Staircase, Tabletop Circuit, 8,9 October
Only 3 members made it for this trip, a classic club trip close to home, where our club has spent many happy days in previous years.
After the cold snap in the previous few days, this weekend the weather gods turned on a fine show, with warm sunny conditions.
A variation to the usual circuit saw us go up to Tabletop on the first day encountering a few wind fallen obstruction on the way just before the Staircase Hut. A relaxing and enjoyable evening was had at the hut, with the fireplace now relatively well behaved and sending most of it’s smoke up the chimney instead of into the hut.
Next morning our ambitious plan was put into action and we started out on the normal Staircase part of the circuit, but instead of heading all the way down the ridge and back to the Mt Misery Rd carpark, we headed down a ridge starting at the big tussocky face about 30 minutes from the hut. The plan was to head down to the river from here and then find a ridge on the other side leading up to the new Kahikatea Hut and follow this up. Maurice had done all the homework needed and had plotted the desired route on his map program which he carried on his phone. It worked out exactly as planned and with small variations depending on the terrain and bush cover encountered was successfully followed and we found ourselves at the new hut for an early lunch. There was a work party busy at the hut with painting, building and logburner placing happening. After lunch the final fairly steep climb back out to the Red Hut and a previously placed vehicle was knocked off.
This trip was enjoyable and covered an area that we have long looked at and wondered about, it was great to have a closer look and we have established a very viable route from Staircase Hut to Kahikatea Hut that will no doubt be used again by others.
Thanks to Maurice and Julian for their company.