Waiopehu Hut Loop with Dad (and my cousin Tim)

Tim and I at the start of the climb.

This was the first time I’m writing about a tramp with my cousin Tim.

The beginning started off like most of my winter tramps, by going to hockey, sadly we lost the game. This tramp was quite different from most of our tramps because I wasn’t going with just Dad. It was so cool because we brought my uncle and aunty, Reuben and Sarah as well as Tim. It was cool to have someone my age, so we could talk to each other.

Climbing over a mossy log.
Seeing signs, it took us an hour to get to this spot.

We got to the car park at 12:00. My dad said that we would get to the snow in 5 hours. Tim and I were so excited about the snow. We started the tramp on a farm. It took us 15 minutes to cross the farm. The way up was the easiest walk we have gone on in the Tararua’s. The walk up was so slow, slower than my dad. On the way up we passed a few signs, all of a sudden Sarah said I’ve lost my watch. Reuben and my dad went to see if they could find the watch. That drained 20 minutes of our time, thankfully they found it, and we didn’t have to go look for it in the morning. Then we saw the most beautiful sunset. The trees were golden. The sun dropped out of our sight so we put on our head torches for about 30 minutes. I started to get scared in the dark because the trees made shadows but luckily it didn’t last long. Dad and I went ahead about 50 meters in front of the others. We finally saw the hut, then I saw a possum on the railing on the far side of us. It looked cool, but it isn’t cool because possums eat native bush and native bird eggs.

Uncle Reuben and Tim on the climb.
The glistening light.
Starlight above the Waiopehu Hut.

We went into the hut and saw there were seven people in the hut. There were two kitchen benches and this hut was made in 2002 and slept 18. For dinner we had rice risotto with mushrooms, afterwards, dad made butterscotch pudding, but I had creamed rice, it’s delicious. Then I found the Macintosh Toffee liquorice flavour in my dad’s red shopping bag. We brushed our teeth and went to bed. When I woke up, I ate granola, and then Tim and I played some P’s and A’s while we waited for the others to come.

Just eating.
Waiopehu Hut as we left.

Then we started to head off, we saw so much snow outside. Also, the view from the long drop is amazing. The trees just beyond the hut are beautiful, the sunrise illuminated the thick moss. The track is pretty easy with a few hard parts. When we passed the bush line there was our first sight of ice. I told Tim about these ice crystals that I used to look for in Canada, soon after we found them In a cluster. The icicles were delicate and shaped like a curling snake. Tim and I started ice skating with our boots once we got above the clouds. My dad said we headed for the second peak, after we got to the first peak we started going down to the saddle it had a lot of slippery parts. We saw a grave, the name on the cross was Ralph Wood. We climbed up to the second peak and my Dad slipped over. We saw the trig and stopped there for a rest.

The long drop.
The misty cave.

I call this a mossmare.

While we were up at the trig the mountains looked like islands, because the clouds wrapped around the mountain like a tie, so you could only see the tops, it was an incredible sight. Then we started heading down the mountain. Tim and I saw a colossal slip and hoped we didn’t have to go back down that way, luckily we didn’t have to. You couldn’t see much of the slip, it feels like it’s going to corrode any second. The sun was getting higher. When we got to the bush line Tim and I blasted ahead of everyone, once we got tired, we stopped and had sweets then ran again. We stopped and waited for the others, once they caught up we walked for an hour, until we reached the last track sign.

Uncle Reuben, Aunty Sarah, me and Tim.
Looking at Twin Peak, we have to climb that.
The Ralph Wood Memorial Cross with the Twin Peak trig in the background.

When we saw the old hut site we were about 45 minutes away from ending the tramp. We started the walk back to the car but we had a slight problem, there was a slip, we had to climb over the top of it. It was a hard journey over there. There was only a small rope for us kids. It was pretty easy for us but our parents nearly died coming down. We got worried about our parents, like if one of them died what would we do then? We all made it over the slip. We got to the farmland and after us came my dad, Reuben and Sarah, we all went across the farm and got to the narrow road with the car.

Tim and I dropping into the clouds.

Looking back at Waiopehu Hut.
The walk down was very boggy.
When Uncle Reuben saw the last sign he started running.


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