This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in November 1997
Holdsworth Roadend - Cone Ridge - Cone - Kaitoke
27-29 June 1997
We rendezvoused at Kiwi Range at 6pm Friday to meet Jim Laird with his shuttle taxi from Masterton (025-412 659) which we had pre-booked. A quick stop for takeaways in Featherston and before 8pm Jim had dropped us at the Holdsworth roadend. It was under a starry sky that we rambled up to Mountain House to stay that night.
The weather Saturday morning remained calm and settled. We were away before 7.30am. Crossing Pig Flat we looked up to see the first pink rays of sun hitting Powell Hut. Then it was down to Totara Creek and along to the wirebridge across the Waiohine River. After a snack and filling the water bottles we headed up the track on to Cone Ridge. As we were coming close to the area where the climb starts to become easier we were screeched at by a kaka, and then it dropped down out of the canopy to allow us an actual sighting. We continued along the ridge to just near bump 957 where we boiled a welcome lunch billy in the chill air, with patches of snow in the open spaces.
After lunch we continued along the ridge, passing the track to Neill Forks Hut. As we approached the open, snow-covered top of Cone Ridge, the leading person suffered the indignity of collecting all the snow that was on the leatherwood and scrub beech.
When we reached the top of Cone by mid-afternoon the skies had become grey but we still had unique views across to the Tararua Peaks and the southern portion of the main range. From there it was down a well-cleared track to Cone Saddle and hence to Cone Hut.
When we arrived at Cone Hut there was a very welcoming fire going and Chris the bushman (who members of long standing will know) was in residence. We wasted no time in emptying his boiling billy for cups of a warming brew and then refilled it for seconds. That evening a delicious billy stew was prepared over the open fire (in keeping with the character of the hut) and Chris regaled us with many of his bush experiences.
Sunday morning the weather was marginal, with mists hanging around the tops so we decided to stick to the customary route down the Tauherenikau River Valley. A mid-afternoon arrival at the cars at Kiwi Ranch ended a very enjoyable mid-winter trip.
- Party members were
- Bill Allcock, Teri Goh, Dave Reynolds, Tim Stone, Julian Williams.