Kaiarahi circuit Wednesday 27 April 2016
Kaweka FP, Map BJ37
Murray, Dorothy and Kelvin set off to walk the Macintosh circuit, while Vic, Peter and John were exploring Kuripapango. The remaining seven headed for Kiwi Saddle Hut, and to complete the Kaiarahi circuit if enough time was available in the late autumn day.
From the pine trees around the car park, the group of seven ascended Kuripapango. At the lower level, an assortment of pittosporums, kanuka, tree ferns and many forms of bracken and scrub grew. This gradually changed to mountain beech and pine remnants as we neared the top of Kuripapango.
After a short walk along the Smith-Russell track to Kiwi Saddle Hut, the group suddenly exited the beech trees, and we were treated to panaramic views of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and the Kaimanawas. A very warm season meant little snow on the mountains, and the track was very dry for the time of the year.After a quick stop at Kiwi Saddle Hut, only Rosemary, Viv and I continued to walk to Kairahi circuit, while the remaining four returned via Kuripapango. The day warmed and after a quick lunch at Castle Camp, we ascended the steep ridge to Kaiarahi. We had a drinks break at Kaiarahi, and the views of the ridgeline circuit outlined the day’s walk.
From Kaiarahi, we descended for another hour along the ridgelines and eventually approached Rogue Ridge. We descended quickly to the Macintosh track, crossed the Tutaekuri and finally tackled the small ascent to the Lakes car park.
It was a day with stunning views and lots of sunshine – and calm conditions made it a very enjoyable one.
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Peter Slagter, Murray White, Vic Bullock, John Marshall, Sue Marshall, Dorothy Sole, Rosemary Jeffery, Hillary Heath-Caldwell, Viv Bramley, Denise Payne, Ted Angove and reporter Keith Moretta