Not Angle Knob Hut
2/3 November 2018
The Misson: to find the old Angle Knob Hut site, and remnants, then continue down into the upper Atiwhakatu and follow that back to the carpark.
The Forecast: 105 kph winds and a deluge.
So that put paid to that. We postponed the advertised trip for a couple of weeks but a small group headed up to Jumbo for the night anyway, "just to stretch the legs".
Friday night up to Jumbo was fine: blue skies when we left the car and grey spitting skies when we left the bush (except that it was almost dark). The only difficulty was overtaking the clouds of teenagers with their iPods and loudspeakers serenading them as they drifted to the Atiwhakatu Hut, which we passed thankfully and quickly in the gathering dusk. At Jumbo, the new shiny guy-ropes did the job, and the hut stayed still during the noisy night.
Saturday morning - we packed up a pile of deserted wine bottles, beer cans, unfinished beer, abandoned cutlery, and set off down TOSTTNORG (The Other Spur To The North Of Raingauge Spur) which, in the absence of any other name (that I'm aware of) could perhaps be called Spooner's Spur. The first ten minutes to get into the bush was vigorous and chilling, but not quite 105 kph winds, as we could stand up easily enough. The bush was blissful.
The Reduced Mission was to try to find the start of the old sidle track to Angle Knob Hut. Derrick Field had kindly mentioned that the sidle track left at the old Spooner's Hut site, in a patch of regenerating beech. We'd also reset Sarah's watch altimeter at the hut before we left, and were heading down to 1020m, where I estimated this might be.
The Sarahs hared off down the spur, lustily singing excerpts from various musicals, and forgetting completely the altimeter. Derrick's description was spot on, and I found the hut site easily enough, and a beautifully trimmed tracklet to it. I had a brief but unsuccessful search for the old sidle track, then set off down the spur to try to catch up with the Sarahs, now some way below; after about 10 minutes I met them coming back up, having remembered the altimeter, and we all wandered back up to visit. Someone has planted a small plaque at the spot: "Stag Spooners' Hut site, circa 1947". The altimeter showed exactly 1020m at the turn-off to Spooner’s.
The rest of the trip out was brisk and uneventful. The wind was impressive at times and we were glad not to be on the tops.
To be continued.
Trip leader: Weather forecast Chief navigator: Altimeter and 1982 Tararua park map
Musical Director: Sarah Pettus
- Party members
- as above