and without any injuries to participants.

Over the two days, around 10 kilometres of the track was trimmed back on the Kapoors Road end.  There is still some significant overgrowth along the overall track that will need to be addressed before too long and may need to be dealt with by some type of mechanical cutter.

While it is ok for users to assist with trimming overhanging vegetation, it must only be with hand tools as it is illegal to even have a chainsaw in a vehicle without specific permission, while on DoC administered land!
The area worked on during Saturday 11 November.
Tony Woodill from Taranaki making a difference
42 Traverse cut back planned for November 11/12

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has  given permission for vehicle access over the weekend of 11/12 November for a cut back and agreed to allow 4x4's onto the 42 Traverse before Dec 1, for that weekend only.

The plan is to try to get a really good number of people to tackle the vegetation along the stretch of track from the 'Lookout' down to the Waione Stream. We would start from the pumice pit on Kapoors Rd.

The start time on the Saturday is 9.30 am. to allow people to drive from surrounding regions if they wish. There are plans of staying overnight on the Sat,  in National Park, with the aim of doing a few more hours on Sunday before heading away in the early afternoon. Any assistance is welcomed on either or both days. For information on the National Park accommodation  info@friendsof42Traverse.nz


DoC will do a health and safety briefing on the Saturday morning and a check on the competency of the operators of chainsaws. Personal protection gear will be needed, to comply with DoC H&S

Past projects have shown that teams made up of a chainsaw, a brushcutter and people clearing the cut material can be effective. Petrol hedgecutters are useful on Toi Toi etc. The use of slashers and machete's is not recommended, as they can be dangerous to use and create sharp points on cut branches that pose a risk of impaling people and tyres.

Put together a team and come and give a hand.

If you're able to assist, please email info@friendsof42Traverse.nz so that we have an idea of numbers.




Winter damage revealed by a quad bike visit to the 42 Traverse during June '17

A quick survey of the 42 Traverse by a Friends of 42 Traverse supporter during late June identified that  there has been significant water damage to old culverts, In some cases the water has scoured out the entire track while in others the track edges have collapsed. Wider vehicles like 4WD's will be unable to drive the route until remedial earthworks are done.
It looks like money will be needed to ensure future 4WD use and to keep the route open for all users.  A fund raising proposal is on www.friendsof42traverse.nz/donations.html
42 Traverse closed early in 2017 to 4x4 vehicles

The Department of Conservation advise that..." After the heavy rain over the past week some subsidence has occurred on the 42 Traverse.  It looks like potentially an old log culvert that has collapsed or rotted away.  The track is no longer passable by larger 4WD vehicle, but still passable by walkers/cyclists/quad bikes.  The track drops away down a steep bank on the other side so re-routing the track isn’t an option, this issue wont be fixed in the remaining 2 weeks of the 4WD season."
Friends of 42 Traverse welcome the joint signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Conservation.


On 7 January 2017,  a group of four wheelers documented some of their trip through the 42 Traverse from the Kapoors road end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-fCUVnWNyY


It is obvious that some sections of the route are in need of the cutting back of the vegetation and to accomplish that we will need your help with funding.
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