It’s a bit like the Tararuas

1As usual we met at the train station on Friday night for our trip to the Ruahines.

We stopped for kebabs on the way and then in what seemed like no time at all were at the road end. We had a few hours to walk on the first night to get to Parks Peak hut to make Saturday a reasonable day. The path was well graded and we made good progress dodging a slip or two.

When we arrived at the new hut, I couldn’t help but shake a feeling of déjà vu. The hut seemed bigger than the six bunks it held. It was kindly warmed up for us by an earlier arriving couple who had lit the fire.

Despite the promise of good weather we woke to a bit of Tararua dew (light rain to the uninitiated.) It went before we had finished our breakfast. Tales of Harry elicited the question “Oh you’re in the tramping club”, who needs more club PR when we’ve already got Harry!

2The day would be a long day (though not as long as the day some idiot took his medium fit punters out for 15.5 hours). The route over the tops was well marked to the bush line but then the path was buried in the soft snow.

The snow definitely slowed travel but thankfully Bernie made the steps, for once I was saved the hassle. This did mean I was left at the back speaking motivational words. I think I will be forced back to making steps given my performance in this task.

Being at the back gave me time to reflect on the scenery around me and that sense of déjà vu got stronger. This was a bit like the Tararuas. You know where you go over Baldy and the Broken axe pinnacles. It struck me that if I was giving a club talk about the trip I could share this wonderful and original insight with the whole of the club.

Once back on the path the descent to Barlow Hut was welcome and then came that sense of déjà vu, the hut seemed a bit like Jumbo. I shook off the feeling as I chopped veges for the evening meal. A shorter Sunday saw us head back to the tops to descend to the car park.

Again that sense of déjà vu it all looked like the Tararuas – you know the bit along Mt Holdsworth. Good thing we hadn’t just done the Baldy, Broken axe pinnacles route though as that was on the club schedule for the next weekend.

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