E/M trip to Tutuwai Hut
It was cold and it rained for the first two hours, then it was just cold. We had lunch at 2.00 pm after three and a half hours of walking up hill, along for a kilometer and then downhill to the special Cone Hut. Just before we got to the hut we were passed by a runner in light gear, who had a dog. The pair were going on to Tutuwai Hut then 600m of climbing straight up the hill behind it over Mt Reeves and a long downhill jog to the start.
Tutuwai was another one and a half hours walking down a fairly level track alongside the Tauherenikau River. It was still pretty cold, damp and muddy. Sometimes the track was simply one long stream. The six side streams were quite ferocious and in crossing one, poor little Winston was swept rather dramatically over a small waterfall, to be ably plucked to safety by Bill. During that time we were passed by a chap going the other way who had walked all the way up the valley from Smith Creek and the road end at Kaitoke. He was going to spend the night by himself at Cone Hut.
The main event at the hut was the dinner. Unfortunately a fire was very hard to start and did not do much to heat the hut. The dinner, though, started with preprandials of three rather fine cheeses, a tapenade, some humus and a beer jelly(!) all on cracker biscuits with a fine red wine from wine glasses. I cooked the main course of pasta, surprise peas and wild caught red salmon. The red wine went well here too.
The red wine even enhanced the last course. It was a chocolate mousse, a strawberry mousse with a fruit salad of peaches and orange and Bill's homemade chocolate truffles.
By about 8.30 or 9 pm we took to our sleeping bags in all our clothes to while away the night in some form of sleep to the accompaniment of very noisy hail on the rooftop.
So, in spite of the weather, a few people were out in the hills. We returned home the same way; a tired but happy bunch.
- Party members
- Peter Barber, Bill Gebbie, Alan Graham (leader and scribe), Christine Leighs, Liz Martin and Winston the pug dog