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Normal Topic The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pics) (Read 6004 times)
brucec
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The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pics)
Jan 24th, 2007 at 10:26am
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The Old Buggers Cross the Ruahines.

Cooch had always wanted to walk across the Ruahines. I think it came from his interest in the exploring of Colenso, and an interest in the history of the central Ruahines. His ancestors had farmed against the ranges too. I used to live at Mangaweka, so also have an interest in the area.

I can understand Cooch’s interest in history, but why he waited ‘till we were both historic to do it I will never know.

Anyway, the last time we were in the Ruahines (with Whereami), Cooch and I planned the crossing for Wellington’s anniversary weekend. I had done quite a bit of hunting and armed tramping over Christmas and Cooch’s hunting and work keeps him fit, so we reckoned we were up to it. Whereami thought we were bonkers. My knees were a bit of a worry, but with adequate binding with swaddling cloth I would make it.

Cooch had enough sense to not take a rifle. I didn’t.

We have both hunted most of the Ruahines, but the route we planned to take included areas neither of us have visited.

Friday evening saw us dropped off at the Purity hut track in behind Mangaweka, which for the first hour goes through farm land, and then an hour or so through the bush. We arrived at the hut at about 7pm. Purity hut is brand new, and Cooch had spent a day doing voluntary work on it. It was a little clagged in, but we got some nice views, pics and video. This wasn’t new country to us, so we were keen to get over the first set of tops and into new country.

Saturday morning we were on the track at about 8am, after being treated to a carpet of cloud that I’m sure we could have walked across to Ruapehu. I would have done it too, but if the cloud cleared while I was over there I would have not been able to walk back.

The first milestone of the day was the high point “Wooden Peg”, then “Iron Peg”, and then the highest point in the Ruahines “Mangaweka”. It was stinking hot. The cloud was under us for most of the day, but it never got any higher or caught up with us.

From Mangaweka it was a long and steep decent down “Trig Creek” into the Kawhatau river. Beautiful country, and worth a return trip for a hunt. As for our hunting…it just didn’t seem a priority…so the Ruger became a passenger. In any event, the wind always seemed to be at our backs, and we were enjoying the scenery far too much.

Eventually we hit the Kawhatau river and its beautiful river flats, and eventually Waterfall hut. Nimrods name was in the hut book, so now our names are amongst this illustrious company. In fact, as we approached the hut we discussed if Nimrod would be standing in the hut door. We decided no, because if he was we would have started striking fresh carcasses between the entry of the  creek he would have come down from east, and the hut. We assessed, like many hunters before us, that this would be a great base to hunt from. But we had some pressing engagements, so at 7.30 Sunday morning we were off up Rangi creek and over into the headwaters of the Waikamaka. A beautiful piece of bush. It rained most of the day, and we were literally blown over the saddle. The saddle is memorable for the views and the profusion of Spaniard plants. Spiney little bitches. This whole area looks pretty damned yummy for a hunt, but we had another 4 hours of walking in front of us, so off we headed down the Waikamaka river (a tight little bugger) heading for  Waikamaka hut. This is not your standard DOC hut, but one established many years ago by the Herautanga tramping club, and still maintained by them. We stopped here for a brew, then it was up a side creek, a steep scramble, a wander though an alpine meadow and there we were in the Waipawa saddle looking down at the Waipawa river and into the Hawkes Bay. A steep decent, plenty of boulder hopping and some monotonous shingle hiking and we were at Waipawa Forks hut. We were now close to civilization, so this hut book had a lot more crap written in it than in the other huts!

The next morning (Monday) was just a short one hour river tramp and we were at our pick up site. Cooch’s brother was there to collect us right on time.

Some impressions: We walked through some fantastic country. Not just for hunting, but just for what it has to offer in terms of diversity, remoteness and history. All of the creeks that we traversed had great slip and face hunting in them.

We saw very little bird life. One falcon and the usual pipits in the tussock and Moreporks calling at night.

The GPScsx was damned handy, but not necessary. We still used a map (and compass).

In terms of difficulty, so long as you know the mountains and respect them, it is a slog but anyone of reasonable fitness could do it. You would need map and compass skills if the tops were fogged in. It is a route, not a track.

We are now planning for our next little adventure…thinking about Smith’s Creek.

I have a half hour video of the trip if anyone is interested. Mainly scenic and human interest. Would be handy for anyone planning a similar trip. PM me with your return address, and I will give you my address to send a blank CD to.

When I receive Cooch's pics I will paste them into this...or maybe post them separately. They will be worth seeing!

BruceC

In the mean time, here are a few taken from my video:



Waterfall Creek hut



Looking South acros the Pouranaki



In the bush on the way up to Rangi Saddle



Rangi saddle



Waipawa River, on easern side of range



An Ode to the crossing







  
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tramper
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines. Pics to follow
Reply #1 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 10:46am
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Top story I spend a few days at Waterfall hut last year and it sure is a nice spot.
  

"The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time." -Jack London
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines. Pics to follow
Reply #2 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 10:55am
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awesome story to read, really enjoyed it
  

deadmeat is goodmeat
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines. Pics to follow
Reply #3 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 11:13am
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good on ya you crazy old farts Smiley
looking forward to Alexes photos and your vid.
  
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines. Pics to follow
Reply #4 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 11:58am
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good story cant wait for the photos..
  

Anticipation is half the fun!
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brucec
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #5 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 12:43pm
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There are now some pics from my video on the end of the story. Cooch's pics still to come.
bc
  
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cb
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #6 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 12:44pm
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thanks bruce. such an eloquent poem.
  
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #7 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 12:55pm
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You guys are awesome Cool
  
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #8 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 1:27pm
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There may be "snow on the roof" (grey hair) but there's still "fire in the furnace" Wink Wink Wink Good effort.
NIMROD would have been standing in the hut door too if he hadn't been so sure it was going to blow
it's tits off and rain.
Planned a fresh Porterhouse steak each with coctail potato's, minted pea's and fresh cabbage,
followed by a couple of cans of 12% bourban and coke each. Cry Cry Cry
Ah well, next time aye, Tongue Tongue Tongue
  

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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #9 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 1:38pm
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That was an excellent story. Very enjoyable. And the pics are great. There is so much to discover in the Ruahines. I must say the view south across the Pourangaki is my favourite. I can imagine camping by the tarn and glassing that area - ahhhhhhhhhh.......heaven.

Thanks for the effort you went to. It brightened my day.
  
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #10 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 2:03pm
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You write a brilliant poem!
  

hello
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #11 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 2:52pm
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awesome stuff!
  
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #12 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 5:08pm
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A bloody good read Bruce. Loved it. Cool
  
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #13 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 5:48pm
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Go the Old Buggers!!  Cool

Man, I'm worn out now just looking at those pics. Tongue Cheesy
  

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We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Sincerely, Unicorns
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Re: The Old Buggers X the Ruahines.(with a few pic
Reply #14 - Jan 24th, 2007 at 9:40pm
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Brilliant.

Rangi Saddle area looks a real grunt.
  
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