Gold Creek Hut, Ruahine Forest Park, Saturday August 11 2013
Five determined (or desperate!) trampers set out for Gold Creek Hut under drizzly, overcast skies, hoping to prove the Met Service wrong.
We made our way over farmland and up the fence line. Three tried to bushbash their way through to avoid an awkward fence-crossing manoeuvre but gave it up and emerged somewhat ruffled to cross the fence higher up. The earlier views of the conjunction with Gold Creek and further down the Makororo disappeared as we got up into low cloud. We enjoyed the birdsong and lovely bush with its lush moss, lichen and bracket fungi. Julia managed to startle a deer.
It seemed to take longer than usual to reach our descent point and then it was all downhill, with a bit of care required to avoid stepping on greasy tree roots. The bright orange old-style forest hut on the other side of the river (aren’t they all!) stood out through the trees near the bottom. One person pushed his luck hoping to rock-hop but was forced to retreat and get wet feet like the rest of us… luckily, it was not too cold.
The hut was looking tidy with dry wood at the door and alongside the stove. We huddled around the table for lunch before reluctantly donning wet coats again ready for the trudge back up the hill. To our surprise, we “summitted” in 35 minutes (21 mins down) and it was pretty much downhill from there (surprised quite how much) with a couple of slips and slides along the way.
By the time we emerged back onto farmland, it was evident that the rain (no longer drizzle) was here to stay. After disturbing kereru, we arrived back at the vehicle rather bedraggled at 2.35pm. Fortunately, we had a haybarn to get changed in and were soon warm and dry. Shortly after, we were enjoying the hospitality of the Sawyers Arms at Tiko – feeling pleased with ourselves for venturing out and having a good day, despite it being a while since we needed to keep coats on all day.
Trampers: Julia Mackie, Paul Exeter, Sue Martin, Chris and reporter Jude Paton