Sparrowhawk Biv, Ruahine FP, Saturday 22 September, 2018 Map: BK36
Banner Pix:(L to R) Mark, John, Colin and Julia (Les took the photo)
Spring is in the air and so, as we crossed the farm, we took care not to disturb the ewes and their lambs. We had Colin and Mark, two newbies (new to me, anyway) along for the day. Both have had some experience in the Ruahines so let’s put them to the test…
The tops were in cloud, so not much chance of any views today, but nice and cool for a good workout.
From the confluence of Gold Creek and the Makaroro River, the Sparrowhawk Ridge is a DoC-estimated 3.5 hour climb. The 1000-metre ascent is good if you stick to the golden rule and walk at your own pace, one that you can sustain for the day. So we spread out. Once you reach the slip, you know that you are only 5 minutes away.When the biv came into view, nestled amongst the beech and leatherwood, it brought a smile. My time was 2hrs 15mins, so fitness is improving (though I was only carrying a day pack).
After a quick change out of a sodden-from-sweat top, and on with the overtrousers to stay warm, it was time for a look around, take photos and check out the view from the helipad (of which there was none).
The biv is tidy, but the door could do with a paint, and that wishlist item for a concrete floor still has not happened. As a stopgap, someone has put a blue tarp down on the dirt.The others arrived and we had an early lunch with photo opp; and then, before we got too cold, decided to make our way down again. Les and I cleared some of the larger treefalls across the track, but a few still remain, all easily negotiated.
Mark preferred the down to the up. He and Colin did very well to reach the biv within the DoC times, so top marks.
Trampers: John Dobbs, Les O’Shea, Colin Jones (Photos), Mark Jenkins and reporter Julia Mackie