As with all our trips we had several backup plans in place in case the weather didn't play ball. Plan A for the first trip was to head up to Mitre Peak in the Tararua range for a spot of snowshoeing to take advantage of a recent southerly blast. This would have been a strenuous but fun trip. Sadly the weather gods threw a curve ball with rain and gales on the tops so the trip ended up being an easy wander in to Mitre Flats hut for the night and back out the next day. The positive for the trip was having the hut to ourselves - the previous two occasions I've been in that hut have seen an overflow situation with people sleeping on the deck and camping outside.
|Otaki River - looking benign.... and cold|
Trip 3 was a less than perfect weekend with low cloud and rain. Nevertheless we headed off for a short walk up to Kapakapanui Hut at the back of the Reikorangi Valley behind Waikanae. For the third week in a row we had a hut to ourselves so settled in for a quiet afternoon of reading before dinner and bed. Listening to the rain through the night we wondered how the river crossings would be on our way back out to the cat the next morning. After breakfast and packing up we headed off to walk up over the summit before dropping steeply down to the carpark. The river was a little higher than the day before but still crossable. Lucky. Would have meant a long walk otherwise.
Finally we were down to my last weekend and we were lucky enough to be in the South Island. Yet another soggy forecast meant a change of plans and then a road closed due to a slip caused another change of plans. Off we headed, on the Wangapeka Track to Kings Creek Hut for a couple of nights. As with the Waitewaewae track, there was an active slip on this track. And, wow, what a slip!
There are warning signs at the beginning of the track and on both sides of the slip advising that the slip should be crossed quickly, that spotters should be used for falling rocks etc. The slip happened in October 2012 and has partially blocked the river resulting in quite a lake behind it complete with trees that are dying (slowly drowning I guess).
We got through to the hut ok and then it started raining and didn't stop. When we first arrived there we had a dip in the river. By the next morning the river was heavily flooded.
|Kings Creek Hut|
|Cecil King Hut|
So, four tramping trips over four weekends. In all cases we had the huts to ourselves and only saw other people on the Waitewaewae trip. Luxury!
Now it's time to rest up and recuperate in time for some summer trips.