Sunrise 66 Waipawa River – Saturday April 21 2012
Map: BK36 Taoroa Junction
Three of the group of 16 decided to do the tradition route of 66. There was a cool breeze across Armstrong Saddle. Further around on the track to the Top Maropea junction, we could only see the base of Ruapehu. We headed down to the saddle, up the the patchy scrub area. Further up the track, we looked back and saw the Patiki Four on the skyline, heading up to first high point. We also saw a group on the high point near Sunrise Hut.
Once we got to the first high point, going was easier. Then it was along the tops to the trig, across a rocky/shingle bit and down the shingle slide. Shingle slides are always fun.
At our regular lunch spot by the tarn, we joined two others who were doing the same trip. After lunch, we headed off around to the drop-off point. Is it this spur or is it the next one? Alison said she was told by Ted that you go further around than you would think before you drop off. Looking around, we could see a cairn that marked the drop-off position.
It does not take long to get to the Waipawa Saddle if you are on the right track. Heading down the Waipawa River, the going at the top end was OK. Further down, there is a lot more Tutu (Coriaria arborea) and buddleia scrub. Cairns had been put out recently to show where the track goes from the river into the scrub. Further down, someone had spent time cutting the track through the toi toi.
Closer to the North Arm, the river bed becomes more open. We decided to continue via the branch track which lead to the main Sunrise track. We got back to the van about five minutes before the Patiki Four.
66 Party: Paul Hendy, Alison Greer and reporter Geoff Donkin