Wednesday, March 28. Map BJ37
A group of seven set off from Makahu car park at 8.45 am, passed Makahu Hut and moved onto the climb to discover why two Wednesday trampers who had joined the previous Saturday group only got as far as Kaweka J. We were informed it was due to the windy conditions, but the truth may be that they just plain piked out when they saw the steep terrain ahead of them. But we toughed it out and made the top in 1 3/4 hours, then turned west and headed down the ridge, arriving at Back Ridge Hut by noon.
Lunch was in a little clearing away from the hut due to the shade that still surrounded it. We didn’t have too long a lunch as first Jenny and then Kelvin seemed real keen to get going again; they kept hopping from one foot to the other. Guess you have to expect that, if you sit on an ants’ nest!
The climb out is steep at first to gain the northern ridge then undulates up to the main range. We were going really well until Alison said “ Don’t look up.” Bugger she was right; it was not a wise move.
All was not lost as Peter got his second wind and we were away with just stops to admire the great view and soak in the amazing day.
We arrived back at the van 3.45pm to find John and Vic waiting for us.
Vic had set off on a pine tree-cutting mission only to find someone had beaten him to it, so he continued on to Kaweka J. I’m beginning to think he must hold the club record for that climb.
Now John was not letting on where he went, but did let slip that it was nice and sunny at Kaweka Flat; mind you, that was also the direction the kiwi-hunting ladies may have ended back at, after their helicopter ride!
Trampers: Peter Slagter, Keith Moretta, Kelvin Shaw, Gary Bowler, Alison Greer, Jenny Burns, John Marshall, Vic Bullock and reporter Robyn Smith