Mackintosh Hut, Kaweka FP, Saturday 3 June 2017
Group Photo: Juliet Gillick
As the headline suggests, this tramp looked like a time warp from the early days of the Napier Tramping Club.
Wet, cold and plain miserable conditions did not dampen youthful enthusiasm as our band headed to Kuripapango. The intention was to hop and skip up to Kiwi Saddle Hut. The eternally juvenile John Dobbs would lead the charge, while go-for-it optimist Gossie (age 15, going on for NZ Super) would be in behind, as we forged upward, chorusing songs of joy such as “The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music”. You get my drift…
But it didn’t quite work out that way. At the turn-off to Lakes car park, great hopes changed to the Moody Blues.
‘Hmmm, I don’t think the rain will let up…’
‘It’s very exposed up there, you know…’
‘Not much of a view from the tops, too much cloud…’And so it was grimly accepted: Plan B was a walk to Mackintosh Hut instead, and maybe complete the circuit to the car park in Lakes Rd? Then walk the road to the van.
The tramp proved educational. Elly pointed out an interesting lattice-shaped fungi, thought by some in the group to be made of plastic. Pinus Contorta was very evident, so we set ourselves the task of removing this weed. Perceptive DoC people will be pleased with our efforts, but we came up short of total eradication, I’m afraid.
We were welcomed to Mackintosh Hut by Dom and his nice warm fire. Dom traps possums and spends much time living alone in the Kawekas. The hut was very tidy, with loads of stacked firewood.We enjoyed a long lunch, taking turns to warm our creaking backs against the fire. The outside temperature was 6 deg and the rain was getting harder. We decided not to complete the circuit and instead head for home the same way we came in. So we rugged up and completed the tramp easily and early, arriving at the van about 1 pm.
It was a little disappointing that gloomy weather had shortened our plans but nonetheless it was a very worthwhile day’s tramp. Thank you to John, for leading us so well.
Trampers: John Dobbs, Murray Goss, Anna Ridge, Hannah Munro, Nanoha Kicuch, Scott Newlyn, Elly Govers, Juliet Gillick and reporter Bruce Hodgson