Mid King Bivvy – November 2019

Mid King Bivvy – A meeting in the middle 1 st – 3 rd November 2019
With a stunning weekend weather forecast, Jason, Ralph and I set off on Friday evening for Jumbo Hut. This was a slight deviation to the original plan of commencing on Saturday morning and heading directly to Mid King via the Atiwhakatu Valley, Baldy and The Kings. Jason hadn’t taken
much convincing that it would be worthy of an early escape from long Spring grind on farm. So with his calves fed and a lightning dash to PaknSave, we met at the Holdsworth roadend. These rapid
supermarket visits can be a bonus to fellow Trampers with excess food purchased! Sandra and Paul were going to head into Mitre Flats and should work commitments allow, would possibly meet us at
Mid King Bivvy on Saturday night.
The track was quiet until a pair of Ruru stopped us in our tracks halfway up the Raingauge Spur track.
After their haunting calls in the dim light, they settled on a branch to observe us. It was to be a good omen for the following days. As darkness surrounded us, we continued, determinedly without headtorches until the final 10 minutes. Jason did feel it was a bonus following in the rear, with the white tip of Ralph’s tail bobbing about like a beacon.
The lights of the Wairarapa Valley twinkled as we arrived at an unoccupied Jumbo Hut. There was a cool south westerly breeze, so it was good to make a brew and get a late dinner underway.
Contrary to the belief that Dairy Farmers cannot sleep in, they can! Jason was horrified when a runner was heard approaching the door and would find him mooching in his sleeping bag drinking hot chocolate at an unmentionable time in the morning. As we got underway, the cool wind and grey skies departed. Heading towards Angle Knob there was still the occasional snow drift. We wandered on past McGregor and the Broken Axe Pinnacles. At the southern end of the BA Pinnacles there was new signage pointing around the sidle track which read “Mid King Bivvy”, at the northern end of the sidle the sign pointed south and read “Jumbo Hut”. This could lead to some confusion.
There were many snack/lunch stops as we wandered along, drinking up the stunning views east and west, listening to the skylarks, watching Falcons soaring and feeling life down on the plains peeling away, just being. The glossy Ranuncula flowers were smiling up at us. As we looked down from Mid King in the late afternoon, we could make out familiar figures. Jason determined to find Nancy Sharpe’s tunnel, we headed into the leather wood for a direct approach to the Bivvy. Not recommended unless leaders have sadistic tendencies!
A welcome brew was awaiting, and Sandra had wandered up to Mid King during the afternoon. I marvelled at Pauls highly organised, meticulous fly camp whilst I piled my dishevelled gear into teeny tent for dog and I. Previous visits to the bivvy had found it damp and cold. The Ruru was
looking after us, and we were rewarded with perfectly dry conditions not even a morning dew.
It was a 6.30am start for Sandra and Paul, heading out to the Pines via Mitre Flats. Jason and I leaving at a more leisurely hour to Holdsworth roadend via South King, Baldy and the Atiwhakatu.
You could say…we were a couple of Dairy Farmers really stretching the weekend! What better place could you do it.
Many thanks to Jason , Sandra and Paul for their good company.
Kate and Ralph

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