Winter Solstice tramp to Sunrise Hut, then a banquet at Triplex Hut, Ruahine FP, Wednesday 23 June 2021
Banner Photo: Lunch is prepared at Triplex Hut
Our Winter Solstice tramp was to Sunrise Hut, with a shared lunch to end the day at Triplex Hut. Twelve – a full van – headed to the start at the Sunrise car park. Travelling from Hastings, we could see the Ruahine Range was clouded in, as expected at this time of year.The previous few days had been in torrential rain so we had fingers crossed the Met office would get predictions correct and the weather would be on our side. Arriving at the car park at 9am, we met Sue T who had come from Norsewood, and had the usual discussion on who was going where and what was the plan.
It was decided to leave our food at the Triplex Hut, saving the back-breaking task of carrying it up to Sunrise Hut and then down again. Vic was left in charge of keeping an eye on the stash, since he would be doing a one-hour walk up the track then returning to wait for us.
This was a first visit to the area for a few in our group, so visiting the Triplex Hut to drop off our food was a good excuse to divert for a quick stop and chat.
We set off on the recently renovated track, which was in excellent condition considering the amount of rain we had experienced over the past five days. Extensive work had been done on improving drainage by way of ditches dug on the side running parallel to the track then diverting run-off into culverts to carry it away.
We met a DoC ranger from Palmerston North who was checking out the recent work and was quite happy with it. We also met some trampers on their way down from Sunrise, who told us it had been a very cold night there with light snow in the morning.
After a leisurely stroll up to Sunrise Hut, we arrived at 11.15. Elly took Barry and James out to Armstrong Saddle as there was no wind, and the views out to the rugged rock ravines at the back of the hut were very impressive. The rest of us stopped for a short break at Sunrise for a nibble and a drink. A few took a stroll to the rocky knoll, a short distance from the back of the hut, but the cold drove us back inside.
So we headed back down to Triplex Hut with Elly, Barry and James in hot pursuit; it was very cold along the Armstrong Saddle, with no views out East, but the weather warmed considerably on our way down. Vic was basking in the sun on the verandah when we arrived.Our shared lunch was truly a banquet, a great array of food enjoyed by all 13, ranging from soup, salmon, a variety of cheese and crackers, rolls… the list goes on. Just as well we didn’t have far to walk back to the van, as we had all enjoyed our share.
Another successful Solstice tramp and an enjoyable day for everyone. Thank you to our drivers, Marie and John.
Trampers: Lynette Morgan, Elly Govers, Sue Trotter, Margaret Palmer, Marie Deroles, Gordon Tapp, Johanne Karlsson, Barry Doak, Vic Bullock, Sue Martin, Tony Pluymers, James Douglas and reporter John Bennett