Queens Birthday Weekend Trip - Saturday 31st May to Monday 2nd June 2008

Saturday morning we woke up to a fine clear day with snow on the tops - just a smattering. Looking good. All the groups set off up Makahu Spur and on to Kaweka J with great views in all directions.

The medium group sat and had an early lunch break at the junction of the Back Ridge Hut track. A slow climb down through the snow and over a few icy patches kept us all on our toes. We arrived at Back Ridge Hut around mid-afternoon and we all got into tent erecting and firewood collecting before settling in for the night.

Next morning the weather was not so good and strong winds were expected, so off we all set for the climb up on to Sterns Saddle and back around to Kaweka J then along over Mad Dog Hill to Studholme Saddle. Just before the Saddle we ran into Bruce and Barry who were heading back to Kaweka J and on to Dominie Biv for the night. They had spent the night at Studholme Saddle Hut. After lunch in the Saddle, sheltering out of the cold wind, it was decided that we would push on to Mackintosh Hut and meet up with the fit party and make the next day easier. A good decision since it was a long steep descent to the hut.

Although small, Mackintosh Hut has lots of good camping around. In the morning, after about 15 minutes’ easy walking, there was a very steep descent to the river followed by an even steeper ascent back up to the ridge, followed by an ex-forest track following alongside the Kaweka Range we had been on the day before. Just a wee bit lower.

Back at Big Blue just as the rain started, another great Queen’s Birthday Weekend completed.

Tina Jacques