Mackintosh Hut, Kaweka FP,Saturday May 23 2015, Map: BJ37
Eight of us set out in the van from Park Island, heading to the Lakes car park up the Napier-Taihape road. Paul kindly offered to spend some time at the Lakes, then move the van to our exit point to save us a trip back along the road at the end of the day – much appreciated.
The weather was somewhat overcast and with rain forecast for later in the day, a decision was made by the rest of us not to take the original route up the Rogue Ridge but instead to take the lower one to Mackintosh Hut. The description of “lower route” sounded good to some of the team who hadn’t been out tramping for a while. Although it may have been lower in altitude than following the ridge-line, there was still plenty of the up-and-down-the-valleys which makes tramping in the Kawekas fun!We passed the demolished Kaweka Hut and met a hunter with a very exuberant (but friendly) dog. He was busy telling us about a diversion on the track which would still give us views over the Mackintosh Spur. He must have been on a different diversion from us, because although we looked out for this, there was nothing that matched his description. We did find a good lookout for a morning tea break. One of our number needed to be reminded that sitting on the wrong side of a large crack in the ground where there is an overhang might not be such a great idea. Fortunately, there was enough to hold it all together.
Sometime after this, it started to rain but as we were still busy with the ups and downs it wasn’t enough to get out the coats. We made it to Mackintosh Hut just as the rain started to become heavier. It was a lovely surprise to find a fire going inside. A friendly local, who obviously knows the area well, was up for the weekend and she made us very welcome.It was hard to drag ourselves away from the fire when it was still raining outside but we decided it was time to go. The trip down to the valley floor went very quickly. After crossing the river, everyone ditched their jackets in spite of the rain – knowing how steep the climb up was. Fortunately it wasn’t too heavy and, with the climb, nobody was cold. The unfortunate part was that with the cloud obscuring everything, there were no views to be seen at all. We all made it back to the van in quick time and found some sheltering trees to get changed into dry clothing.
It was interesting, on getting back to Napier, to find that we had had the better weather in the morning at least. And although we had the rain, it certainly wasn’t cold while we were up in the hills. A most enjoyable walk.
Trampers: Paul Exeter, Maree Patton, Jude Paton, Keith James, Sue Martin, Simon Hill, Rachelle Cowie and reporter Juliet Gillick