Sunrise Hut – Saturday 2 June 2018
Ruahine FP, Map BK36
Two cars with eight trampers on board left Park Island on a fine but cold and brisk morning. It was a slightly later start (0730) for a Saturday morning tramp, thanks to Jude, so the later start was most welcome. A quick pickup stop at the Maraekakaho Monument car park, then we were away, a total of nine keen trampers.
Three of us were first timers to Sunrise Hut and Armstrong Saddle: Peter, Mana and myself.We arrived to a very full Sunrise Hut car park at a little before 9 o’clock. There were two mini-buses from Karamu High school (they were heading off towards the Waipawa River track) and a mini-bus from a local church group, plus quite a few cars, so we thought we were going to encounter a full hut.
Weather was ideal for tramping but not for views, as there was very low cloud most of the way. On the upside, there was absolutely no wind.
On our way up, we passed our first party of young trampers who had stopped to regroup, at least 16 of them, and another six or eight people were coming down.We arrived to an empty hut, much to our surprise, so enjoyed a quick morning tea break before heading out to cross the Armstrong Saddle; again, no views but it was still worth the short trek across the top. A little icy and slushy and with very cold, thick misty cloud. The tarn at the top was frozen with solid ‘ice blocks’, but surprisingly, there was little snow around – not that we could see very far…
We took a few group photos then made the return trek to the protection and warmth of the hut.Tony had decided not to join us on our trek across the saddle, so we returned to a lit fire and a very full hut. We enjoyed lunch with the large group of happy teenage trampers and one adult, who were camping for the night.
It was an easy trip down. The track was quite busy with people wanting to make it to the hut; most had overnight packs with them. Sorry people, no room left at Sunrise.
We arrived back at the car park at 2.30, then made a b-line to the Tikokino pub for the usual refreshments of the non-alcoholic kind.
Home by 4.30, so all in all a most enjoyable day. Thanks to Tony P and John B for providing the transport.
Trampers: Jude Paton, Juliet Gillick, Tony Pluymers, John Bennett, John Russell, Hannah Munro, Mana Hattori, Peter Ide – Photos, and reporter Lynette Morgan