Kime in Fantastic Weather
February 6-8, 2015
The trip to Kime Hut on Waitangi weekend was led by Liz Martin, and involved a group of seven who climbed up to Kime, as well as two others who could only join us for the night in Field Hut.
It was a hot climb up to Field on Saturday afternoon, and those who were in the lead were requested to save mattresses for the rest of the party, preferably on the ground floor of the small building. As they got closer to the hut and talked with people coming down the track, they realised that our group would not be the only one there. There is no good outdoor space around the hut to erect a tent because the hut hangs on the edge of a precipice on one side and is surrounded by dense bush on the other steep sides. The hut was already pretty full, since approximately 10 mattresses had already been claimed. The remaining ones were claimed for our group, even though they were all up the rickety wooden stairs which no one really enjoys descending in the night. Just when we all thought that the building could hold no more, another party would arrive. In the end, there were 40 people in a hut designed possibly for 20. There were people sleeping (or trying to sleep) everywhere, including under the table on the floor or under the bench normally used for food preparation. It was amazing, though, how everyone managed to get along: no one lost gear or emerged hungry. If you were unlucky to arrive after all the mattresses were taken, you were offered a thermarest by those who had a real mattress and were carrying a thermarest just in case. Earplugs were an essential part of the equipment for a more or less uninterrupted night. Others used sleeping pills. The hardcore trampers in our group said that they had never seen such a full hut. Amongst the late arrivals were a father with a boy of 3 years old and a girl of 5. He said that as a kid his parents had brought him there, and he wanted his own kids to have the same experience. The five-year-old walked the whole way! The two kids shared a mattress, and despite the activity immediately around them, slept from 7:30 p.m. till 7:30 the following morning, when they emerged giggling from their sleeping bags. How lucky can you be!
Liz and Alan served up a great tramping dinner of Courgette Pesto Fusilli for our group which was sensational, and Dianne contributed her own creation of biscuits soaked in Amaretto liqueur, topped with instant chocolate pudding. We did not starve. After breakfast at Field Hut, we set off up the ridge to the new, modern hut, Kime Hut. The ridge and the area just before Kime are notorious for their exposure to the elements, and it was clear that the signage and the track have recently been much improved. Kime Hut is bright, clean and airy, and it was a relief to see that there was no shortage of suitable bunks and mattresses. From Kime most of us climbed another hour to the top of Mount Hector for a simply magnificent view of the mountain range, glimpses of the sea, Wellington far in the distance, and Kapiti Island. Well worth the extra effort! Back in the hut, Dianne brought out her seemingly endless supply of cryptic and other crossword puzzles. She and David enjoyed doing these crosswords together, sometimes with help from the rest of us. Others played cards, read old magazines left behind by other trampers, or took the nap needed to catch up the previous night’s lack of shut-eye.
The following morning was simply extraordinary because we were in brilliant sunshine while all around us the valleys were filled with cloud and whirling mist. The descent along the ridge was made more challenging by strong wind and mist. However, we all made it back to Field Hut for morning tea (yes, a primus stove was fired up and tea was brewed). While we sipped our tea, two long distance runners came flying by, wearing very little, and carrying less. The circuit - which we found hard enough - is a favourite of the truly tough. Down, down we marched right to the valley floor for a quick wash or dip in the cold waters of the Otaki River before returning to Wellington.
- Party members
- Paul Bruce, Barbara Camfield (scribe)), Muriel Christenson, Alan Graham, Dianne Hill, David Holland, Liz Martin (leader), Catalina Opazo, Adrienne Vermeulen