Cameron Hut, Kaweka FP, Wednesday 20 January 2021. Map: BJ37
Banner Photo: Don’t they look chilled
Eleven keen trampers headed off from Park Island in the van driven by John Dobbs. Our destination: Cameron Hut car park on the Gentle Annie Road. We experienced an unexpected bit of “sightseeing” on the way as we passed through Omahu and the charred remains of a large fire a few days earlier.
Once at the car park and with all the usual pack and gear adjustments and ablutions completed, we were given a brief by trip organiser Doug. Our goal was to tramp to Cameron Hut via the Ngaruroro River. This was not for everyone, and Tony headed off towards Kuripapango for a three-hour round trip.One of the many river crossings[/caption]For the rest, it was not long before we experienced the first of many river crossings. Thankfully, the river was at a relatively low flow rate. Ably led by Hilary, we managed to find tracks created by hunters rather than having to walk in the river all the way.
About an hour upriver, we set off to cross yet again. This time several of us found that at times we were missing solid ground beneath our feet and were swimming/floating rather than walking. Four of the group turned back and filled their time climbing towards Kuripapango.
The remaining six continued on towards the hut. However, the repeated river crossings, combined with the wind chill factor and a lack of continuous warmth from the sun, resulted in two of our group showing early signs of hypothermia. We decided to turn back.
Once we were all back at the car park and had dry clothes on and some warmth from the sun (which decided to make a prolonged appearance) any signs of hypothermia had disappeared.
Even though we did not make it to the hut, it was a great day out, filled with adventure, socialising and learning curves. We were all safely back at Park Island by 3.15pm.
Trampers: Margaret Palmer, John Dobbs, Bruce Hodgson, Johanne Karlsson, Tony Pluymers, John Bennett, Kate Fuller, Keith James, Hilary Heath-Caldwell, Doug Matheson and reporter Sue Trotter