Sparrowhawk Bivvy, Ruahine FP, Wednesday October 10 2012
The challenge for today was to get those who had failed in their previous attempts to finally reach Sparrowhawk Bivvy. There would be no turning back – we would get there however long it took!
It started with a pleasant walk across Hall’s Farm, with only one casualty: Kelvin fell over in the mud, not a good start for him! Then a hop, skip and jump over Gold Creek and onto the steep narrow spur of Sparrowhawk Ridge. It’s steady as you go, taking your time until the ridge finally levels out and becomes easier.
Unfortunately, we lost Kelvin. He turned back, having no energy after a recent heavy cold. He would have to try again another time! Morning tea replenished our energy levels, then we were on to the more pleasant part of the track. The ridge flattens then dips and climbs over small saddles. At times, views can be had out through the trees of the scarred Colenso Spur and up onto the main range.
It could be a bit disheartening looking over to the range and feel you are no closer, but we soldiered on, giving encouragement. The wind was rising when we reached the exposed rocky area, just before the last tricky climb. A quick look at the fabulous views back over Central Hawke’s Bay then one last push up the narrow ridge past the large slip, being very careful with our footing, a bit further through the snow grass then the reward of seeing the orange bivvy.
We had made good time: 3½ hours from the cars, and all but one had made it. But what’s this I see in the hut book? Kelvin’s name! He had been here before!
The wind was cold, so we had lunch inside then the new guys went and popped their heads over the top for a look. It’s a pleasant walk down, only spoiled by the couple of ‘ups’. There were lots of birds in the lower slopes, no doubt having a wonderful time feeding in the masses of kowhai trees.
Seven had made the bivvy, one had gone fishing and landed two fish, and the others spent a pleasant day around Gold Creek track, some even having a late lunch at the farmhouse.
Well done team: a good effort and a great day out.
Trampers: Vic Bullock, Sue Martin, Ken Ross, John Burrell, Kelvin Shaw, Isobel Holdaway, Peter Slagter, John Marshall, Robyn Smith, Edward Anker, Murray Goss and reporter Alison Greer