01 January 19961971 - 1975. I wasn't even born. I'm glad, otherwise I could be called old. But - the early 70s were an active and exciting time for the VUWTC.
1972. Allaway-Dickson hut had been built by the VUWTC in the Tauherenikau valley as a memorial to Stanley Alloway and Roy Dickson who were killed on a club trip to the Hopkins valley in 1947. By '72 it was falling apart and a decision was made to demolish it, a task that was accomplished during Easter of that year to the accompaniment of much partying. Trips during '72 included a number of South Island transalpine and climbing trips, both as club trips and private trips of club members. Places visited included Garden of Eden, the Darrans and Aspiring.
1973. There was a female chairwoman who strengthened the stereotyped view of the era held by many by ending her report "Burn your bras". During '73 many classic Tararua tramps were held including a 23+1/2 hour 'day-trip' up the Makaretu stream. A major event was the first ascent of the South ridge of Grave in Fiordland by Barry Scott, Conway Powell, Dick Price and Kevin Helm. A death occurred when Kelvin Kennedy died crossing the Otaki river.
1974. "... as most of you will already know, the position of chairman has been recaptured by the stronger sex". Members were still attracted to climbing in the South Island with trips to the Darrans and Cook. Big club trips to N.W. Nelson and Nelson Lakes were successfully run as well as the Tararua staples.
1975. The club was going through a recession with membership down on 50% compared to the previous year. The endless cyclic nature of tramping club had showed itself again. The same group of people seemed to go on all trips - but trips still went and the TC carried on.
One key difference between the club then and the club now is the way rock climbing was/is approached. This era was prior to the explosion of the use of bolts for protecting climbs in New Zealand and the advent of 'sport climbing'. Whanganui Bay was only just being 'discovered' and most rock climbing was done at Titahi Bay, the Mt. Cook area and the Darrans. Now most climbers will never reach the Darrans or Alpine rock, being content with safe(r), shorter and less committing sport climbing or low altitude traditional climbing. Areas such as Whanganui Bay, Wharepapa and Paynes Ford will satisfy most, along with a regular dose of indoor climbing (plastic pulling).
Other than this the club hasn't (probably never will) changed too much. The changes that have occurred mirror the changes in society and VUWTC's role, relative to the rest of society, has barely changed - it is still about getting people into tramping, climbing and other outdoor pursuits and providing a place for like minded people to meet and nurture these passions.
One key thing that came out of this was the attitude towards older trampers. They were doing epics when we were still in nappies. Every era has its group of 'Hard persons' (generally Hard-Men) and we all think of ourselves as the most pioneering, or most social, or most active or whatever. We will eventually be replaced by new trampers, they too will be replaced .... ad infinitum - it is the job of the VUWTC to make sure this cycle never ends.