For this year’s traditional ANZAC weekend tramping trip, we got off the beaten path and headed for the Ruahines. To catch better weather we shifted the start of the trip back by a day – which proved to be a wise decision.
The plan was to park the car on Kashmir Rd, walk to Longview Hut the first day, walk along the Otumore and Daphne ridges to Howletts Hut the second day, and walk via Daphne Hut back to Kashmir Rd the third day.
We parked at the Daphne trailhead, walked to the end of the road, and had our lunch. The clouds were obscuring the tops, but appeared to be lifting, suggesting we’d have some views from the hut.
The shoes quickly came off. Mud’s a bonus pleasure when tramping barefoot!
Steep climb, but entirely on the ridgetops, with mist flowing around and clearing from time to time to show dramatic panoramas.
Longview Hut was visible from some distance away. The tussock on the tops glowed in the afternoon light.
It only took a couple of hours to walk to Longview Hut, we arrived by around mid-afternoon with plenty of time to rest and watch the light fade. A couple had arrived beforehand and lit the fire so it was warm and comfortable. He was American and she British. Another couple arrived not long after – she Dutch and he French. The Dutch tramper had some interesting tales about walking the South Island portion of the Te Araroa Walkway. She was currently doing the oddest post-graduate study – tagging kiwi to track the ticks that live on them! (?!)
The massive full moon rising that evening must have angered the weather gods – because all night the hut was battered by ferocious northerlies. The noise and shaking was awesome.