Mackintosh Hut & Loop track

Mackintosh – Lakes Carpark loop

Eight trampers were not deterred by 7 o’clock start on a frosty morning, Having arrived at Mackintosh carpark, despite numb toes from the cold truck, 3 of us set off to do the loop track in 5 degrees temperature. We soon warmed up heading down to the Tutaekuri and shed clothes for the 300 metre climb up.  By the time we were at Mackintosh we were able to sit in the porch and enjoy 16 degrees temp and have a bite to eat.

After reaching the Studholme Hut turn off the track proceeds to sidle around to Rogue Ridge. The track was greasy in parts so we needed to watch our footing at times. It also dropped down into a couple of deep gullies and then climbed out of them. One of the streams provided a nice spot to have lunch nearby.

We had some confusion when we came to junction of the track heading directly to Rogue Ridge. This however had branches laid across blocking the track and the orange markers directing up the track to Cooks Basin, I thought there must be a deliberate deviation because of a problem with the track but after a while it became clear things were not quite right. Back down to the junction we  then headed down the correct track which interestingly had no markers. It was straight forward after this. A good lesson that you need maps even on  apparent straight forward tracks.

When we arrived at the Lakes car park the truck wasn’t there yet  so we headed off to the Mackintosh  car park with Jude bounding  along the road as if there  was a race and Stu on his first trip intent on doing more trips. All together 5 and half  hours  tramping.

Return Trip to Mackintosh Hut

We, in the B party, set off at 8.50 a.m. It is a steep climb down (200 metres – about 850 feet) to the river. The track is well formed which leads through pines into native forest and down to the Tutaekuri River. A single span metal bridge, with a hand rail on the down river side, crosses picturesque rapids. On the true left of the river the track, including a shingle scree, sidles along the river with a gentler climb for about 1 km; before continuing to climb steadily for another ∙5km to 820 metres. The remaining 1∙5km to the hut is across a plateau. Unfortunately there are many wilding pines establishing along the track which we did our best to pull out (both on the trip in and out).

Although there was snow on the Kaweka Range it was not low enough to be on the track or at the hut. (Yet there were remanents of frost to crunch through). We made it to the hut by 11.30 a.m., where we decided to have an early lunch.

Mackintosh Hut is in a lovely setting; well positioned for the sun with a wide covered verandah. There was evidence of someone staying in the hut and soon after our arrival the occupant arrived; he was a hunter who had come in from Taihape. We spent a very pleasant hour relaxing at the hut and chatting with the hunter. It would have been tempting to stay longer but we were aware that we had to get back to the truck to go and collect the A party.

At the foot bridge it was necessary for me to fight a duel with Peter; walking poles were the choice of weapon. Thankfully it is a very stable bridge.

The climb up from the bridge back to the truck gets less daunting with each tramp I make. It is still one foot after the other to the top some 45 minutes later. Okay there were a couple of scenery stops on the way.

On arriving back at the truck it was to find the A party waiting for us. After a hot drink we returned to Havelock North.

Party: Colin J, Stu P, Jude H, Glenda H, Peter B, Christine S, Alan P, Anne D

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