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Otaki-Elder-Renata Loop

  •  24-05-2012, 11:41 PM

    Otaki-Elder-Renata Loop

    Elder loop - 20-22 April 2012

    Who: Chris, Ivan, Dom, Hazel and Pia

    Hunter car park at 6pm - yay, time for another tramping weekend in the Tararua. This time the Elder-Renata loop from Otaki Forks. No tramping without food so we had our food-stop at Pack'n'Safe Porirua.

    We arrived at Otaki Forks and the beginning of the track around 8.30pm and were ready to start the trip at 9pm. Now just 2-3 hours of walking in the star-covered dark night before sleeping in Field Hut. We made it for the hut after just 2 hours and 5 min. Pretty good if I should say so :o)

    We were not alone at Field and I don't think the people there were used to people tramping in the dark and arriving this late. But we got some sleep though the hut was freezing cold!

    Next morning the weather didn't look that nice, the clouds were just over us and we knew that it would mean clouds as soon we reached the bush-line. True, the clouds were there already before we reached Table Top. I think I'm cursed when it comes to good weather around Kime Hut. I still haven't seen the scenery around there and this time should not be the time either... Next time I'll see the beautiful scenery around Kime and Mt Hector.

    Kime hut was as cold as it always is so we didn't stop for long lunch break but because of the weather we decided to stay together over the tops so nobody would turn off on False Spur ;o)

    Tramping through clouds is the same boring thing - no views, just cold and often wet. But we made it past Mt Hector and got the right way around the top where False Spur branch off, and then next was the junction were one track continues to Alpha Hut and the other to Elder Hut.

    After a lot of down slippery "wannabe-tracks" (we were now off the Southern-crossing track) we got down to the bush line and into the nicer forest track. That was when Ivan, Dom and Hazel found another higher gear and sped ahead.

    Elder hut is a nice new but small hut, with room for 4 people. It has double glassing so its relatively warm but the mattresses are moldy because all the moist from people getting there stays inside the hut...

    It was not really dinner time when we got there, we had been too fast, but the hut was cold so we pulled out our sleeping bags and some got a little nap and others played a bit of cards, before Hazel made scones as a starter and we started thinking about dinner. BUT we forgot to bring a billy so we only had Hazels 2 l one so it was a bit creative dinner making to cook the pasta and heat up the vegetables. But we made it and we had a really good dinner with some jazz music to play in the background - it nearly can't be better :o)

    What to do when darkness falls and you have been tramping all day... Sleep of cause ;o) Off to bed and hopefully the weather would be better in the morning.

    The weather was heaps better when we woke, we could see all the scenery that we couldn't the day before. All the way to Wellington past the Hutt valley and to Kapakapanui to Kapiti Island - it was beautiful :o)

    It was a bit sad to continue our tramping through the forest away from the sunlight, but it was nice with nice weather for a change. Lunch break at Renata Hut and another snack stop when we got to Waiotauru Hut. In between we meet some hunters at Maymorn Junction, the passed us on their quad bikes and when we meet them again at Waiotauru Hut they asked if you would be able to drive a quad bike all the way to Otaki Forks - we didn't recommend that!

    When we left our snack stop (when the sun went behind the hill) we send Chris and Dom ahead to move the car so all of us didn't have to go the whole way to the car park where we left it. The last part of the trip was nice and easy not too much up and down - though it was nothing else than up and down, this must be how people know the Tararua Range best, definitely how I know it best.

    Arriving at the road end the first thing Chris said was: "Do you have the first aid kit?" Dom had fallen and cut a hole in the palm of his hand. It was pretty obvious that something had happened, his white t-shirt was not so white anymore and not just black from dirt, it had a nice red-ish colour as well. Dom got his hand washed in the river and covered up, meanwhile I went for quick dip in the river. Soon we where off heading back to Wellington - but with another Tararua tramping trip in the pack.

    - Pia

    Gear custodian - 2012

    022 074 2258
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