Top Gorge Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday January 17 2015
For some more pix, please see our Facebook page.
The first tramp for 2015 was new hut to visit for me, and a long time since the last visit for some of our older club members. We had put this tramp on the list because we never made it last year. Weather hampered that attempt, but today a scorcher of 28C was forecast for Napier.
There was no wind on the tops, so we made it up to Longview Hut in quick time (1hr 5 mins for the fast front runners).
We regrouped and had a quick break before setting off for Rocky Knob. A trip report in Wilderness magazine some time ago, and club memories, noted there was a quick way down to Top Gorge, rather than the formal tracked route directly down into the Pohangina headwaters from the Longview Hut area.We got to Rocky Knob, and then the debate began. Where should we start? Answer: At GR 664/714 and hit the small side stream at GR 660/713, just before it enters the Pohangina. From here, we made our way downstream to the hut at GR 651/712. Some of the group decided to have their lunch, and stopped before reaching the hut.
For some of the others, it was a first visit, so we enjoyed our lunch on the hut’s grassy surround, lapping up the view.
The hut looks to be in good order, but with a few bottles left by drinkers of Rich Ruby faux-sherry, which need to be carried out. There is an open fire, two bunks, and a concrete floor. The walls are not lined, but this gives the hut a special kind of ambience if you like things basic. A branch may have gone through the roof, because a hole needs repair. The hut is on the endangered list, unless someone takes it on in partnership with DoC.
It’s a lovely spot in summer; however this might be different in winter, if the streams are higher and the sun lower in the sky.On our way out, we had decided to go the river route all the way to the Pohangina Saddle exit. This entailed a few climbs up beside some waterfalls, but nothing too difficult. The final exit up to the Longview ridgeline was marked from the stream and poled up to the top.
It was a long day’s tramp, but we will be back to Top Gorge.
Trampers: Graeme Taylor, Gordon Tapp, Paul Exeter, John Marshall, John Dobbs, Geoff Donkin, Sue Martin, Murray Goss, Kelvin Shaw, Graham Froggett (visitor from the UK), Les O’Shea and reporter Julia Mackie