Banner pic: A-Frame Hut… in a terrible state
East Tamaki Road, A-Frame Hut, Stanfield Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday 22 February 2020
We arrived at the car park 8.40am to find it pleasantly cooler (17C) than Napier’s 23C the previous night.
In cloudy weather, we made a two-hour climb to A-Frame Hut. It was a pleasant walk in trees and bush, quite stony underfoot, but overall a good track. We were surprised to discover a farm road at the top, which apparently doesn’t lead anywhere.
A-Frame Hut is large, but it has become quite a dump. On the walls, there was a notice to say that locals were doing it up, along with a fair bit of graffiti: 1080 protests fighting for space with messages such as ‘God is the answer’!
The wind had got up and there was a small shower, so this was a good stop for morning tea.
We continued along the road for about 45 minutes, then the track went off and we began the steeper and more overgrown track down. As we descended, we could see Stanfield Hut by a stream, a long way down. The route was quite steep in places, with a nice variety of open views, bush and trees.
At Stanfield, we lunched in the company of eight people from Lower Hutt Tramping Club. They were in for the night. A lovely group, and we shared stories, laughs and a good study of the local map.
As we left, the track got easier and easier; the grass was wide and long, but the weather turned to strong wind and rain. Serious rain came down in the last 45 minutes, with a strong side wind, and we got drenched! We all had dry top clothing but none of us had dry shorts. Poor Fiona’s car seats would have been very wet by the time we got back to Taradale at about 5.30pm.
Overall, a very pleasant day (but maybe not quite what we expected, with the ‘road’ at the top) and an easy walk back in the last hour.
Trampers: Fiona B, Shona T and reporter Di R