Howletts Hut, Ruahine FP, Sat/Sun 25/26 May 2019
Banner Pix: Howletts Hut, looking towards Tiraha and Ohuinga with Black Ridge on the right
Six trampers departed Napier at 0700. Alison had organised with the local farmer for access across his land, reducing the amount of climbing to be done to reach the ridge before dropping down to the Tukituki River.After reaching the Tukituki, it was a 30-minute walk up to Daphne Hut. An early lunch and then at 1200 we started the gut-busting, back-wrecking climb up to Howletts. Fiona showed everyone a clean pair of heels and was not sighted again until the hut.
All had arrived by 1420. We spread out and made ourselves at home, only to have to unspread and tidy up a little to make room for two teenage boys who had come to check out likely hunting areas. They were in the right area, as Fiona had disturbed a couple of deer on her sprint up the climb.
The weather was good with clear skies, and the views were worth the effort. The breeze picked up a little, with a cold wind chill factor. As evening approached, the fire was lit. After a card game organised by John, the conversation moved to tramping foods. John and Juliet produced their homemade, dehydrated, vacuum-packed meals for inspection.
Next it was on to what lollies were good for a trip. Lynette told us that she likes her lollies and had recently, late one night, had a craving for some. It was so late the supermarkets were closed so she had driven to her local service station to find some goodies. There were a few moments of thought and then the penny dropped. With late night cravings, there can only be one answer: Lynette must be pregnant! John and Mark quickly denied any involvement in what had led to Lynette’s condition.
Sunday morning dawned. There was a brisk cold wind but we still had our views to the east over central Hawke’s Bay. Each left the hut when they were ready and all met up again at Daphne Hut. Hot drinks were served and then all set off down the river, reaching the end of the climb out of the valley 25 minutes later.Fiona the gazelle once again showed a clean pair of heels. Unfortunately she missed the junction of the lower track and continued up the recognised DoC track. After a quick chat with the other members, it was decided that four would take the lower track to the cars while one went after Fiona. Both parties arrived at their destinations, four at the cars and two at the road end car park but with no car. John soon appeared to pick up Fiona and Mark. With the party back as one, we set off for Napier, arriving at about 1530 after a refreshment stop at the Tikokino pub.
A great tramp, involving great people with a great sense of humour.
Thanks to Julia for organising the tramp and to Alison and John for the driving.
Trampers: Alison Greer, Juliet Gillick, Lynette Morgan, Fiona Chiverrell, John Dobbs and reporter Mark Jenkins