Eastern Ruahines with Carl

Picked Carl up from the airport and then went home and we got our gear ready and did a super market visit for the food and beer. Trip aim is the Sawtooth Ridge in the Ruahines. Left Wellington at five thirty and where happy that the traffic was smooth flowing. We stopped in Upper Hutt for fuel and as there was a bottle store next door we also grabbed a few miniatures of whisky and whiskey. At Masterton stopped and got pizza and chips, not such a good idea as later when we where walking up the hill to Longview it felt like a stomach full of cardboard and cement. Best whisky of the trip was Johnnie Walker Red? Very strange that a blend that makes me think of petrol would be so delicious; must be the setting.

Thursday 16/10/2014
After Norsewood Carl navigated us to the end of Kashmir road, where we had to use a GPS a few times to ensure we took the right road. As towards the end there where a few more roads than shown on the map, forestry stuff, and in the dark it was tricky deciding on the right road. Signs like this helped us know that we where in the right forest. If it was a bit smaller it would be fun to throw it in the car and swap it for a sign in the Tararua Forest park.
Ruahine Forest Park
Parked up and packs on backs we headed off uphill in a bit of a chill wind, within five minutes of heading up we where down to one layer. About an hour later it flattened out and we saw this sign.
Longview sign, good planks.
Five minutes later we where at Longview hut, a most luxurious hut with a gas heater and no problem getting Internet via Spark. Good views, food and beer.
Longview Hut in the dark
Friday 17/10/2014
A relaxed start to a very fine day of open tops travel from Longview to Howletts hut.
Longview Hut
Left the hut for an easy traverse to Pohangina Saddle then a gain of 300 meters to Otumore with views in every direction. Didnt splish splash splosh the sun cream and it wasnt till later realised got a bit burnt.
Looking North
One of the South branches of Tukituki
North along the Ruahines
Looking East
Heading mostly North with a bit of a dog leg, down and up to Taumatataua, then North East to Howletts hut along Daphne Ridge. Great hut this one, excellent work by Heretaunga  Tramping club; pity about the excessive do this do that stuff. If people are going to do stuff like leave a hut clean and tidy they will without signs; and the people who leave a mess, burn all the firewood, they ain't going to change their behavior by a reading a sign. A White and Mackay sign would make more sense; and wouldn't it be nice if club huts had mini bars. Just a little mini bar with a small selection of Scottish single malts. Wouldn't have to be much, fifteen year old's would be good, a Springbank, Highland Park, Glendronach, and a few Islay's.
Howletts Hut
My last visit to this hut in 1993 was also to do the Sawtooth ridge, never yet done it as I have always hit bad weather or deep soft snow. Probably do this same tramp again in a few months. And this is another good hut for Internet access via Spark.

Saturday 18/10/2014
Interior of Howletts hut.
 Rain. Wind. No visibility. Complex decision tree to navigate made easier by internet access and getting latest weather data. However the predicted weather conditions of clearing, where only just predictions as the weather never did clear. This is the view before we left Howletts.
Morning view from Howletts
We dropped down to Daphne Hut thru the forest and saw one living cedar tree.
Tops, before heading down to Daphne
More tops
Forest trail
Crossing stream to Daphne
Daphne Hut
After a snack, we headed off to Tarn Biv and hoping for clear weather by the time we got there so we could sawtooth.
Out of the bush... somewhere

Inaccurate sign, was 20 minutes to Biv

Tarn Biv
Carl reading Tarn Biv hut book
We just got to Tarn biv and it pissed down, so much for the forcast predication of clearing. Tarn biv is a comfortable biv with its two chairs, we where able to sit in comfort and have hot drinks.

Sunday 19/10/2014
A day of constant drizzle, heavy rain, and minor wind. Out down the river and then up the ridge and along almost to Longview and down to the car.
Tukituki downstream from Daphne
Tukituki downstream from Daphne
Tukituki downstream from Daphne
Tukituki downstream from Daphne
Out of the Tukituki
Junction just before the open tops
The walk across the tops was in rain and poor visibility, not too cold. Had me compass out just in case. Overall it was three and a half hours to the car. We skipped the Awatere hut visit as we wanted to get onto more substantial roads and not get stuck.

Trip Times
2245 Left car at Kashmir Road end
0003 Longview Hut
1234 Left Longview Hut
1638 Howletts Hut
0859 Left Howletts Hut
0950 Daphne Hut
1056 Left Daphne Hut for Tarn Biv
1257 Tarn Biv
1350 Left Tarn Biv
1518 Daphne Hut
1114 Left Daphne Hut
1146 Out of the river
1307 Junction
1442 At car Kashmir Road end


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Of the four huts we visited only one contained density. At the end of our trip all four where density free. Have enough of these wee books that I'm now due a trip to return them to the bible Society in Wellington. Density removal from Nelson Lakes National Park, Mount Richmond Forest Park, Tararua Forest Park, and Ruahine Forest Park.

Roaring Stag Lodge

Paul and I on Friday evening drove to Putara road for a walk into Roaring Stag Lodge or Hut? We stopped in Carterton for Cafe Istanbul and saw Jessie there with a tramping club group who where heading in the same general direction. Also new a VUWTC trip was also heading there.

03/10/2014 Friday
A walk in the dark to Roaring Stag and quite a bit of rain on the way in, wet. Fire, beer, dram, and sleep, no one else here. Mackinlay was the malt.

04/10/2014 Saturday
Went for a walk upstream for a bit to get a photo of the hut.
Then up the hill to check on Cattle Ridge Hut, saw a deer about ten minutes after crossing the river. Got to Cattle Ridge hut during a good hail down and it was even snowing a bit. No sign of the hut being improved or demolished.
Cattle Ridge Hut
Small tarn near the hut
Back to Roaring Stag hut and it was full, about sixteen people there for the night; including Tariga with the VUWTC. A warm hut and a relaxed evening with a few drams, after cooking my meal outside due to a full hut.

05/10/2014 Sunday
Nice sunny day for an easy walk out. Spent a few hours relaxing in the sunny spots along the river.
Lunch stop on the way out
More creek
Roaring Stag Lodge or Roaring Stag Hut

The sign on the hut says Roaring Stag Lodge, the latest map says Roaring Stag Hut, so I have decided to have a dig and see if the original (Roaring Stag Lodge built 1961) was Lodge and the new became hut.  One of the first checks I made was to the official DOC site where its called Roaring Stag Hut, however the reference map uses Roaring Stag Lodge. Looked through a collection of Tararua maps and noted the following are the names on each of them:
  • 1972 Edition 6 Tararua Mountain System - Roaring Stag Lodge
  • 1978 Edition 2 NZMS 274 Tararura Forest Park - Roaring Stag Lodge
  • 1984 Edition 1 NZMS 260 Sheet 25 Levin - Roaring Stag Lodge
  • 1988 Edition 5 Parkmap Tararua Infomap 274-02 - Roaring Stag Lodge
  • 2006 Edition 3 Terralink Tararua Recreation Area - Roaring Stag Lodge
  • 2009 Edition 1 NZ Topo50 BN34 Shannon - Roaring Stag Hut
When did the hut get replaced? Was it 2005? More digging required.
Roaring Stag Lodge or Hut?
Trip Times
2020 Left car at Putara Road end
2231 Roaring Stag hut
1122 Left Roaring Stag hut
1238 At the Herapai junction
1420 At Putara Road end


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There was one in Cattle Ridge hut, put there 15/09/2013, previously it had been in South Ohau hut 02/02/2013. I passed thru South Ohau 10/02/2013 and did a density recovery, looks like this is one that I previously returned. I wonder where I see it next.