Hector and beyond SF
Four of us left Wellington at noon on Friday (with a good Saturday forecast) and drove to the end of the road towards Otaki Forks. Then a 40 minute walk to the Otaki Forks original road end. The walking path across the slip is very straight forward. The slip itself does not look healthy or repairable. So maybe the extra road walk has become a new permanent feature of Tararua access from the Otaki side.
A bit under three hours then took us to Field Hut where we spent the night. Although looking a little tired, Field Hut felt, looked and smelt clean and tidy.
Off with just daytrip stuff at about 8.30 on Saturday morning with light winds and clear skies.
Very nice to be above the forest. We steadily make our way across Table Top, past Dennan and the haul up to Bridge Peak. Most of the snow of the previous month is gone with just a few random patches scattered about.
A bit of a break at Kime - which was also looking tidy. One sleeping bag - we see the hunter on the Neil-Winchcombe ridge and meet him later on the final climb to Hector.
Cold winds now have us put on more clothing - as we head over Field Peak, down to the saddle. The wind disappears and we overheat on the final climb to Hector.
Perfect weather at the summit memorial cross, with 360 degree views from snowy Kaikōura Ranges in the south to Ruapehu in the northwest.
With group agreement we head along the Neil-Winchcombe for about 20 minutes to a super spot for lunch. Lunch spots don’t come much better. After lunch we head on to the last high bump on this ridge before it drops steeply away. Great views down snowy gullies into the upper Hector River from the sharp ridge. A long way down.
A pleasant return to Kime Hut where the leader did some cleaning in the vestibule area.
Back at Field lots of folks turn up for about 16 residents for the night. Friendly hut atmosphere.
Phone access at the hut is OK if you go 50 metres up the track.
Off at 7 a.m. and out by about 10. Back to the Hutt by about 12.30 after drop offs.
A super weekend. Reminds one of how great tops tramping in the Tararua Range is in good weather.
- Party members
- Mike Wespel-Rose (leader and scribe), David McNabb, Sieny Pollard, Lynne White