Eating (and drinking) round the Kime Renata loop
17-19 May 2019
The trip got off to a tricky navigational start. The Workman brothers told us they were at the western side of Waterloo Station, when in fact they were on the eastern side. We circled the Hutt Valley again and put Franz in charge of way finding.
Supper at Field Hut was very welcome - cheeses, dips, pate, crackers. From there we were able to turn off our headlights and travel by full moon. There was light cloud cover so the moon was fuzzy and orange but still pumping enough lumens. The previous night’s southerly had dropped some snow, and we were crunching through icy puddles. Delightful travel and a bit magical.
Kime was as freezing as ever and the two resident Americans had made a hut for themselves out of mattresses. Saturday, we had an easy start with lots of cups of tea and a 9am departure. Our hut mates were very keen to show us naked pictures of themselves, posing on Hector.
When we got to the top of Hector we didn’t feel like derobing, as it was gusty, misty and damp. We did manage to pose briefly for the obligatory cross photo, and then it was heads down plodding on to Aston. Reaching the bushline on the Renata ridge was a relief after the bluster of the open tops. Suddenly it was so quiet. The ridge is really pretty, with stunted, moss covered beech trees and an abundance of ferns.
Visibility was still poor so we missed out on the famed Elder Hut views, but we did have a great pot luck lunch – pumpkin soup, sandwiches, crackers, blue cheese, dips, chocolate, biscuits. This was almost turning into a gourmet trip.
At Renata Hut there was a lengthy, concerted and ultimately unsuccessful effort to light the fire. We’re blaming the wet wood. Luckily the ambient temperature had risen and we were quite comfortable in this old, unlined hut. The excellent meal (who cooked?) and mulled wine (thanks Tim) contributed to our feeling of well-being. There was plenty of scat, but we didn’t hear a rat all night.
We had another relaxed start on Sunday, and toddled off to Maymorn Junction and from there down the Odlins Road. Blue sky and sunshine – a lot better than the forecast. The new Waiotauru Hut is well on its way to completion and is looking lovely. It doesn’t have a fireplace though.
The last section of track on the way to the Fenceline car park sidles above the Waiotauru River and sections of it are dropping away into the river. Definitely some dodgy patches.
Good to get into a corner of the Tararuas I hadn’t seen before.
- Party members
- Franz Hubmann, Sarah White (scribe), Martin Workman, Tim Workman.