Kiwi Saddle Hut

15 – 16 April

Easter 2022 weekend had arrived and HTC had a trip planned to it’s club hut, Kiwi Saddle in the Southern Kaweka’s. However, there was only two able to make it for a brief overnight trip.  Simon W. and Tom L.  Tom, a new energetic & younger prospective member was coming out on his second club trip.  For both of us, it was new territory and with the possibility of the weather getting worse from Saturday onwards, we limited our stay and put on hold venturing further to Kiwi Mouth hut.  

Departing 7:30am, Friday 15th April in a private car, we drove to the Kaweka Lakes carpark off the Napier – Taihape road.  It was cool start, but warmed up with clear sky’s.  A steady climb up and around Kuripapango peak and along the Smith – Russell ridge track. Along the way there great views back down into the Ngaruroro river around the Kuripapango camping area.  

Along the way the ridge track eventually comes out of the bush above steep slopes that one has to sidle along. This is a great vantage point for further views to the west on a fine day. Today Mount Ruapehu was displaying a cloud of steam and the top of Mount Ngāuruhoe was visible. Both had little snow.  On past the junction of the track that can lead to Cameron Hut and Kiwi Mouth hut and down the ridge to Kiwi Saddle.  But where’s the hut ?  The huts not evident until one is right down at the bush surrounding it.  

There was time for a bit of R and R in the warm sun for a few hours.  A check was made of the toilet, which was needing to be shifted in the near future. The wood bin bin restocked, gutters checked, a check of the log book and hut contents  As it turned out we were the only occupants that night.  But a woman and her teenage son, stopped briefly at the hut having done a long circuitous day tramp from Kaweka Lakes carpark up over the ‘The Tits” and Kaiarahi and were heading back to the  Lakes carpark via Kiwi Saddle.  This may have provided a contact for future tramps for Tom with someone of similar age. 

Returning the next day, retracing our steps in, the day was slightly cooler with high cloud approaching.  But there was more activity on the track. A hunter and dog heading back out, a party of about 12 from the North Shore tramping club n Auckland  and another lone HTC member from Tauranga, heading for Kiwi Saddle Hut.  Hopefully in the future we’ll be tramping on past Kiwi Saddle.  An enjoyable tramp for both of us.  

Simon W and Tom L

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