Our Mountain bike ride up SH1


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Murray (my oft-times cycle buddy, and retired roading engineer of 40 years experience) and I (no where near Murray's experience, but I did have 3 years chairing our council Works and Services committee responsible for roads, water and sewers, and accompanied our engineer on his monthly surveys, and of the occaisional weather induced problem sites) set off for a look at the conditions up the coast north of Kaikoura. We drove out to Maungamanu, and left the landrover at Dave's place, and took the mountain bikes from there. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2258.JPG.



Peaceful enough at the start, and a view of things to come. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2259.JPG.



Almost serene. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2260.JPG.



A couple of slips just a km or so up the road, easily bypassed by forming a temporary surface over the rail line. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2261.JPG.



The first significant slip across the road, half way to Iron gate. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2265.JPG.



Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2266.JPG.



Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2267.JPG.



Problems coming up - big slips just past iron gate. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2268.JPG.



And the slip right where we are is no sqib - quite a bit of material to move to get back to the road surface. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2275.JPG.



The view back, having past the first 2 slips. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2281.JPG.



Once past iron gate conditions deteriorate. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2288.JPG.



Getting worse. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2298.JPG.



End of the road - not passable this way in any reasonable time. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2311.JPG.



Fortunately, NZ Rail built some very useful tunnels. Back down to Iron Gate and onto the tracks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2313.JPG.



Safe passage under the slips. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2315.JPG.



I can kind of understand from the rail perspective that looking after their very expensive locomative is important to them - but it does block the only effective access to the community of Rakautara. Surely they could park it in the open, and give people accesses for food and supplies. Not a very neighbourly thing to do. A bit of a tight squeeze to get past, mountain bikes have wide handlebars, had to stand the bike on its back wheel and turn the handlebars on a 45 deg angle to get by. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2321.JPG.



Out the other side, and bike gear back on and drop down back to the road. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2327.JPG.



It's a thing I do - always take a picture or two of our house when I can - it is just under the left end of the rightmost group of trees in the skyline - very well hiden our place. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2333.JPG.



Everywher the land has risen, so sealife once below water is now high and dry. Here the lift is just over a meter (about 4 ft). Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2334.JPG.



Quite a bit of rockfall above the Rakautara water supply. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2346.JPG.



A lovely day for a ride. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2352.JPG.



The stream has a lot further to go to get to the ocean now. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2357.JPG.



Zooming in on the big slip up ahead at Ohau Point. More on that soon. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2370.JPG.



Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2372.JPG.



A few cracks in the road, but no too many yet. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2379.JPG.



More uplifted coastline, with the devastation to tidal marine life. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2382.JPG.



The first clearly visible rupture zone through rock. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2389.JPG.



More new dry land. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2392.JPG.



Massive slipping ahead. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2397.JPG.



A compression fracture in the road surface at Half Moon Bay. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2403.JPG.



Looking back at the compression. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2407.JPG.



As I suspected, the compression caused by a fault ruptre than went through the rail tunnel. Note the tension the rail tracks are under, as well as the shattered concrete walls. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2419.JPG.



About half a meter displacement, both lateral and vertical. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2427.JPG.



The railroad has taken the worst of the slips, it is barely visible. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2432.JPG.



The slips just keep on coming. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2435.JPG.



More and more examples of large boulders having rolled down the hills and either stopped on the road, or continued on into the ocean. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2439.JPG.



Quite a few longitudinal cracks appearing in the road now. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2442.JPG.



Much of the recent "safety" work has collapsed. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2446.JPG.



Now this is really interesting. Clearly this small slip on the rail line just in front of us came down before the big one beyond it. The big slip has push the rail across the road, very quickly, and scattered remnants of the smaller slip as it went. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2450.JPG.



The small slip and remnants. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2451.JPG.



The trails of gravels that fell between the sleepers. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2454.JPG.



Rail services have been suspended ;) Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2460.JPG.



That is a good sized slip. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2461.JPG.



Carrying the bike though this stuff is hard work!!! Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2475.JPG.



And 250m might not sound like long, but it is when you're jumping from boulder to boulder carrying a bike. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2476.JPG.



A lot of uplift here, a lot of stuff above water that never was previously. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2478.JPG.



A very expensive retaining wall. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2485.JPG.



Take another picture - any excuse to stop and get breath back. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2486.JPG.



I'm not the only one breathing hard. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2489.JPG.



My trusty steed, back at road level. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2490.JPG.



This slip must have come across the road very quickly and stopped just as quickly. The sleepers of the rail-line have barely broken the road surface. They haven't moved more than an inch since touching the surface. Fascinating. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2498.JPG.



There is a lot of material up there. Still, big dozers would make short work of shifting it. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2499.JPG.



Even with all the clearly visible fracturing, the gulls are still nesting. Life continues for the natural world. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2507.JPG.



Slips and road cracking everywhere here. And if they borrowed use of a few rail tunnels while clearing the worst of the slips, road access could be restored before christmas. Sure it would be one way in quite a few places, and it would be slow, and take closer to 4 hours than 2 to get to Picton, and it is doable. If you try and close the road until all work is completed, it will be years away, and most people along the coast will be bankrupt. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2515.JPG.



Lots of cracking, and a boulder or two. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2518.JPG.



More cracks - almost constant now. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2522.JPG.



Some quite big cracks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2533.JPG.



So much uplift - must be close to 10ft here - 3m. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2536.JPG.



Ohau approaches. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2539.JPG.



A common site - "safety rails" hanging in free space. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2543.JPG.



could loose a car wheel down there. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2547.JPG.



Murray is enjoying himself. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2556.JPG.



It looks worse than it is, and it is impressive. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2559.JPG.



A smallish boulder field. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2564.JPG.



The entire face separated off this rock. Just as well the shags weren't breeding here this year. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2573.JPG.



Almost surreal that the seal colony car park is in pristine order. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2583.JPG.



Just ahead -The BIG Slip. Ohau point. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2584.JPG.



The view north from the Seal Look-out. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2586.JPG.



That is One BIG Slip - huge!!!!!!!!! No way I am going to try and go around the bottom of that thing. Thanks to the rail network, there is a safe way past - under the hill behind it. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2596.JPG.



Down under a tree and into the tunnel. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2603.JPG.



It's a long tunnel. Just as well we came prepared with good headlamps. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2605.JPG.



Back into sunshine. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2606.JPG.



The trail up to the waterfall where the baby seals used to play. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2608.JPG.



But getting up that track is going to take some serious bush bashing, not what we came here for today. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2614.JPG.



The car park looks remarkable serene. Just notice that one biggish boulder in a small clearing up near the brow of the hill leftish. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2620.JPG.



You can see that boulder more clearly in this shot, just right of centre, near the top of the hill. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2626.JPG.



Here's a close up of it. It is the only thing that poses a serious risk to people working below and traffic moving below - will need to be drilled, blown into small pieces, and removed if necessary. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2627.JPG.



Back heading north, and lots of exampless of truck sized boulders leaving bath sized dents in the road surface. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2634.JPG.



These are some seriously large chunks of rock. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2636.JPG.



Slip after slip. Boulders galor. This is the first straight north of Ohau stream - right beside the bird colonies rock. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2659.JPG.



The birds are still there - shag chicks almost full size now, gulls sitting on their eggs. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2661.JPG.



The gulls don't seem too concerned. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2663.JPG.



Nor the shags for that matter. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2666.JPG.



Back on the bike, weaving around the boulders Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2681.JPG.



These are big slips. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2682.JPG.



Some of those big rock leave big holes in the road as they bounce on through. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2685.JPG.



Rock now on the beach - about the size of a large 4WD. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2688.JPG.



Time to get off and into the long grass to get around these guys. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2691.JPG.



Another big slip. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2695.JPG.



Not a lot of space to spare. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2696.JPG.



And on it goes. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2697.JPG.



Some big chunks of rock, have demolished alot of trees on their way down the hill. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2701.JPG.



Some didn't stop at the road, and did a bit of damage in passing. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2704.JPG.



Whew - a bit of clearish road. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2735.JPG.



Still plenty of cracks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2743.JPG.



So much uplift here - must be close to 6m (20ft). Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2745.JPG.



The road showing signs of the pressures that lifted the land 20 ft in under a second. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2753.JPG.



Paparoa point - stopped there on the way back. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2757.JPG.



Crazy stresses under here. More on that later. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2759.JPG.



More signs of the massive uplift just here. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2762.JPG.



Yet morecompression fractures in the road and curbing. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2768.JPG.



More block faulting. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2773.JPG.



Acres of new land, acres of dead marine life. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2776.JPG.



More road cracks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2785.JPG.



The view seaward. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2789.JPG.



More road cracks and a small skip on the rail line. Black miller ahead. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2795.JPG.



Plenty of good cracks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2798.JPG.



Slumping on bridge approaches. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2811.JPG.



Okiwi reserve starts. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2815.JPG.



Around the corner into Okiwi Bay, rocks on the rail line left, large slips across the bay behind Waipapa. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2819.JPG.



End of the road for us. We only wanted to go anthoer couple of kms, and that is a very big slip, which would require carrying the bikes a long way to get around, so we become trampers at this point. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2824.JPG.



Some big rocks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2831.JPG.



A lot of material moved here. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2833.JPG.



Another very expensive retaining wall. Imagine being in a train on that track. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2834.JPG.



The new look Okiwi Bay. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2853.JPG.



Here comes Francis - we met him a couple of times, as he walked out to the north. Friends meeting him across the bay. He's a big man, those are big rocks. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2855.JPG.



There is a lot of dead things here - plenty of paua (abalone for you americans). Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2857.JPG.



So many dead paua - millions of dollars worth, and so much prime habitat lost. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2875.JPG.



Another rail line a long way from where it was. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2898.JPG.



A huge sandy beach in front of us. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2901.JPG.



Looking back at the slip. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2904.JPG.



And zooming in on it. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2909.JPG.



Looking back from across the bay. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2931.JPG.



Crayfish didn't make it back to water. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2934.JPG.



And another one - you get the idea. Lots of dead marine things. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2937.JPG.



Back on the road at Mororimu. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2942.JPG.



Another shot of home, at full zoom. These little canon SX50 cameras are the best value for money on the market. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2943.JPG.



Slumping on bridge approaches. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2952.JPG.



A bit more than just slumping. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2953.JPG.



All bridges alike. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2967.JPG.



The new view north from Mororimu. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2970.JPG.



Waipapa inlet from the south. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2997.JPG.



The fault scarp in the distance. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_2998.JPG.



John Reader's lauching area, once well below low tide level, now clearly visible at half tide. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3003.JPG.



Getting closer. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3007.JPG.



The earth just cracked and lifted. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3012.JPG.



It runs off into the distance NW. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3014.JPG.



Rock turned to flour by the force of the sheer. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3017.JPG.



Look NW again. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3019.JPG.



Zooming in. Note the sand risingin the distance, as the base rock under it fractured. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3022.JPG.



The face of uplift. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3042.JPG.



John's launching area, heading homeward. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3050.JPG.



Bridges look the same from both sides. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3060.JPG.



That slip again. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3064.JPG.



Note the rockfall in the rail cutting. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3065.JPG.



Closeup of rockfall. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3070.JPG.



Time for lunch. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3084.JPG.



More dead abalone - heart breaking (and starting to smell, 13 days on). Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3117.JPG.



Back to the bikes. How often can you leave your bikes in the middle of state highway one, for two hours on a Sunday afternoon, secure that they would still be there when you got back? Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3148.JPG.



Southbound! Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3157.JPG.



The commercial ramp at Paparoa Point. Normally, at this stage of the tide (about 2 hours prior to high water) the water would be to about the top of the new timbers on the ramp. It is about 30m away, and about 4m vertically below the bottom of the ramp. Must be close to 6m (20ft) uplift here. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3180.JPG.



The end of the ramp, and its almost full tide. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3190.JPG.



Ground just pulverised by the amount of movement. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3195.JPG.



Ths was once a gently sloping road, now it is about 60 degrees, and about 4ft (1.2m) high wall. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3205.JPG.



On the road again. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3219.JPG.



Heading back to Ohau Pt. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3234.JPG.



Taking the tunnel behind the Ohau slip. This would be the sensible way to get the road link started, and give the people working on the slip time to deal with it. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3248.JPG.



Back on the South side of the big Ohau slip. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3264.JPG.



Have carried the bikes around the Halfmoon bay slip, and now back on them again. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3286.JPG.



Some locals from Rakautara taking a wheelbarrow out to bring supplies back in past the engine in the tunnel. Link to big version of smaller pic below IMG_3307.JPG.



End of List. A long day and a good day. Hard to beat first hand experience to get an appreciation for the magnitude of something.