A Pigeon Bush circuit on tracks cut by the TTC - EM and M
Wednesday 23 September
Wind gusts reaching 120 kph, rain, heavy in the Tararuas – what a forecast! And yet only four thought better of it. I had twelve waiting in wildly squally conditions at the top of the Remutaka Hill Rd, ready to go home perhaps but willing to go down to the start of the track at the Hairpin Bend to see what it was like there. Much better. Against all expectations the trip was on.
Three Mediums led by David completed the whole circuit in a little over five hours. The wind by afternoon was certainly strong, but the short, exposed loose rock climb can now be avoided by taking the ‘windy weather’ bush track, which I marked out and the Club cut only a couple of years ago. Doing this ensured the circuit could be completed.
The Easy-Mediums – the number of us had grown, in response to the weather, from four to nine – went a little over an hour in to the Top Forks. You could sometimes see columns of dampness against the hillside opposite marching up the valley but it was not raining in the bush, and we found a sheltered spot for an early lunch. On the return there were a couple of places where wind gusts penetrated the bush and I found myself dropping and holding, but most of the time there was plenty of talk going on. The state of the bush showed there had certainly been high winds lately. Dead branches littered the track, and I had a sense that the canopy was more open, as if leaves had been stripped from trees. But for us, the weather was not unpleasant.
‘Very glad that I came’, ‘A most enjoyable day’. The lesson? Don’t cancel your trip too early. Go and see what it is really like. (JT)
- Party members
- Joan Basher, Hadley Bond, Ken Fraser, Cheryl McDonald, David McNabb, Nick Miller, Diane Morgan, Jan Simmons, Bob Stephens, John Thomson (leader and scribe), Christine Whiteford, Rosemary Wilson