Mackintosh Hut, Kaweka FP, Map: BJ37
Wednesday July 20, 2016
The forecast was for “showers clearing in the morning with a S/W change”. The forecast temp for Napier was 14˚.
Originally we had 23 on the list, but four pulled out because of winter colds, or visitors who stayed too long,, etc. So in the van and with two support cars, 19 headed up the Taihape Road in fine but cold conditions. There were two first-timers in the party.
We stopped at the Lakes car park and 16 set off in two groups (the super-fits and the not-so-fits) to tramp to the Mackintosh car park via Mackintosh Hut. Three stayed behind to do their own things and, thankfully, transfer the vehicles to the other end to save us walking back down the road at the end of the day.
Having advised a couple of first-timers on this track that there was only the initial crossing of the Tutaekuri to get wet feet, it was embarrassing to find several more streams to paddle through. Recent rains had made a difference.
Along the way, there were two detours to avoid slips from the original track. The first followed a side stream for quite a distance before rejoining, and the second detour was only a few metres to avoid a very steep slip face where the track had disappeared downhill.
We enjoyed a brief morning break at the site of the Kaweka Flats Hut, burnt down in 2003. Heretaunga Tramping Club, which owned the hut, has placed a commemorative plaque at the site.
Just after this break, Ted decided (or his legs decided for him) to return to the start and hopefully get there before the vehicles went up the road. So off he went.
The stragglers arrived at the Mackintosh Hut just before noon and joined all the others for lunch. The sun was shining, but we were in a cold wind. The first timers by now had all heard about the steepness and duration of the climb out from the bridge over the Tutaekuri up to the car park, so it was with some trepidation that they set off for the last leg.
Nevertheless, we all made it – although some were slower than others. The vehicles were waiting for us but Ted had missed his connection by five minutes and had to walk up the road.
Having done this tramp in reverse in April this year, your reporter thinks it is easier to go in the opposite direction. Especially because it avoids the very steep climb at the end of the day.
All in all, we had a great day.
Trampers: Elly Govers, Robyn Smith, Barry Ridler, Annemaree Ruffell, Jeannie Brigham, Rosemary Jeffrey, Marie Deroles, John Stairmand, Rose Fillary, Denise Payne, Sue Marshall, Vic Bullock, Murray White, John Burrell, Bruce Hodgson, Paul Exeter, Ted Angove, Peter Slagter, and scribe Kelvin Shaw