Southern Crossing: Otaki Forks to Woodside
February Fri 1 - Sun 3 Southern Crossing: Otaki Forks, Kime Hut, Tutuwai Hut, Reeves, Woodside EM Peter Barber and Mary Kane
On Saturday 2nd, 5 club members and 2 non-members had an Extra-Misty time on the tops. On Friday we had taken the train to Waikanae, from where Colin of Kapiti Shuttles drove us to the Forks. The ascent to Kime had been accomplished in a steady six hours, and we had then had the hut to ourselves, rain in the night filling the empty water tanks.
On the tops it was mistier and the wind a little breezier than expected, but this added only to the sense of place, focussing one's attention on the landforms and the flora. Alpha was empty when we arrived at mid-day. After lunch and a brew, we made the descent to Tutuwai via the steep-ish Omega track. This presented no problems, having a clear footpad, few windfalls and sufficient trackmarkers. The Tauherenikau was low. After eight hours on the track, and a swim in the river, there was a throng at the hut, but still bunks for all of us.
Sunday dawned clear and bright, and the six-hour walk out over Reeves to Woodside Station featured rewarding views of Marchant and Quoin Ridges, the Dress Circle, Neill Ridge, Cone, and Holdsworth. After the track a swim in the Waiohine kept us cool for the sunny, rural walk to the 5.17pm train: roadside apple trees on the way.
A truly Easy Medium Southern Crossing might require additional nights at Field and Alpha, but we had a magnificent time in the hills. Tramping with Peter Barber and Mary Kane were Jack Morris, Susan Guscott, Jane Pyar Mautner, Ann McIlroy, and Hadleigh Blake.