As 11 people stepped out of the truck and set off to Masters shelter the cold wind became evident in the exposed paddocks. However, the shelter of the bush and the steady climb up Golden Crown spur soon heated every one up. The early scrubby bush eventually led us into the beech forest with patches of past storm damage. After 90 mins morning tea break was deemed necessary.
Pete brought out enough food that looked like he was staying the night. The climb eased off as we approached the ridge. By this time we had snow underfoot. Graeme had led a nice steady pace up the hill so 8 people still had the energy to carry on towards Parks Peak . Maybe they just didn’t want to experience going back down the same track (they didn’t know what the Sentry Box track was like).The remaining 3 came a bit later then went back down to collect the truck.
The track gently undulated along the ridge with a carpet of snow covering the track most of the way. The wind was strong but the foliage protected us all the way. Not far before the Te Aranga junction we stopped for lunch at the headwaters of Apias creek which was nicely sheltered from the wind. Further on a few people side tracked up to Pohatuhaha peak clinging onto the trig for photo shoots as the wind gusted up to 107km/hr.
The trip down to Sentry Box involved slipping and sliding down the snow covered track testing ones knees. Graeme was not going to be bent by this terrain but his pole didn’t fare up so well, Kellie strolled down as if we hadn’t even started the tramp. Pete still had plenty of food left over. We arrived at road end after five and a half hours tramping not long before Lex brought the truck around.
Party: Colin J, Jude H, Kellie M, Pete A, Brent H, Kim M, Daniel H,, Graeme H, Lex S, Anne D & Glenda H