Mackintosh Hut, Kaweka FP, Saturday 1 June, 2019 Map: BJ37
Despite Saturday’s unpromising weather forecast for Hawke’s Bay, 13 trampers headed for the Lakes car park to walk the semi-circuit to what is referred to as Mackintosh car park via Mackintosh Hut.
The Mackintosh Hut track is an old favourite and a weather-safe day trip, so it’s very suitable for new and newish members to cut their teeth. It was a delight to have six new members join us for this trip. It must have felt like first day at school, joining a group many of whom were also new.
The first little test was an early crossing of the Tutaekuri River. The river at this point in the headwaters can sometimes be traversed without getting wet feet. Today the level was just a little bit up and a boot full of water was inevitable. Two trampers chose to change footwear for the crossing to maintain dry feet for the rest of the walk in cold conditions.
The group remained tight, in a loose sort of way. The uphills stretched the line but we were careful to regroup on a regular basis. Rosemary was at her galloping best, leading from the front and like a mother hen; the rest trailed behind but mum was careful not to lose sight of her brood. Juliet designated herself as the back marker.
The air temperature was very low and only the hill climbing kept us warm. Stops were frequent but brief. We halted for a standing-up morning tea as a very light snow flurry silently floated past. There was a light dusting of snow on the tops.Previous to this, somewhere around the turn-off to Cooks Horn, Juliet turned back with another tramper. They returned to the van and drove to Mackintosh car park to position the van and Pauline’s car at the trail end. Juliet then put her speed boots on and did a burner run in the opposite direction to meet us. She reached Mackintosh Hut just as the rest of us were packing up after lunch. It was cold and we needed to get moving again, so we abandoned poor Juliet to once again have to race and catch the tail-enders.
The last hill climb to the car park was, as always, a puff.
The day was very enjoyable with lots of chat. Saturday tramps have just recently picked up in popularity, with many new faces.
Thank you to Juliet for organising and your skilful leadership and to Jenny for driving us safely home.
Trampers: Lyn Porter, Mary Campbell, Rosemary Jeffery, John Russell, Shona Tupe, Cherie Le Lievre, Pauline Loughran, Jenny Burns, Margaret Palmer, John Bennett, Juliet Gillick, Mel Leach, Brian Hight and reporter Bruce Hodgson