The Palmerston North Tramping & Mountaineering Club started in 1965. There are usually between 70 and 80 members.
The club has a weekend and day trip scheduled just about every week. Many trips are in the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges but some trips venture further afield, including to the South Island. We average about five participants per trip. Some trips have more of a social focus, such as the trip to Stewart Island which also coincided with the oyster festival.
We meet twice monthly on a Thursday evening to have presentations on trips of special interest and other topical items. We also have other social occasions such as the end of year barbeque and meals out. Many members are keen photographers and we hold an annual photo competition. The best photos go into an inter-club competition with the other two local tramping clubs. Another popular event is the annual quiz night, also involving the other local clubs.
The annual Snowcraft course on Mount Ruapehu is lead by club volunteers and introduces participants to walking safely on snow and ice, using an ice axe and crampons and learning to use ropes and anchors. This course is open to members and non-members and is always popular.
Our monthly newsletter features trip reports and other news relating to the safe enjoyment of the outdoors. Members are also affiliated to the Federated Mountain Clubs which advocates on environmental issues, protection of public land and the enjoyment of the outdoors. FMC produces the very interesting & informative quarterly magazine ‘Backcountry’ which goes to all members.
We aim to cater for all levels of age, fitness and ability, from beginner tramper to experienced mountaineer. There are easy trips that cater to those that want to do a day trip of a few hours to hard trips that require walking all day for several days. We cover a wide range of terrain, from a walk through the Manawatu Gorge Track to climbing some of the peaks in the Southern Alps. Club members will often get together to organise their own trips outside of official club trips. A group of members completed a four week trek in the Himalayas in 2014 and climbed two peaks over 6,000 metres.
A feature of our club is the competitions we run which last through the year and will involve accumulating points for such things as visiting huts or reaching named peaks. Some members find the competitions motivate them to get out more.
We have hut maintenance agreements with DOC to maintain Rangiwahia, Mid-Pohangina and Ngamoko Huts. For the latter two, it involves organised trips at least every six months to give them a thorough clean and carrying out necessary maintenance. Without this support these huts could be lost. The obligations for Rangiwahia Hut are less onerous because it has high usage, but results from our past association with renovating and maintaining the previous Rangiwahia Hut from 1967 to 1984.
We welcome new members and prospective members who want to give tramping a try. If you’re a visitor to this region you’re welcome to join us on some trips without joining. Visit our website and get in touch if you want to join in!
You can also see the PNTMC trips and courses which are featured here on Wilderlife’s Whats on calendar