Monday, 7 April 2014

Roaring Stag Lodge - 22nd-23rd January

ON Wednesday morning we headed out to the Putara roadend, starting at some time after 11:30. By 11:50 we were at the 1st swing bridge. The first part of the trip follows the same track as when we went to Herepai. It's a fairly pleasant track along the true left of the Mangatainoka river, with a fairly unique densely forested river valley atmosphere.

Although the weather was crap, the misty rain did make for some groovy scenery and gives this track a fascinating atmosphere.

We arrived at the 2nd swing bridge after about 40 minutes, where we had a quick food & filming break.

This time around, the vigorous climb up to the track junction was much easier, and felt like it took way less time than last time we'd done it.
 In fact, we left the junction at about 2:25 pm, which made our time so far about 2hours 45 mins including breaks and photography - much quicker than when we went to Herepai.
Track Junction!

Turning left at the junction, the track follows the ridge and drops down , and emerges behind the hut. The part of the track closest to the Ruamahanga River follows a stream for a while, and also crosses a few unbridged others, but nothing particularly large. The track was often boggy in places, and had one or two random water-filled holes.

We experienced bermuda triangle-like effect for this section of the tramp - with freshly charged GPS batteries giving up the ghost and my camera refusing to function (the latter is probably due to moisture in the camera body). This meant no photo's, and faking some Vaguely Dangerous Wilderness scenes the next day (if you watch closely in the video, Cody's clothes change part way through 'day one').

We reached the hut roughly 4 hours after we started. We promptly put on dry clothes, hung up the damp ones, and got the fire going.
Roaring Stag Lodge (why is it called a lodge? Seriously, why?), is a tidy and relatively new 10 bunk, standard-class hut. It was built in 2005, and it's design was repeated in the new Atiwhakatu Hut built in 2009 (although Atiwhakatu has now been significantly extended).
The hunters who frequent this hut have a large supply of frying pans and pots stored there.
The hut is situated on a terrace above the Ruamahanga river, and a nearby swingbridge crosses the river, heading towards Cattle Ridge.

The next day, we set after a very cruisey morning just after 11am. The time for the return trip was extended due to all the filming we did.
Also the weather was better. Woo. This made the day much more enjoyable.

Climbing back up the ridge to the track junction wasn't overly taxing, and the fantastic weather had us in high spirits.
Ruamahanga River

A Stream


 We reached the roadend at about 4pm. All in all, a great little overnight tramp.

This trip was the subject of the 2nd episode of Vaguely Dangerous Wilderness. Check it out here:


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