Makahu Saddle to Middle Hill Hut, Wednesday August 4, 2010. Map: BJ37
Trampers: Kelvin Shaw, Robyn Smith, John Marshall, Paul Exeter, Murray White, Murray Goss, Vic Bullock, Ken Ross, Alison Greer, Dermot McCaughan and Julia Mackie
We set off from Makahu Saddle car park in cloudy weather and the threat of heavy rain. Robyn and I wanted some exercise and so kept up a good pace through to Kaweka Flats Bivvy. The wind was strengthening and rain becoming steady. We holed up inside the bivvy and had a hot drink. The door was propped open so we could see the rest of the group approaching. They had spotted a morepork in the trees and had stopped for a photo opportunity.
After everyone had arrived and had a snack and drink break, we headed for Middle Hill Hut for lunch. There was no point in hanging around in this weather. The drop down into the stream and then up the short and sharp uphill was testing for some. The track then undulated until reaching the hut. Three of our party who had brought the van around to Middle Hill car park on Makahu Road were already there, as was a hunter out for a day walk. We arrived in dribs and drabs, all very wet.
The rain grew steadily worse while we had lunch and the hunter started a fire in the open fireplace, while Gossie expertly advised him how to do it. It’s amazing how just the sight of some heat can help, even with a hut full of smoke; an open window was essential.
Some set off back down the track to check on the progress of others, still arriving from the bivvy, but no assistance was required except for encouragement for tired legs. The last stage of the tramp out from Middle Hill Hut to the car park was in steady rain, so there were no views or stops. We all got back safely and had enjoyed stretching our legs.