Parks Peak Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday September 12, 2015.
Due to the seriously bad weather forecast, we changed the scheduled tramp to Parks Peak Hut. We would be sheltered from the high winds and the cold southerly blast. And so we set off up the Sentry Box track to the ridge, from Mangleton Road. The track starts with a short, steep climb and then becomes a nice gentle ascent through regenerating beech forest.The last time Gossie and I did this, we timed it to the junction in 1hr 20 mins. The front trampers, Marc and Rosemary, decided to see if they could beat this time. They did, getting to the top in 1hr 15 mins. I arrived five minutes later after having to make a comfort stop. Sending Marc and Rosemary on their way to the hut, some of us took advantage of the chair at a lookout which is just off the track and only five minutes from the junction. We had great views of the main Ruahine Ranges, down to the Three Johns, Te Atuparapara, and Sparrowhawk Ridge and Kylie Biv. The biv is clearly visible as a small orange dot. We could also see Totara Spur and the ridges heading towards Aranga Hut. We arrived and had a very long early lunch break in the sun. I could not persuade the party to divert to Pohatuhaha Trig on the way back but Les had his own vehicle, and confirms that the trig is only seven minutes from the junction. He spent some time up there in the sun, enjoying more views.
We made it back down to the cars in an hour and headed for home. An early day, after an easy bush tramp.
Trampers: Paul Exeter, Marc Marchal, Rosemary Jeffery, Murray Goss, Les O’Shea, Geoff Donkin, Graeme Taylor, Viv Bramley, and reporter Julia Mackie