Monday, February 8, 2010

Mitre Peak

After planning several other weekends tramping in the Tararuas, just north of Wellington, and then cancelling at the last minute because of southerly gales... finally a weekend where the weather cooperated. Unfortunately it wasn't a long weekend, despite it being Waitangi Day, so we could only do a 2 day tramp rather than a 3 or 4 day. So 4 of us headed up to Mitre Peak. Aaron is still injured so he was left at home to cat sit.

It took 2 and a half hours to walk in to Mitre Flats Hut. Where we stopped for lunch. We dumped out most our stuff from our back packs and reserved our beds for the night before heading off up to Mitre Peak. The nice thing about staying in the huts is all you need is a sleeping bag. Mitre Flats Hut even has stoves. So this saves you a lot of weight not carrying a tent.
Mitre Flats Hut

It is 1000 m of ascent from the hut to the peak and it took 3 sweaty hours. 1 and a half to the tree line and then another 1 and a half along the tops. I love walking along the tops in the Tararuas, there are some great views and the alpine plants are very different. Just as we were getting towards Peggy's Peak the clouds came in, but when we were on the top we did get some sunshine. It was warm and there was hardly any wind. Very weird for the Wellington region.
Alpine plants

Helen and Bec ascending ridge up Peggy's Peak - just before the Mitre Peak summit.

View to the north

Alice and Carolyn sitting on the cairn on the top with the Wairarapa in the background. The sun came out for us at the top.

It took almost as long to get back down from the peak - 2 and a half hours, and most of us had run out of water as it was so hot. We got back to the hut around 7pm and had a very refreshing wash in the river next to the hut. After 8 hours of walking we were tired. We had dinner and pretty much collapsed in to bed.

Next morning we waited until most of the other trampers in the hut had gone before getting going and walked back out along the valley. There was a light breeze, which was a very welcome change from the day before. It was still very hot, so when we got down to the river again we cooled off with a swim and relaxed on the river bank eating lunch. Until the sandflies annoyed us enough to start moving again.

Carolyn braving the rather cold water!

It was a great weekend. Weather was almost perfect (just a little too warm). The company was great and it was nice to escape Wellington for a few days. Thanks girls.

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