Trip Report – Gorse Removal at Cutting Crag
By: Robin Reijers
Source: Otago Newsletter (August 2019)
Together we started out with 6 people, heading up to Cutting Crag by parking at the Mapoutahi climbing spot and then walking until we reach the end of Purakaunui Bay. Ascending to Cutting Crag, we immediately encountered gorse along the way in small clusters. When we passed the railroad and headed into the more bush-like path the gorse started cropping up like crazy, and it was at this moment I also started to doubt my choice of attire (shorts and short sleeved shirt).
Arriving on-site we saw quite a lot of gorse; most is along the sea-side cliff where it grows several meters thick and about two meters high. The climbing part itself is less overgrown but still had quite a few bushes at the base of the climbs. It was decided that we should first start to clear out the base of the climbs, and, armed with a couple of saws, pruners and shears, the clearing started. The all-round strategy was to first clear the outer branches and then come in with the heavy equipment and take the plant out at the base. Using that we quickly cut through the gorse and cleared out the climbing sites. Afterwards the path leading from Mapoutahi was also cleared.
In the end we finished the day with some good climbing and enjoying the view from up high. Also some of the route setters bolted new routes at the right side of the crag, so that is something to look forward to for the next time.
Posted By: Narina Sutherland