Waiopehu via Ohauiti

4We departed for Levin with the best possible weather forecast: a dying southerly with a sunny weekend on the cards. Having beaten the worst of the traffic, we made most of the approximate 50 minute Friday night walk into the old Ohau Hut site without the need of a torch where we bivvied among the many perfect campsites nested in the bush round the area.

3We awoke to clag, the Tararuas defying the weatherman once again. After a brew and breakfast we headed up the Ohauiti stream aiming for its headwaters between the twin peaks of Waiopehu. Travel in the stream was fairly easy, with only the odd pool and fallen tree to negotiate we made steady progress through the morning and had lunch two thirds of the way up.

Over the afternoon we pushed up the final steeper section of the Ohauiti and with the final scramble through 20 odd meters of leatherwood we exited in the saddle between the twin peaks.  With increasing wind and rising clag we headed down to the hut for brews, dinner and a hot dessert.  It had been a great day tramping, marred only by the lack of views from the top.

We left late Sunday and took a leisurely tramp down the ridge from Waiopehu with an extended stop at Palmers camp to get our first decent views of the farmland around the base of the Tararuas. All the party were impressed by the beauty of the bush we encountered heading down the long easy decent out from the hut.

We then headed south to Otaki forks to pick up the fit duet of  Harry and Ruth and began the drive back home, well relaxed from our pleasant trudge among the foothills and river valleys of the north western Tararuas.  Well refreshed and ready for the week to come.

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