2-4 November 2007
Carol Kelly took on the brave task as a leader to chase six ‘Southern Crossing virgins’ across the Tararuas, which put on their usual weather performance for that weekend. Well, I don’t know if Carol was actually chasing us, but she was in the back most of the time to really make sure that no one got lost. A Co-operative Shuttle picked us up from the Wellington railway station at 4.15pm, which was 15 minutes after the scheduled time. Carol had an almost Germanesque way of reminding the driver several times that he was 15 minutes too late while we were trying to beat the traffic out to Otaki forks, a group of WL High School kids and darkness to get up to Field Hut. Good on her.
Some light dinner was had on the drive up, before we started the ascend to Field Hut, which was reached in 2-2.5 hours in very pleasant conditions and the head torches only had to come out for the last 20 minutes. On the way up Celia had to remove a stowaway from her tramping boots - a weta trying to catch an easy ride up to Field Hut. The next morning awaited us with mist on our way up to Kime Hut, but it cleared away just in time as we reached the tops and we had some lovely views over the Tararuas. Kime Hut was a nice spot for morning tea, sunny and sheltered from the wind and it was also to be our last longer stop for the rest of the weekend. Mt Hector greeted us with a strong breeze and some more layers had to be put on, before we could enjoy the view (on all fours). Once in the shelter of Mt Hector the wind was just okay to carry on and the next few hours to Alpha Hut were only interrupted by some quick snack-stops, especially since it started to rain for the last 1.5 hours. But, we made it across, so no complaints there and the hut was a welcoming sight to dry out, warm up, and have a late lunch after 7 hours walking. Soon the fire was going, thanks to our guys, senses revived (or needed a snooze to be revived) and plans were made for the communal dinner. Under master chef’s Mark leadership we cooked a delicious pasta-tomato-vegetable-tuna-cheese-what-else-is -in-your-pack meal accompanied by wine and port. Sleep was soon upon us after that and Celia entertained us every now and then by vocalising her dreams. Sunday started with heavy rain, ended with light rain, had lots of mud, wind and tree-roots in-between and the Tararuas spat out some tired, but happy trampers at Kaitoke after 7.5 hours. First time lucky for six of us, not bad aye.
Thanks again Carol to make this trip happen (and take over the leadership from Anne) - we all had a great time.
- Party members
- Carol Kelly (leader), Grant Holmes (Hamilton Tramping Club), Celia Wade-Brown, Alistair Nicholson, Murray Sutherland, Karen Krauel-Goellner (scribe), Mark Goellner.