Extended - Friday 19 April 2019 to Friday 26 April 2019 (8 days)

David's Photos (link)

by Alex Sancho

Friday 19. We left the cars at Mangleton Rd and walked 2.5 hrs up to Parks Peak hut on a sunny afternoon to find the easy group had settled in.

Saturday 20. We woke to a refreshing breeze that turn to an invigorating wind in the afternoon and a gale by the end of the day. Throughout the day we passed many interesting features on the Main Range like Ina Rock and Te Atua Mahuru. Pitching the tents was a challenge in the gale but they all survived the night. 9 hrs

Sunday 21. Early start today after a restless night’s sleep. We stopped at Sparrowhawk Biv for smoko and keep on strolling through seas of leatherwood, cutty grass and spaniards for the rest of the morning. Sunrise Hut was a welcome sight. 7.5 hrs

Monday 22. Left Sunrise hut with enough visibility to see the next rolling hill, which in this case was the beautiful and craggy Te Atuaoparapara. Here we turned north, traversing this back-to-nature ridge towards Wakelings Hut in a gentle but persistent rain. 7.5 hrs

Tuesday 23. Straight after breakfast we embarked on a mere 650m climb to the unforgettable Rongotea, from here N along the Mokai Patea Range, where we crossed with Robin’s group. After exchanging tales of forgotten tracks, scenic swamps and river strolling, we said our goodbyes and good lucks and went on to Otukota Hut which we reached with stronger quad muscles. 8.5 hrs

Wednesday 24. Fearing a ‘too easy’ day, we passed Iron Bark Hut after 2 hrs down the Maropea river and headed up to Ohutu Ridge on an unkept steep ridge. From the ridge it was just 500m descent through wonderfully slippery mud, ferns, bluffs and other challenges that were a great upper body workout. We managed to find 5 places at Waiokotore Campsite with last light in gentle rain. 9.5 hrs

The lads: Dennis, Terry, Dave, Andrew

Thursday 25. Rest day. Morning amble up the hill (500m height gain) to Potae Ridge with beautiful views of the Ruahine Ranges. The ridge is full of sedimentary rock formations. We stayed at Ruahine Corner Hut where we dried our gear in the afternoon. 4.5 hrs

Friday 26. Early start bursting with motivation and enthusiasm. We reached the Main range in strong winds and no visibility. Then 700m down to Upper Makaroro Hut for lunch and 600m up to Parks Peak hut then down 700m to the road end. Overnight in Napier. 9.5 hrs

Team: Dennis Brown (leader), David Holl, Terry Chubb, Andrew Murdoch, Alex Sancho.