Lakes Carpark, Rogue Ridge, Kaiarahi, Castle Camp, Kiwi Saddle Hut, Kuripapango, Lakes Carpark.
Saturday October 23 2010. Map: BJ37 Kuripapango
Trampers: Alison Greer, Murray Goss, Marc Marchal and Julia Mackie
Labour Weekend, and a big party was going to Pureora, so we decided to tramp in the Kaweka FP. The day trip list was for Whirinaki, but with only four of us, we changed the destination. Weather forecasts for the Saturday and the rest of the Labour Weekend proved to be correct, and we had a glorious day.
After hopping, skipping and jumping across the Tutaekuri River, which was still quite low and not up after recent rain, we quickly tramped up Rogue Ridge. The view from the tops all day was tremendous. Mt Ruapehu was covered in snow, as was Ngaurahoe. We agreed that we had chosen to do this trip the right way around for the views all day of the mountains on the horizon in front of us, instead of behind. A scattering of snow was left from the previous day, and there was only a little wind. We sheltered out of it for a morning break on our way up to Kaiarahi, and had a brief stop at Kaiarahi 1507, to look at all the other tops, Mad Dog Hill, and the route to Studholme Hut and Bivvy.
We made our way around to Castle Camp and had lunch, finding a spot just beyond it, out of the bush with views of the mountains and Back Ridge. We relaxed in the sun and enjoyed the peace (Gossie had lunch back at Castle Camp). We started to meet other trampers and hunters, all coming from Kiwi Saddle. Like Queen’s Birthday weekend, it seems there are a few parties out at the long weekends these days. We don’t usually meet trampers or hunters on our normal weekend trips.
Marc, Alison and I reached Kiwi Saddle by 2pm while Murray stopped to chat to a few of the groups. We decided that, while we were in the groove, we would keep going and make it up to the top of the junction, where we met a large party from Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club. We were pleased to see that they were young – albeit a bit tired from their tramp up from the Lakes car park. We gave them advice, and then continued on. At the high point 1359, we stopped and had a break waiting for Murray to catch up. More orienteering, using the map and GPS.
Murray caught up and we moved on, the mountain view behind us now. The downhill from the mast seemed to take a while. Perhaps it was the tired legs, and sun. When we reached the car, we were all glad not to have to take another step, and to take the boots off. The feet were getting a tad hot.
We admired Murray’s photo of Mackintosh Hut that was used by DoC on the information board at the Lakes car park. The map, however, seemed to have some errors, and was missing some hut information.
A good day’s walk with views all around – what a cracker.