Parks Peak via Sentry Box, Saturday 11 September 2010. Map: BK37
Trampers: Colin McNatty, Denise Payne, Sue Marshall, Mark Marchal, Murray Goss, Les O’Shea, Ted Angove, John Marshall, Simon Hill and Geoff Donkin
Ten of us set out. The weather forecast was for rain later in day. We were scheduled to go to Parks Peak via the Makaroro River. However, heavy recent rain suggested that the river crossing might be difficult so we decided to go via Sentry Box. We walked up past the freshly painted bright orange Sentry Box Hut. (The painters have missed a bit – they must have been distracted). The bottom part of the track was steep and greasy.
One of our members had brought a stick made out of an electric fence pole. He was waving this around threatening to give all and sundry an electric shock. There were a few rocky outcrops on the way up, which enabled us to have a look around. There were good views of the rows of pine trees on the farmland below. We came across a hunter on the track. He had had no luck. He said perhaps in two weeks’ time the grassy patches would be shooting and the deer would come out.
At the turn-off, we decided to go the Pohutahaha, perhaps 15 minutes north along the track. We had good views of the top of Mt Ruapehu – very clear sharp white, even though the background was a bit dull. Heading back to track junction and south along main track, we picked up views of Ngauruhoe as well. There were a couple of dips in the track to go across before reaching the new Parks Peak Hut. We had an early lunch at about 11.30am.
When we set off to return, several of our party decided to go along to the track junction where the track drops down to Upper Makaroro Hut. The new stick got left behind! Another person decided to look after it and take it back whence we had come from. So off we went. At the track junction, the stick was left at against the sign post. The owner arrived and accused all and sundry of stealing his stick, except it seems the actual person who had! Going down the hill, we could feel the moisture in air and see black clouds to the north-west. Not long before Sentry Box Hut, it started to rain but we got back to the van before it got too heavy. We changed and then it was back to Napier.