Friday 27/12/2013
This a cruise to sort some access to some ridges this way and that way and never sure of which way as the wx was not in tune with the requirements of my journey. Heading that way that gets me there and the stones and trees give me the desire to complete some journey.
Got there to that Fishtail hut that evening with some visibility to the horizon available.
To the hut to the shelter and then there is the Smokehead to know that the shelter is gained.
Saturday 28/12/2013
It stormed it rained it clouded and eventually the next evening it cleared just for a short time. This is what we seen when it cleared looking the way that we came. So off the other way.
Heading up to the ridge line to a view of the other side and an ability to make a phone call.
The boiling cloud view pre whisky time.
And then back to the hut with blue sky vapor feeding frenzy prior to the rain.

Sunday 29/12/2013
A home wandering day after hours of reading and watching for the weather to change. Stones collected white colored there they lay.
And on down...
Tripping Times
27/12/2013 Friday
1536 Left the car park
1600 At Pine Valley Hut
1619 In the river before the up and up
1849 At Fish Tail Hut
28/12/2013 Saturday
Done nothing this day except for some top wandering when the rain lifted...
29/12/2013 Sunday
1639 Left the hut at move fast speed for car in the valley
1808 At the river crossing. Nothing.
1829 The hut
1859 At my car in the car park. Vroom.

Map of Fishtail

Kime Elder Renata Loop

Friday 6/12/2013
Got a half day off and used the afternoon to drive to Otaki to visit Mum and Dad and then to Otaki Forks car park. Left the car park just before five and by the time I got to Tirotiro Knob cloud was hugging the trees. Stopped at Field for a meal and a density check.
Field Hut
Left Field still in single layer as quite warm, passed a few fellow trampers just before getting onto Table Top. On Table Top with wind increasing and some semi horizontal rain, had to add the coat layer. Got to empty Kime hut before nine, never needed to use a torch. The wind and rain increased over the next few hours. Safe in the shelter of Kime relaxed with a dram and ebook. With the cell coverage here got an updated weather report and it looked good for Saturday afternoon. So loved the weekends whisky that the entire bottle is now empty. The best bottles of whisky always look like this.
Springbank 15 years old
There is something magical about fifteen years of age, Springbank rocks, Glendronach rocks, Highland Park does too, Laphroig did when they did a fifteen. My view is that a whisky starts to come into being as a very spiritual dram at this age or later; anything earlier and its just an excessive taste.

Saturday 7/12/2013
Expecting this to be a big day and difficult in the projected storm, or even a pass. Want to head up and over Field Peak, Mt Hector, The Beehives, Atkinson, Dress Circle, Aston, and then head West to Elder hut.

Up early to heavy wind and rain coming and going, decided to sleep until eleven and then make a decision whether to go over the tops and down to Elder. Off after twelve to get to at least Hector and if getting thrown around I would abandon.
So far to Hector it had not been too bad, worst wind was on the top. So decided to continue and then it just steadily got worse, skin battering horizontal rain and wind that had me crawling over the exposed steep bits. Especially between the Beehives and Aitkinson. Really looked forward to getting into the bush on way to Elder. The wind on cone looked like this, ment steadily more gusty but I beat the worst and was at Elder before it got real fast.
Cone Ridge Wind Info

Elder Hut
After a relax from the wind and rain at Elder (and a density removal) on down to Renata hut to sleep Saturday night, never stayed a night there yet. As I have visited all the huts in the Tararua's bar one (Eastern Hutt emergency hut), and I have slept in them all except Renata, North Mangahoa Biv, and of course the Eastern Hutt one.
Renata Hut
Renata Hut
Renata Hut
Six others already there, still a comfy night as there was more mattress than bunk space and I slept on the floor. Before sleep had a dram of the delicious Springbank 15 year old.

Sunday 8/12/2013
Headed back to Otaki Forks via Waiotauru track. Very fast and easy travel as its a four wheel drive track all the way to the hut. Looks like its been a dumping ground for stolen vehicles.

What a dive this hut is, rubbish every where, and no fire box any more! Brushed the rat shit off the table and sat down for a cup of tea and crackers.
Waiotauru Hut
I wonder about my shoes, they seem to have done well, even though the side stitching failed a few months ago. It seems a little bit scarey that in the last few years a pair of shoes for tramping only lasts six months to a year and or approx 500 to 800 kilometers before being really worn out.

In 2010 I had a pair that had lasted me almost eight years. The first six years probably only did a few hundred kilometers per year. 2009 and 2010 I did forty weekend trips with them before they where no longer useful.

The old machinary.
Something steam
Some more steam
Even more something steam
Trip Times
Friday 06/12/2013
1642 Left Otaki Forks carpark
1804 Point 1km from Fields hut
1837 At an empty Fields hut
1908 Left Fields hut
2038 At Kime hut
Saturday 07/12/2013
1251 Left Kime hut
1326 On Hector
1457 Entered the bush on way to Elder
1545 At Elder
1626 Left Elder
1853 At Renata
Sunday 08/12/2013
0902 Left Renata
1001 Car wreck corner
1052 Waitauru hut
1155 Left Waitauru hut
1212 Into the river
1255 Swing  bridge
1417 The field of anchient steam based machinery
1440 Picnic area
1504 Back at the car

Google Earth View of Walk
Otaki Forks - Kime Elder Loop
Density Removal Notice
Field and Elder hut are currently density free.