Parks Peak, Ruahine FP, Saturday 15 July 2023
Banner Photo: Parks Peak Hut, in a clearing on the ridge line
The mornings are getting lighter! It was almost dawn when we met at Park Island. Spring can’t be far away. Simon, Juliet and Geoff kindly drove their 4WD/AWD vehicles which, as it turned out, were pretty much essential.
We travelled through Maraekakaho then turned into Salisbury Road as the bridge is out along Kereru Road. Salisbury Road turned out to be very twisty – not good for those who get travel-sick – then onto Mangleton Road. From here the road got very muddy and the 4WD vehicles were essential.
As we parked at about 9am, the wind was pretty cool, so boots on, over into the very muddy paddock and into the shelter of the bush; phew! The track to the hut was OK (I have known it far wetter) then on up the track which was very muddy and slippery. Yes, we all got some mud on ourselves at this point. Within 20 minutes, the track was drier and just steep. It was quite cloudy yet there were views, but the further up we went the clouds sank to meet us. In the rocky, exposed area, the wind blew fairly hard but was OK.
And up and up we went…
It took getting on for two hours to reach the junction, then another 45 minutes to the hut for lunch. It was very cloudy, and only Geoff went to the trig. Did he see anything? Nah. The track to the hut was super-wet, and most of us quickly gave up trying to keep our boots dry, though Julian did seem to keep dry socks somehow. Parks Peak is a lovely hut, snug and out of the wind.
We started back down at about 12.45pm; the wind had changed and was stronger, with a real chill about it. Splash, splash back through the mud, and down the hill we went. Julian, Geoff, Craig and Anne steamed on ahead (they have longer legs) while the rest of us were not far behind.
Back at the cars, we came in in dribs and drabs; the wind wasn’t too chilly by now and we’d all had a great day. Juliet managed to get muddier than the rest of us, but I don’t think anyone went home clean.
A pleasant drive back; we left at about 3.30pm, and the road seemed to have dried out a bit.
Overall great company, a good day and the sun even shone slightly on the way home.
Trampers: Campbell Living, Sue Martin, Julian Phillips, Juliet Gillick, Simon Hill, Geoff Donkin, Anne Mountfort, Craig Mountfort and reporter Di Reid