Makahika (658 m), Marquee (866 m) S/F
23 February 2022
The longer summer days give us a chance to do day trips further afield. This account is of our second trip into the Camelbacks, an area not often visited.
On an earlier trip, we had left the Te Araroa trail to use a Makahika spur that passes over bump 293. This time we chose the spur before that one. After some easy stream travel, over half the ascent was through supplejack. We eventually summited at noon. Half an hour later we lunched on bump 711. Before we turned off the Te Araroa trail, we saw a marked track heading uphill (black arrow on map). Before we reached bump 711, we passed a marked track leading back down; logic, and reference to maps suggested that we’d found both ends of a good route out.
If the route south from bump 711 had been a formed track we would have reached Marquee in 30 minutes, but we took an hour. The route along the ridge had the occasional old marker. The 70 m climb onto Marquee was a struggle through leatherwood, dracophyllum, flax and long grasses. But the views were worth it. Just to our east was Camelhead and south was Camelback. Further east we could see East and West Peaks, Pukemoremore, Logan and Dundas. South of us were Pyramid Knob (which we’d climbed in January), Tawirikohukohu and Square Knob.
On the return we briefly found ourselves on a marked route on a spur heading NW; the main ridge headed north. Some members of the party may explore this route in the future. To our surprise, the track dropped us into farmland a considerable distance from the Te Araroa trail. We reached the cars at 5:45, making it an eight hour 45 minute day. Without GPS we may have taken quite a bit longer!
- Party members
- Colin Cook, Marie Henderson, Jenny Mason, David McNabb, Cathy Milne, David Ogilvie (leader and scribe)