By Pia, 04 June 2011
Bush Craft 9th and 10th April 2011
Meeting at Hunter car park at 9am. This time I was 10 min late, but not the last one to show up. Before we knew the daytrip people were already heading for the Tararuas. We were three cars going for the weekend to Otarki Forks, which turned out to be only two car and ten people, because Jason had injured himself, so he was only there to instruct us before we went into the bush.
The information that we would come back to the cars before dinner and camp-making was not what I expected but fine then we could leave a lot of things in the car and we didn’t have to carry all of it the whole day. It was nice to leave things in the car but I hadn’t brought a daypack, luckily for me Achim was in same situation, so we decided to pack our things in one and then take the pack in turns.
Our packs were packed so onto what we were there for – learn. We started out with maps and compasses to get the first introduction how to use these two very practical tings in the bush. Then we headed out – I thought… but yet another skill for BushCraft was to be learned – how to cross a river in a line to help all in the group to cross. Yeah, wet feet within the first hour! No trip without wet feet, I must have learned that by now.
With wet feet and high spirits we looked at the maps to find out where to go and how to get there without going on to many tracks. We decided to follow a track for the first short time and then take the compass and use only this to find the way. We didn’t do that much bush bagging before we were on a track again – clearly our maps must have been older than this track because it was not on our maps.
We tried to get of the track several times and every time we got back to it again, so in the end we just followed the track to the ridge where we ate our lunch in the sun J
Now we had to decide how we should get down from here again, there were many ideas and I think we changed our route a couple of times before we started our descent. Mikey who was our leader and instructor didn’t say that much, he wanted us to make the decisions. Our choice was to go bush bagging all the way down hopefully be able to see and follow the descending ridge.
Time past and it began to get dark. Some people in the group didn’t have their head torch with them, so Mikey ended up walking all the way in the dark. There was a big diversity in the group in terms of fitness, which made the main group loose the tail a lot. After a lot of descending and not always the easiest places – you just know that you’re not on a ridge when you reach a creek!
After a while it got really difficult to find a route that wouldn’t lead us into something very ugly so we decided to go back up to the high ridge and find the track. It seemed to be quite easy to find the ridge uphill but to find the track was easier said than done, from the instructions on navigating we got earlier that day we knew that we should have the ridge on our left side and going up if we wanted to find the track. So eventually after a bit of arguing our route we finally found the track and the bush was full of cheers and happy people, I think we even got a little song – from whom I don’t know J
Tracks equals higher pace – before we knew it we were down again and so much easier than bush bagging. It was time to find our gear and food in the cars but we were to camp just a little walk from the cars, so we got everything packed and moved towards our final destination on Saturday. We picked a spot and in no time we were eating our lovely dinner, but… didn’t we miss one person? Yep, Srikanth wasn’t at the campsite, nobody had seen him for a while, and after counting packs we were one short! We sent two people out to find him and they came back with the missing Indian. He just wanted to tie his shoes and then we were gone and he was getting ready to sleep under the car.
Finally weekend and you think you can sleep in, but no, Mikey set the alarm to 5.30am – we had to get up and going, no laziness on tramping trips! The group was a bit morning tired so we didn’t leave the carpark until around 9.30am and after a little discussion we decided to go to Kime hut on the tracks and just enjoy the lovely Sunday without too much bushbagging.
The way up to Field hut were nice and done quickly, some of the members of the group was nearly running up the track. We had okay weather though no sun but most important no rain. We carried on after the short break at Field hut reaching the bush limit and later walked into the clouds – no more beautiful pictures of the views.
At the track junction before Kime hut most of the group was gathered and continued the last part to Kime together. It was difficult to know how long the distance was because of the fogginess the clouds were really thick. It was at this point Stefan was ready to give up; he was totally done because of the “running” up the mountain. When we reached Kime hut after 5 min Stefan was shaking and his whole body was steaming – time to get some food and energy to the descent.
We didn’t stay long at Kime hut before we started the
descent but long enough for Stefan to recover. Maybe the trip up there was
quick but the descent seemed even quicker and before we knew we were in the car
on our way home to Wellington after a great weekend of tramping.