Saturday 9 May 2015
Departed Wellington 08:00 am
Mangahao Lower No2 Dam 10:25am
Burn Hut 2:25pm (6km, 300m to 800m)
Near vertical hill. Grabbing tree roots and toeholds in the muddy earth. Right leg starts crammping during climb. Raining as we hit the ridge tramping out of the forest. Three of us Claire leads with Richard co-leader. Me the newbie. Tired wet with aching legs and twinging back.
We step into Burn Hut. Small – drinks then resting. I half crawl into my sleeping bag when my left leg quad muscles cramp painfully. Finally rest with legs on the edge of locking.
Then the Duke of Edinburgh student group of teenage girls one boy and two women teachers. Our sleeping arrangements are arranged without the inconvenience of us being asked our opinion. 🙂
Girls clamber up top to join Claire and drag her back a few years in time.
But wait – we aren’t all here. Burn Hut sleeping 6 now has its last resident for the night arrive. Robert- trapper hunter and bushman. Fits right in with the teachers. We do dinner over several hours. That is the evenings entertainment. We cooked way to much. So fed Robert and a few of the girls. Probably the ones that were eating!
Richard sets up candles in the alters and the hut takes on a warm glow.
Once dishes are done and trying to dodge the rain to the loo. With the view – if the cloud would lift and the door not closable and wrenched from hand when opening. Still that’s air conditioning of the loo!
Five sleep on top bunk. Five sleep on bottom bunk. Two on floor. Tight fit in a “4 bunk” hut.
Candles burn low. The girls turn music off.
Sunday 10 May 2015
Depart Burn Hut 09:25am
College Creek 11:55am
Mangahao Upper No1 Dam 3:00pm (8km, 830m to 340m)
The DoE group rise first. Breakfast pack and leave back the way they came. Robert slides out next. He will return to a quieter hut here tonight. We set off straight into a stiff climb into the sky. The Ridge appears – lashed by 70ks wind and horizontal freezing rain. That wakes you up. We struggle to stay up. The wind was pushing us away from the edge!
Make the bushline. Ridges and climbing over. Descending through the forest. Hours tramping go by and then we are at College Creek. Track finishes. Hour and half of crossing back and forth; rock traverse, rock climbing, rock hopping. And a near cc dunking. Out of the river -lunch. And get cold in the wind. Off around the dam. Mud and little bogs and a little more climbing get us to the van at Number 2 Dam. 5 hours of ridges hills and a river. Actually hears birds a half dozen times today. Only once yesterday.
Our 2 groups reunite for the drive back to Wellington. Coffee and bikkie at Shannon. Back in town around 6 it’s dark and I have wet boots. Everyone has. Back home cleaning and washing and drying begins.