Well it was a good idea, and the weather forecast was good.... however it didn't quite turn out that way. Firstly we couldn't make it to the start of the track as the road was too rough and steep and bumpy. A lovely couple gave us a lift the last 4 km. Then we got to the hut and there were 21 people for a 12 bunk hut. Fortunately everyone made room and a few hardy souls slept out. Finally we got gale force winds and the hut was shaking more of the night, but in the morning everyone who set out turned back as they could barely stand up. We soon realised that our original plans to continue along an exposed ridge to the next hut were not going to happen. So we braved it with a couple of the other trampers back down the ridge. This was no mean feat - it took 15 minutes of been blown over and buddy walking along the first part of the ridge, before we got some respite down the track.... then several other sections of the ridge also required buddy walking and holding on to the mounds of grass. A few water bottles and hats fell victim to the wind.... but we made it down and gave the two guys a lift back to their cars on the other side of the Ruahines - 2 and a half hours.... otherwise they would have been stuck.
Walking up the ridge, through the tussock, rather exposed in spots
Sunset from the hut over the Hawkes Bay region
Sunrise at Longview hut - almost blown away.....
Made for an interesting weekend.... just not the one we had planned.