The Cairn Trip

25 April 2024

The van left Te Aute Road at 7 am with five members and a collection of flowers and foliage.  This Anzac Day is the first time that the HTC tradition of laying a wreath on the memorial cairn on the top of Kaweka J has happened. In previous years, it was an 11 am congregation on the closest Sunday to the 11 th of November. 

The day was overcast and when we reached the Makahu Saddle carpark we heard from a party returning from the tops that it was windy up there. With this in mind, the flowers were secured to the outsides of whoever’s packs had good fastenings. We set off, passing by Makahu Saddle Hut and continuing up the incline with ease. Once above the bushline, the wind made itself known. Some of the gusts were strong and required a change in posture to crouching or otherwise bracing one’s self.

We stopped for a morning tea break at Dominie Biv where we greeted a trio (albiet one being an eight year old!) of hunters from Auckland who were staying there and they cordially accommodated us. It was then for the last stretch up to the top. Once we were in sight of the cairn, it seemed like there were a couple of people sitting there. Lo and behold, it was a new HTC member, Flynn and his buddy who “just happened” to be in the area, coming from The Lakes Carpark via the newly located Studholme Hut.!

 It was cold and blustery. The remnants of snow were still visible on the the cairn.The flowers, that remarkably had made it all the way to the top,  were placed on an old wreath. An appropriate reading was found courtesy of a phone and a good reception mast not too far away. This was read and photos were taken. We said our good byes as there was no desire to linger as the gusts were so strong and cold.

It was a unanimous decision to head back to Dominie Biv for lunch and then make a careful retreat back to the carpark. This was all in all a simple and enjoyable day.

Party: Simon W, Colin J, Judith M, Janice L, Robyn W 

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