Sunday, 26 June 2016

Herepai... again

On the 25th July, Cody and I headed off on what is now an annual mid-winter pilgrimage up to Herepai Hut.

The unseasonably good weather was a nice change from our last visit to the Mangatainoka Valley, and so we ambled slowly along the increasingly familiar track.

 After taking an unnecessarily long amount of time to reach the second of the two swing bridges, we stopped for the ubiquitous snack break before heading up the hill to the Roaring Stag/Herepai junction.

After another quick snackage/hydration break at the track junction we hoofed it over to the hut. The large flat track along this ridge is welcome relief after the uphill that preceded it, despite the numerous soggy patches. There are a few fallen trees but the track is otherwise trouble-free.

We arrived at the hut after a lazy 3.5-4 hours to find the fire already going and the hut toasty warm thanks to a party of three trampers whose footprints we'd been following for a while (and correctly proposed were made by a man and a woman... and evidently a second man we hadn't predicted).
Since the last time we were here, DOC (presumably) have replaced the shitty old windows (which were falling apart last time we visited) with some nice new double glazed windows.

We stewed a tasty stew on top of the fire while enjoying a few games of Fluxx, as the hut approached sweltering levels of warmth. In fact, it got so hot that I spent most of the night outside of my sleeping bag.

We woke (for the final time, having woken at least a previous 4 times) just after 7am to mist hanging over the tops, gusty wind and patches of rain.

We departed just after 9am, into the dreary mist.

A few hundred metres from the hut there's a turn-off down an unofficial track that we'd also seen the previous day, with a sign that says "the bottles." The track itself seemed to be marked with blue flagging tape, although I have no idea where it goes. We plan to investigate someday.

The tracks soggy patches were a bit soggier today but it was an easy walk down to the swing bridge (stopping again for the customary track junction snack break).

After yet another cruisey walk out the valley (which is as scenic as ever), we reached the road-end after 3-3.5 hours after another nice mid-winter tramp up to Herepai.

Map & GPS track recording:
Google earth image:

Vaguely Dangerous Wilderness episode from this trip:

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