By AGlover, 17 June 2013
Abort Mission! Mid-Trimester Break, 28 March
So this trip was intended to be an epic one, very ambitious indeed. My original plan was to head from Poads Road, up to Te Matawai via South Ohau, up to Arete, then along to Tarn Rodge, on day one, before swinging round to Nichols on day two, before coming back to Te Matawai or Waipoehu on day three, for a nice walk out the day after. Needless to say it didn’t go as planned.
Day one was pretty cruisy, a late 11am start putting my ambitious dreams to rest in the end. A pleasant walk up the Ohau River at low flow to South Ohau Hut for lunch kept the first three hours interesting. After that the slog up to Te Matawai tired us all out for the last gasp up to Pukematawai, and then Arete, had most of us (except Dom, typically) completely knackered. At this point it was getting on 7pm, and the cloud was making visibility pretty shit, so we diverted to Arete Hut, which, at two person capacity, would normally prove a bit of a squeeze for a party of seven. Nonetheless, we made it work, and everyone other than myself, thanks to a cold coming on, had a pretty decent night all told.
The weather wasn’t much better the next day, strong winds and cloud made us reconsider our original plan, so instead we figured to head to Nichols via Dracophyllum Hut. After we got off Arete, it wasn’t a bad walk. The wind died down a bit, and the cloud lifted, affording us a slight reprieve. At Dracophyllum, we noticed another group heading to Nichols, so through the goodness of our own hearts, and a fair share of laziness, we decided we would cram ourselves into Dracophyllum, another two bunker, for the night instead of ruining someone else’s night at Nichols, and giving us even further to walk for no real reason.
Day three, which would prove to be our final day, wasn’t too interesting. A solid day’s walking from Dracophyllum to Poads Road, with a truly decent spell of rain giving Dom a great deal of enjoyment (it was the first significant rain for months, and Dom was bored with it). We got back to the car just as the sun was going down, and had the pleasure of meeting up with Anita and co, who were just getting back from a day trip to Waiopehu. We’d probably only missed them by a matter of minutes on the track!
All up, a good tramp, even if it didn’t go as planned