Rovers Hill – 1 April

Rovers Hill a joint production by SWTC & MTC     by Nigel Boniface

Plans for this weekend were, changeable. Vicky Brooks (SWTC) was supposed to take the trip to Rovers Hill, but she was not well, John Rhodes (SWTC & MTC) was supposed to take a MTB trip on Sunday, but was unable to get permission to go on the selected route.

So, on Saturday Barry Kempton (SWTC) led a trip to Rovers Hill (near Kiriwhakapapa), with John as navigator (he had been there before), and Nigel Boniface & Jay Just (both MTC) making sure they stayed close to the script. Trip grading was also confused, SWTC had a hard grade, MTC an Easy+, we all survived!

Early navigation instructions were simple, follow the track to Blue Range Hut until it starts to climb, then veer right and climb through the bush until we crossed a stream and got onto a ridge. As we climbed through beech and supplejack the going became easier for a while especially when we came across old bulldozed tracks and some grassy clearing.

Following a cuppa it was “lights, action” and on up the hill, a feint ground trail coming and going. Lunch was taken at the summit of Rovers Hill, not much of a view, but no wind made for a pleasant stop.

From the summit we headed to HP 810, then, following some study of the map, down through a saddle and up onto the Blue Range ridge.

It seemed to take ages to near Blue Range Hut, (lots up small ups and downs, or maybe we were just tiring), where we took various shortcuts to get to the track leading to the hut.

At the hut we met 3 guys from Palmerston staying the night. After replacing the rat baits and measuring up the door for a new catch it was time for the final act, down to the carpark which we managed in about 1.5hrs.

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