The Lakes – Kiwi Saddle Hut, Wednesday, August 27, 2008. Map: U20
Trampers: Alison Greer, Graham Bell, Gary Bowler, Vic Bullock, Alex Thomason, Manfred Hausler, Julia Mackie, Loretta Pearson, Kelvin Shaw, Vietta Siagian, Thelma Tasman-Smith, Jeanne Van Den Hout, Garry Whincop, Murray White, Peter Youren, Pete Heaney, Peter Flagter, Rosemary Jeffery, Robyn Smith, Ken Ross (reporter)
The weather wasn’t really bad. It just wasn’t very good. The drive to Kuripaponga had raised our hopes, after a poor forecast. We even had some sun for the pre-tramp briefing, but it was short-lived. It was low cloud and rain for the rest of the day. No wind, so the rain was vertical, cold, and heavy at times, with the track running like a small stream in places.
Nineteen left the Lakes car park just before 9 am. Most planned to reach the Kiwi Saddle Hut for lunch. White-out conditions persuaded some to shorten their tramp and stay below the tree line. Those who reached the hut enjoyed their lunch out of the rain, but it was short break. Bodies were wet, and they chilled off rapidly. The climb up from the hut soon warmed us, though.
The mainly downhill return trip was a slip-and-slide affair. The left turn off the ridge into the bush caught some people out again, despite a cairn, an orange marker, a Waratah standard and an arrow scratched in the clay. But we were all back, enjoying the shelter of the vehicles, before 3pm.
A tramp with plenty of opportunities to take photos and some time to sit and enjoy the views (or just sit) is always delight. So this one didn’t score too highly on that scale. But it was a good refreshing day in the great outdoors (with the emphasis on refreshing); and that’s why we go tramping.
We got some great photos of the moss-edged track through the beech forests and we enjoyed the colourful bright reds and oranges of the smaller plants on exposed rocky sections.
It’s a walk to be repeated, but with a longer parka (if that weather repeats itself).