26/27 Sept 2020.
We were delivered by the club truck to the end of Kashmir road with boots on at 8am. This trip required going in at Kashmir and out at Ngamoko Road to the south. The truck group wandered off over the hill to the Awatere area as we left. They would, after lunch, relocate to the Ngamoko roadend. Smoko and a break at Longview hut then the trek south on the Longview ridge in quite windy conditions but about halfway down had the protection of the leatherwood cut track.
We got to the Makaretu hut turnoff at about 2pm and met two guys who had taken 5 hours to get there from Leon Kinvig hut. This caused concern with some as to how long it would then take us to get to Leon Kinvig hut. It was considered that they must have been very slow, left late and based on this wondered what time they may have made Longview ! I assured those concerned that we had ample time to get to Leon Kinvig hut. From this point on we checked the 100m spaced rodent traps to the Leon Kinvig drop off ridge, about 30 traps in total. I had spoken to Ben Douglas, who set up the trap line, and he left rabbit bait blocks at the Mobil Waipukurau, which I collected on our way through. Each trap was opened, rebaited and any victims evicted..in total 4 stoats [two in one trap] and a rat.
It was then on down the long spur to Leon Kinvig hut, arriving at about 4pm, realising that we had the climb back out tomorrow ! One other person was there, he markets the In Reach satellite communicator units. We looked around the river area and noted what looked like a fair climb if one went up to Toka Biv on the Ngamoko range. We did not light the fire but the hut was reeking of smoke, to the extent that my gear at home definitely smelt smoky !
Having set our timepieces to daylight saving, we got under way at the new 8am, surprisingly getting to the Apiti track turnoff in 1 ½ hours. Rain and strong winds were predicted. It did rain intermittently on the way up and the wind for the last km or so on the top was gusty to about 90k or so. We were relieved to get into the bush at the Apiti track turnoff, as it was by no means warm ! Snow was predicted that night.The map from there looks like it could be done more quickly than in reality, which was about 5 ½ hours. It was slow going, wet and greasy a lot of the time. Out to the waiting truck at about 3pm and soon on our way home.
According to Greg’s phone gps, we had travelled just on 30km so it had been a reasonably grunty trip! My estimates were about upper 20’s, he did the trip with ease, he needs his handbrake on a couple of notches ! We were all a little tired [except Greg] and felt good removing our boots. Youth is wasted on the young [Churchill?] Straight home, no goodie stops, the quite relaxed and rested B group after their strenuous weekend had no sympathy !
Thanks to all in our small group, most of whom had not been there before, a good experience was had. Many thanks for Lex for driving, the trip loop is only possible with relocated transport. JM
A party — Janice L, Robyn P, Simon W, Greg S and John M