Middle Hill, Whetu, Makino Ridge, Saturday March 23, 2013. Map: BJ37
On a beautiful clear blue-sky day, the planned trip up to Middle Hill Hut and then the three gorges to Makino Spur was changed, for the prospect of better views from the Kaweka tops.
Murray Goss took the van to the Gums car park so he could check out the fish in the Mohaka River, with a promise to return to pick us up at the Makino track car park on Makahu Road.
We climbed to Middle Hill, with distant views, and then had a snack break at the hut. With the weather so good, we all decided to go on towards the high point by Whetu, instead of the three gorges. You need to take the ‘tops walking’ opportunities when they are this good, with blue sky and little wind.
We separated into two groups. The faster group of five, after a steady climb up Camp Spur, came out of the bush, found a good spot with a view and stopped for lunch. A bit later, we were joined by Ted, Paul and Lyn who also had their lunches, but they then returned to Middle Hill and the road end.
After lunch, the Whetu five headed on upwards to the track junction, and decided to carry on around to the Makino track. From the viewpoint, we could see the base of Ruapehu. The hour’s walk on the open tops with good views all round vindicated our change of decision.
As time was getting on, we had a brisk walk to the road end down Makino Spur, arriving at 5 pm where Murray Goss was waiting for us. We all headed down to the Pinks car park to get changed with the Ted, Paul and Lyn who had been waiting for a while.
We headed back to Napier, but were not able to get van the back by the 6.30 pm deadline.
Trampers: Ted Angove, Paul Exeter, Lyn Bowcock, Murray Goss, Paul Fletcher, Jennie Burns, Jude Paton, John Russell and reporter Geoff Donkin