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Trip Reports 2016-10-26-Mitre Flats

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This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 89, no 1, February 2017

Five Fearless Footsloggers Flout Fearsome Forecasts, Find Flats and Forego Fluvial Foray, Mitre Flats Area MF

26 Oct 2016

Five members decided to brave forecast heavy rain and thunderstorms to attempt to visit Mitre Flats and Mitre Flats Hut. Party members driving from Wellington, Hutt Valley and Kapiti all encountered torrential rain en route to the meeting point at Brown Owl where we consolidated transport to one vehicle. After crossing the Rimutaka Hill we encountered clearing weather that lasted all the way to the Waingawa road end.

After a short sun shower, we set off at 8.55am across the farm track, crossing into the Forest Park at 9.30. We then headed north up a ridge that led to Pt 688 at the southern end of the Blue Range. The first part was steep and covered with a profusion of supplejack, but we soon emerged into clearer going and found pink ribbons marking a trapping line that went up the line of the ridge on a good footpad. Emerging from the trees into dracophyllum and shorter scrub near Pt 688 we met sweeping views across to Pinnacle Ridge, Holdsworth, Jumbo, Jumbo Hut and Baldy. Morning tea was taken near here before we scrub bashed across the feature and on re-entering the bush regained the trap line that led up to the unnamed mound at about 840m. The trap line continued on a good footpad up to and past Blake (930m).

We then headed west down the ridge to the south of Stoney Creek. This provided a reasonable though unmarked route down to the Barra Track, which we reached at 12.55 pm, 4 hours after leaving the car park. A 20 minute walk from here took us to Mitre Flats Hut, where we ate lunch on the verandah and made the first entry in the new intentions book. The light but steady rain that had been falling up to this point became a bit heavier, although with no wind and relatively warm temperatures, did not present any difficulty.

The leader's original trip plan had countenanced a possible return down the river, and he had caused some consternation in his Tuesday night trip update by leaving out the word “not” from the feasibility of the river option! The option to return via the Barra Track was the only realistic one on the day, so we headed off at 1.55 pm. After half an hour we met a group of 7 Forest and Birders heading in to spend the night at Mitre Flats Hut. Most of their group looked to be even more ‘mature’ than us. We chatted to them for a bit before carrying on back to the road end which we reached at 4.30 pm. The rain which had been steady but not heavy stopped when we reached the car.

Party members
Joan Basher, Tony Black, Gerald Leather, Peggy Munn, Warwick Wright (Leader and scribe)

Page last modified on 2017 Apr 04 00:43

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