Mackintosh Hut, Kaweka FP, Wednesday 26 April 2023
Banner Photo: The old slip has grown and is now unstable. A diversion is in place
Our merry group set off from Park Island but got snagged up with traffic trying to get onto the motorway, then picked up Lynette and Di at Omahu around 8.20am. There was a bit of drizzle, but luckily it cleared. Tramp organiser and driver Alison whizzed us up the Taihape Road where the paddocks still had water lying in them and damage from the cyclone was obvious.
The unsealed road to Mackintosh car park was remarkably good with just a few potholes. We decided to do a reccy, all interested to see how the slip looked just over the bridge, on to the hut for morning tea and another scurry around to see what the tracks were like.
The weather was quite cool but dry and we soon warmed up once walking.
The track to the river was as good as it has ever been, but when we got to the bridge, we started to see how scoured out the riverbed was and there was some debris actually on the bridge indicating the water had come that high. Wow!
So, on around to the slip… my goodness, see the photos! It was not difficult to get down to the river and most of us stopped to look and take photos. The volume of water that went through would have been huge.
Then up the hill to the hut. The track was great but we noticed lots of large contorta along the top path. They really are a problem and this needs a team of Grahams with brace and bits and herbicide.
A couple of hunters were at the hut and made us welcome and we discussed who was going where so as not to interrupt their activities. Fat chance of any deer sightings with us all chattering.
We carried on to the junction with Mackintosh Spur and then started walking the lower circular ‘Kaweka Loop’ track. This was in good condition; someone had been through in the last few days clearing the path.* Manuka had been cut off at ground level. After about 30 minutes, we realised several of our companions were not behind us so we back-tracked in case they had taken an alternative route, but no! They had stopped to pull the smaller wilding pines (and didn’t tell us).
We helped pull a few more then decided to go back to the hut for a late lunch. The sun shone briefly and a wet mist rolled in, but it was never cold.
After a lot of happy chatter, it was time to go back to the van. Newbie Christine shot though like an antelope, no problems with her fitness. John remarked he hadn’t been out for some weeks, as others hadn’t, so it was a good training walk.
The rain started just as we got back to the van (about 2.30pm), so perfect timing. Ted was having his coffee – he’d gone out solo and had a great walk.
It was a wet drive home, but dry again before Omahu. Lots more happy chatter to complete a fabulous day!
Trampers: Lynette Morgan, Geoff Donkin, Mary Campbell, Juliet Gillick, Ted Angove, John Dobbs, Christine Briasco, Simon Hill, Marie Deroles, Alison Greer and reporter Di Reid
* Editor’s note: a look in the Mackintosh Hut book would have revealed who cleared the track. (Hint – a club member and her brother.)
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