18 May 2014

A Family Trip - Tararua Southern Crossing

My Dad and Uncle had been telling me that they really wanted to go hiking. Nicole, my girlfriend really wanted to go hiking in the Tararua's which is the range just behind where I grew up so we killed to birds with one stone and Nicole and I took my Dad and Uncle on the Southern Crossing which is one of the more popular routes from West to East (or vise versa) across this rugged range that runs North to South. Truth of the matter is, it ended up being me that needed to be carried by the group because I seem to abuse my body with all of the different things that I do and I had some tight ligament in my knee which nearly crippled me on the first afternoon… All of this aside, we had some amazing weather and it was a really cool chance to hang out with some family not just at a normal dinner outing or equivalent, even if my Uncle thought his heart might just jump out of his chest!

 The Tararua's are a pretty hard place to get in amazing weather (especially in May), but we did a pretty good job of ordering some good weather on the way up to Kime Hut. This was one of our first views West, that is Kapiti Island in the distance and just on the other side of that distance hill is where I grew up looking straight across the sea at that island. Out of five times being up to this point (Table Top), this is the first time I have ever had a view!

 Happy photo of Nicole and I with some views that came and went and came and went and… 

 This is my Uncle Mike and I having a well deserved breather on the way up Judd Ridge. I bet he was wandering what he had gotten himself in for by this stage already having concerns that his heart would jump out of his chest. And then there was me hobbling along behind with a crook knee.. What a view though (again, coming and going with cloud swirling).

This is a pretty nice view back along the ridge line that we had just come up.

And here are the two brothers smashing out the walk enjoying some sun

And the cloud cleared for a beautiful sunset over Kapiti.

 And then it came back!

Our first night was in a nice new version of Kime Hut. Just because it was new didn't make it any warmer than the last hut, it was only a month old. Being above the tree line means that a fire is useless because there is no wood around to feed it so unless you have a whole heap of people in there it more or less feels like your in a nice, light fridge.

 We woke up the next morning feeling refreshed to look outside the window to see white. The weather report was to be good so we waited a bit, not being in any hurry because this was our shortest day, but visibility just got less and less and the air got more and more wet. It was a shame that we couldn't see much because on this leg the ridges that you walk are steep, narrow, and really high. It wasn't all bad though because there was still no wind and it feels like you are in another world when as you look down all you see is white.

The third and final day offered more good walking. After spending the night in Alpha Hut, which had a very nice fire, we had some clear blue skies and could forest to walk through. Moss moss and more moss.

Through the beech forest we could see where we had come from the day before and were super jealous of the people we had met in the hut that were heading along the tops this day.

 People give the youth of today shit for their addiction to technology. As you can see these two old dogs couldn't get enough of their cell phones out here. Because you are looking down on Wellington, Kapiti, and the Wiarapa, there is cell phone service even if it is quite limited. 

This is a view of where we came from. We had walked right to left of the horizon line, spent the night just below the bush line, then walked the closer ridge to where we stood for the picture. Pretty cool!

All in all it was a good trip before heading to the USA with Nicole to keep just wondering around in the hills and do some sweet skids on our bikes. Bloody good!

No comments: