I dreamed about Daphne, her spur, her ridge and her hut. After a couple of months filled with studies and deskwork it was time to get out and meet Daphne in the Ruahine’s. I choose to be a novice leader on this trip, the 3 -5 of July. It would be great!
There were 16, then there were 8, then there were 11, and finally there were 7 punters keen to join me. Unfortunately the weather didn’t allow for our meeting with Daphne and only last minute we changed plans and decided to visit Cone instead: his saddle, his peak and his hut.
We met Cone in the Tararua’s on a cloudy but beautiful day without any wind. After Adrian finally finished his milo we were all ready to go and walked up to the saddle.
We left our packs at the bottom and climbed up Cone’s peak to have a lunch with a view. As expected on the tops there was a nice layer of snow and Phil decided that a snow man should be made as evidence that we had been there. When the clouds ran in and the views disappeared we decided it was time to head down again. Reinforced by the weight of our full packs we continued our trip.
After a short inspection of Cone’s hut (yes, it’s still there) we moved on along the river towards Tutuwai Hut. Referring to Adrian’s late milo we walked the last half hour in the dark. Phil, Sandra, Adrian, Christian, Robert, Gunes and I felt a bit like the seven dwarfs, marching lined up with our little shiny lights to find the hut where there might be somebody already sleeping on our mattresses. However, it turned out that there was no Snowy White in the hut. In fact there was nobody except us.
To avoid paying too much attention to Cone only we decided to catch up with Reeves on our way out the next day. Reeves’ track over Mt. Reeves seemed very promising with nice views in clearing areas if only it hadn’t been cloudy. It was a good 3.5 hour walk including a short but unpleasant mud fight & slide battle through a pine plant at the far end. Being a bit wet and muddy we were pleased to find Hans at the road end with the van ready to drive us back to Wellington. Thanks to the punters for enabling the trip. It was great to meet Cone!
However … I am still dreaming about Daphne, her spur, her ridge and her hut, and look forward to catch up with her some day. Maybe another opportunity in September?