Waiopehu Track - Waiopehu - Twin Peak - Gable End (map S25)
17 February 2001
The start from the Forest Park access at the end of Poad’s Road was at 9.00am on a somewhat misty and occasionally damp morning. Ascending the Waiopehu Track past the left-hand turn-off (a marked track down to the site of the Ohau Shelter) we were soon into cloud and could only imagine the views to the east and west possible from clearings on the ridge. After a late stop for morning tea at Edwards Shelter, we reached Waiopehu Hut just after 12 noon and as the last cloud was clearing from the tops: it was humid and still.
After lunching on the grassy knob close to the hut, we climbed Waiopehu Peak and enjoyed spectacular views of Dundas Ridge, of Kapiti Island, as well as of an unusually cloud-free Mt. Taranaki. Two of the group elected to return direct to the road end at this time. Continuing over Twin Peak (at 1097m, the high point), the main group passed the cross and the memorial beacon to Ralph Wood, one of a party caught in the immensely destructive cyclonic storm of 1936. After the next saddle, we reached Richard’ s Knob, important not to miss as it marked our turn-off from the main track back northwards.
Thus far the track had been wide and well cleared, but the next section to Gable End is partly overgrown, has the occasional unexpected hole, and seems to always have its fair share of mud: none of this stopped Dave Dyett, who sped along this section. Those trampers towards the back of the group became mindful of the flash from Alan Knowles’ camera, which often illuminated a particularly muddy situation at the critical moment.
Afternoon tea was taken just above the bush line in order to enjoy the scenery, following which the descent via Mayo Knob was straightforward, if steep. It was a great relief, for some of the party, to reach the site of the Ohau Shelter, where they could drop down to the river to wash off encrusted mud and refill drink bottles that had become depleted in the warm and humid conditions. The last leg along the Ohau River track was completed without incident.
Trip Members: Tim Stone, Sieny Pollard, Bernard Molloy, Gordon McKenzie, Alan Knowles, Glenys Evans, Dave Dyett, Mike Arnold (leader and scribe).