A-Frame to Stanfield Hut, Ruahine FP, Saturday 3 September 2022
Banner Photo: At the A-Frame Hut
We had a full vanload booked to do this trip. However the deteriorating weather forecast made some members doubtful about the wisdom of proceeding. Our intrepid leader (Campbell) was ever hopeful so in the end only one member pulled out. (Thanks for the donation to van costs from that member.)
So 11 of us headed off at 7am with Shona meeting up with us as she needed her car to travel onwards after the tramp. At the road-end, we moved out of the cold wind and discussed options. Gordon decided to go as far as he was comfortable uphill, then returning to the start and heading up the Holmes Ridge track where those doing the circuit would end up.
The rest of us headed up to A-Frame with the option of deciding once there to complete the circuit or go back down again. We made it up to A-Frame well within the two hours and although there was a very strong, cold wind it wasn’t looking too bad to continue. After a lovely break where some of us took the option of a hot drink to warm up, Sue, Simon and Shona decided to head back down, which left eight trampers completing the through route.
Due to the cold wind, there wasn’t a lot of time spent looking at views. However we did take some time to admire all the green moss and other foliage that the Ruahines have in comparison to the drier Kawekas. So it was along the tops we travelled – quite quickly because of the wind. On the way along the tops, I showed the sign which pointed out that the earlier track down to the river was unmaintained, as some members who hadn’t been there before had seen it on the map and asked about going down that way. In the home of leatherwood trees, you wouldn’t want to descend that track!
We got down to Stanfield Hut for a late lunch and it was lovely with little wind there, as it is quite sheltered and the sun was actually shining. There were some young hunters in the hut, so the grassy bank outside was a pleasant lunch stop.
Shortly after, we headed down the river, looking out for the track heading up the other side to Holmes Ridge Track as we didn’t fancy a couple of hours criss-crossing the river. The hunters had told us to look out for a large tree across the river at that point and, sure enough, it was easy to spot after about 15 minutes. So more uphill to test our legs again.
Just as we reached the tops, the threatened rain finally arrived and it stayed for most of the balance of the trip. Luckily, it didn’t start to get too heavy until the last two trampers were arriving at the van and trying to hastily get changed in the worsening conditions. We were on the road home about 3.30pm.
Everyone enjoyed their day and it was a good tramp to have different options available.
Trampers: Michele Ericksen, Campbell Living, Shona Tupe, Johanne Karlsson, Gordon Tapp, Sue Martin, Craig Mountfort, Anne Mountfort, Julian Phillips, Simon Hill, Gaye Gasser and reporter Juliet Gillick