Golden Crown Ridge, Ruahine FP, Wednesday 24 October 2018
Banner Photo: A break to admire the views at high point 1314
There is a new meeting place for Wednesday trampers, and everyone had remembered where it was. Bruce, along with Keith resplendent in his new fluoro yellow shirt and matching hat, arrived with the van and we all piled in. We picked up Lynnette at Maraekakaho and continued on past Kereru Station, into Mangleton Road and up to the entrance of the Masters Shelter car park.
Keith seemed to have trouble unlocking the four gates en route to the car park, but we just left him to it. That’s what can happen when you sit in the front seat.
By now, the cloud cover had cleared, the sun was shining – making for a hot 800m ascent of the steep Golden Crown Ridge. On the lower part of the track, it looked like cattle had trodden there recently, leaving the dirt quite worked up with the occasional cow pat. A rocky outcrop is reached about a third of the way up, giving lovely views over the Mangleton valley, Big Hill and the Wakararas.The heat and steep climb was tough for some and they elected to go at their own pace, while the rest sweated their way on forever upwards, until the last part of the climb evens out, the track widens and you walk through low mountain beech to reach the signpost at the top.
The destination was supposed to be No Mans Hut but it was another two hours away, so we had no hope of reaching it. Instead, we wandered along the track heading in that direction and then stopping for lunch on a high point, giving us views to the west and along the Northern Ruahine Range.On our return, we spent time studying the terrain and picking out high points along the Ruahines, and thinking up new trips to places not yet visited. Keith and Nina had got ahead and every now and again, Keith’s hat would be visible through the bush. We all met at Masters Shelter, where John kindly handed out some of his supply of water to those who didn’t have enough. A reminder that we are now in summer tramping and need to take more!
Trampers: Vic Bullock, Keith James, Bruce Hodgson, Dorothy Sole, Lynnette Morgan, John Burrell, Geoff Donkin, Marie Deroles and daughter Nina, and reporter Alison Greer