Longview Hut, Rocky Knob, Ruahine FP, Saturday 9 April 2022
Banner Photo: Rocky Knob
When I went to write this report, I noticed in my files a story about a similar trip, written in March 2017. We’d had no views at all. I also distinctly remember the trip we did in August 2020 when we had snow, rain, mud and very cold conditions. A few people on today’s tramp could vividly remember that walk because it drizzled all the way up, and snowflakes appeared from time to time.
It was a very different story this time.The van ground its way up Kashmir Road. The last section is always a concern because it has been known to be undrivable. This day it was pretty good but still corrugated and steep as usual.
Although it was very grey, misty and cloudy when we began the climb, there was no wind at all, which is unusual up here. Actually, the conditions were ideal for tramping.
Because everyone had been to the hut before, we tramped at our own pace and planned to meet at the hut for morning tea. There were several muddy sections on the initial zig-zag track up the Moorcock Saddle. At times, the long tussock grass hanging over the track made it difficult to see where to put your feet.It didn’t take long to gain some height and view the cars way down below in the car park. Tony’s last visit to this area was when he was a high school student. He was ecstatic over the incredible views that we had throughout the walk, in front, to either side, and behind.
As we climbed higher, the way ahead to the hut often remained lost in the cloud. However, as we got closer, the sun burnt off the cloud and we had wonderful views to the hut and beyond. We started our morning tea on the hut’s deck but soon moved inside once the sun decided to hide behind the clouds.A decision was made to tramp to Rocky Knob at 1226m. Some left their packs behind in the hut. We heard several roars, but were not sure whether they were human roars or the real deer. It was a gentle walk until we reached the knob. Then it was a short rocky climb to reach the top. Forty minutes later, we were perched up on the peak with spectacular 360 views and, of course, a photo shoot.
Back to the hut for lunch. Two well-wrapped-up hunters arrived; they were going to spend the night and hopefully catch their dinner. Their presence gave us the cue to leave and make our way back to the car park.
On the way home, we had a timely stop at the Tiko for hot chips and a cuppa. I think we ate more calories than we burnt off. Thanks to the drivers who safely transported us.
Trampers: Alison Greer, Margaret Palmer, John Dobbs, Johanne Karlsson, Tony Wrightson, Gaye Gasser, Di Reid and reporter Sue Martin