Tararua Tramping Club

Te rōpū hikoi o te pae maunga o Tararua   -   Celebrating 100 years of tramping

Trip Reports 2023-11-28-Whakapapaiti

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Whakapapaiti1.jpg: 901x1111, 340k (2023 Dec 16 23:56)
Left to right back row: Katherine, Sue, Christine,
Peter, Sarah, Paul. Front: Jocelyn, Collette
Photo: Paul McCredie
Whakapapaiti2.jpg: 1149x862, 624k (2023 Dec 16 23:57)
Theresa, Colette. Photo: Paul McCredie

This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 95, no 11, December 2023

Whakapapaiti and Mangaturuturu Huts

28-29 November 2023

A vote was taken and Kim Hill won resoundingly, despite my taster of avant garde string music from Concert FM. Kim’s interviews were less than riveting but the sun was shining, roads were clear and travel in the club van was comfortable. Christine’s baking went well with the coffee we picked up in Taihape and the view of the snowy volcanoes ahead got us all excited.

We were mostly a group of newly graduated Bushcrafters keen to get some tramping experience on an overnight trip.

First leg was from Whakapapa Village through to Whakapapaiti Hut – a three-hour wander through varied sub alpine vegetation. Of note was a beautiful grove of mountain cedar with its papery bark. The river crossing just before the hut was a chance to put some of that Bushcraft training into practice. Some ventured into the river alone and were forced by the strength of the water to return to the bank and find some mates to link up with.

The hut boasts a large timber deck which was bathed in sun - an invitation to grab drinks, our cheeses, crackers and dips and lounge (or as our illustrious TTC forebears would term it – salube1). As the sun moved from the deck into the hut, so did we – perfect timing to prepare dinner.

Gear room custodians have recently proposed disposing of our eight-pint billies. This trip was a perfect rejoinder to that proposal. Our dinner was a collaborative pasta dish for nine people – bursting with Mediterranean flavours – olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, olives, salami, fresh veg, cheese – all mixed up in an eight-pinter. Sherry trifle was less successful - the leader burnt the custard.

Another perfect day dawned on Sunday and icy Ruapehu glimmered enticingly. We split the group, with Christine leading Katherine, Jocelyn and Peter back to the van, with a side trip to Silica Falls. Christine had no qualms about taking the van’s helm – she holds an HT licence and has driven trucks for the army territorials.

Paul, Theresa, Sue, Colette and I continued our anti-clockwise journey around the flanks of the maunga. Valleys and ridges radiate from the summit of Ruapehu, carved by lahars and streams gouging through the light, pumice-rich soils. Our day’s walking consisted of climbing over ridges and dropping down into the next stream – again, and again, and then again. Finally, we dropped down to Lake Surprise and then to Mangaturuturu Hut.

We’d set a meeting time of three o’clock with the van people, and we were running behind schedule so lunch was a hurried affair, and then we were climbing again – this time up a waterfall. The Ohakune Mountain Road, our pick up point, was in sight so we kept on pushing and just made the scheduled time, cruising in two minutes after our cheerful chauffeurs.

1. See: Jock MacPherson The Salube in Across the Pass (ed. Shaun Barnett) – p. 116-117

Party members
Sarah White (leader and scribe), Christine Ben-Tovin, Peter Burke, Katherine Close, Theresa Davies, Paul McCredie, Colette Mullin, Sue Scott, Jocelyn Syme

Page last modified on 2023 Dec 17 01:31

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