Dorset Ridge Hut

Way cool a trip with a fellow walker, Carl, who can. We set off with a single aim of getting to Dorset ridge hut and having a beer or two and some whisky and then getting back in a weekend. And we did.

The whisky for Dorset Ridge Hut is a whisky that needs to be taken for a walk in the hills to be enjoyed. At home in the city it was too sweet and heavy with sherry. At Dorset this whisky became awesome Bunnahabhain 'Signatory' 2001 58.1%

Friday 28/10/2011
Left much later than the planned lunchtime, it was more like sometime after 4.00pm. Eventually we where at the Holdsworth car park and we headed off to Jumbo hut. The millipedes where out in force, from Aitwhakatu to Jumbo; you could see them almost every step of the way. Perfect conditions for them, damp and a bit claggy.
And there was a snail out, photoed by Carl.
We got there before midnight and as there where others already there in their sleeping bags we sat on the verandah and looked at the distant city lights whilst drinking our beer and whisky.

Saturday 29/10/2011
It was a nine hour day from Jumbo Hut to Dorset Ridge hut with interesting travel over the Broken Axe Pinnacles and the ridge we went down to get into Dorset Creek. We tried to go a way that would not be common, even so we found some tape markers in the forest on the ridge we went down. We still had a great time bush bashing and climbing thru tree fall and sliding down steep near bluff sections.
The route we did on Saturday from Jumbo Hut to Dorset Ridge Hut:
Its all a normal well traveled wander to the broken axe's, usually some good views today just clag and shapes.
The clag cleared a bit as we got to the north side of the Kings, just when we started down the ridge to Dorset creek.
The wander thru the bush before the creek was very easy going except for the last few hundred meters. Good slip sliding bush bashing but made easy with the fine weather. The creek is a steep rocky slippery place, not deep and this weekend was easy to travel. Our last trip here was with deep cold swift water from snow melt.
The "track not maintained" up to Dorset was overgrown still easy to follow as it is marked with an assortment of tags and it is mostly on the top of a narrow ridge.
Eventually the hut comes into view, it is a good exercise ridge, gives a good pump out.
Once we where at the hut we got together firewood, made very difficult due to the axe being broken, finally got enough chunks to warm us and dry our gear out. As we had the hut to ourselves we turned it into a comfortable lounge room.

Sunday 30/10/2011
The going home day and we set an alarm for 7:00 am because we decided on a long walk out. So we got out of bed at 10:30, because sleeping was good. Had a bit of a tidy up, and found a perfect axe in the hut. Had coffee and food and finally headed away after 12:pm. What's with the Tui can built into the long drop?
As we headed away got a view of the hut with the Broken Axe Pinnacles in the background.
Took our time and had lots of stops for views as we left Dorset Ridge Hut and wandered up onto the Dorest Ridge and then up Girdlestone. Carl heading up the Pinnacles onto Girdlestone.
Looking into South Mitre Stream.
View looking North to Girdlestone from near the top of South King.
View of the Broken Axe Pinnacles as we head down toward Baldy on our way back to the car.
From here it was approx 3 hours out to the car. We had no rain while we walked and the wind hardly ruffled us. Another great wander in the Tararuas.

Travel Times
2011 Left Holdsworth car park.
2151 Aitiwhakatu hut.
2158 Left Aitiwhakatu hut.
2334 Jumbo Hut

1000 Left Jumbo Hut.
1022 Holdsworth turnoff.
1128 McGregor Biv turnoff.
1326 South King
1426 Mid King Biv sign.
1533 Taking ridge North of North King down to Dorset Creek.
1705 In the creek of Dorset.
1851 At Dorset Ridge Hut.

1222 Left Dorset Ridge Hut
1300 At Dorset Ridge Hut sign.
1408 On the main range.
1429 Girdlestone.
1645 Mid King Biv sign.
1709 South King.
1813 Bush entry off Baldy, stopped for a meal.
1838 Off again.
1916 Saddle.
1926 OVer the swing bridge.
2005 Aitiwhakatu hut.
2134 At Holdsworth Road end.

Map of the Walk
For this area we walked; maps NZTop50 BN33, BN34, BP33, and BP34 are needed.


Robert said...

I enjoy reading your trip reports its helps me get through my day at work. The last few posts you have made I can only view the 1st page. I just did High Ridge the other day and plan to go to Dorset sometime over the summer.
Thanks for taking the time to write your your trips

Trippy Tramping said...

Updated the last two posts now. Had been behind with updates. Thanks.