Cattle Ridge Hut Trip 4th & 5th November 2017
Attendees: Jason, Angela and Ben
Waking up on the Saturday morning revealed low cloud on my side (western) of the tarries. On the way over the Pahiatua track there was no rain just the low cloud pea soup, so that was a good sign for things to come. I met Jason and Angela in Eketahuna where I ditched my vehicle and hitched a ride with them to the Putara road end. We hit the track around 0815 and arrived at the track junction atop of the first climb of the day around 0945. After an hour and a bit of plodding, watching and talking we were having a brew and lunch at roaring stag hut. Once lunch was had we heaved on our packs and bounded over the Ruamahunga River swing bridge, we ditched our packs soon after and checked out the campsite which the club has frequently used over the years. Once we had reminisced about past wilderness weekends spent there we started the inevitable climb up 1 of the steepest tracks in the Tararuas towards Cattle Ridge hut. After some steady climbing we had a scroggin stop at the bush line where we were rewarded with some awesome views of the Wairarapa and the blue range. Jason took a clear photo of the Blue range hut from a distance of around 5 kms on full zoom which turned out quite clear from such a distance away. More climbing in the sub alpine and over the last hurdle Cattle Ridge hut had come into view. By now the wind had picked up considerably so was a relief when the packs were taken off in the new porch area of the hut. Arrival time to the hut was 1515. Once unpacked and a brew was being consumed the rain started to fall horizontally, our arrival could not have been timed better. Cheese and crackers and the good ol’ “de-hi” were had and soon we had retired to the pits. The wind was certainly on form overnight with the hut shaking and shivering.
A late breakfast and pack up saw us shutting the door of the recently refurbished hut at 0845 and we were arriving at Roaring Stag an hour later where we met up with a few groups of trampers that had stayed overnight. 18 in total had stayed in Roaring stag that night. Makes the climb up to Cattle Ridge all the more worth it when we had the hut to ourselves. We had a group discussion about where to head from here. Up the Ridge to the junction or up the river to the hidden lake. Since it was so early it was a no brainer to head for the hidden lake. After a bit of bush bashing we were at the lake edge enjoying the scenery and tranquillity. Such a peaceful place to be.
A due east compass bearing had us heading for Ruapae stream then a short climb up to the ridge to join up with the track to the junction. Lunch was had in the sun on the track, soon after we were heading down the hill and over the 2 swing bridges finally arriving at the carpark at 1430. A good weekend weather wise (not having to break out the parkas) and a marvellous tramp had by all.