Walls Whare - Cone Ridge - Totara Flats
18-20 February 2000
Our cheerful party of five consisted of two members and three non-members (perhaps the Tongue & Meats have a point - the combined ages of the two members were some 20 years in excess of the combined ages of the three non-members!). We camped at the Walls Whare road end in light rain on Friday night. Saturday saw us plodding uneventfully over Cone Saddle and on to Cone in warm misty drizzle. The rain stopped and a little blue sky actually showed itself as we stopped for lunch beside the Cone Tarn.
To our surprise the top section of Cone Ridge was well-marked with shiny new orange triangles - no chance to practise our route-finding skills over the broad expanse just above to the Neil Forks junction! However, we were then mightily distracted by several strands of white cotton along the track - wasn’t that exercise completed several years ago?! The leader got quite mesmerised by it at one point and followed it right off the track.
By the time we reached Totara Flats Lodge (to be met by Janet King and her band of merry women) the weather had cleared completely and everyone was ready for their dinner (especially one very experienced member of our party who had absent-mindedly left her walking stick by the Waiohine River bridge and thus added 40 minutes to her day!)
Sunday was brilliantly fine and we reached the cars around one o'clock after a leisurely trip down river and an early lunch at Clem Creek. After a beer in Greytown we were home by 3:00. The weather may have been mixed but the company was great - we now know how to pronounce Martin in Swedish, what to do with our food when we meet bears, and how orcharding sale practices have changed in Pakowhai.
Trip members: Carolyn Bryan (ex Taupo Tramping club and soon off to Seattle), Martin Carlsson (arrived from Sweden two weeks ago and in NZ for two months), Mark Collinge (a potential member we trust?), Kerry Popplewell, Bruce Popplewell (leader and scribe).