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South Wairarapa Tramping Club  –   Waiorongomai River Track

April 12, 2021 April 2021 No Comments

With the weather forecast showing high temperatures for the weekend, we thought  a river trip would be a good choice, as at least our feet would be cooled down by frequent immersions as we walked across, upstream, and downstream in the water.

16 of us, including 4 potential new members, and one not-quite toddler, started up the river from the carpark at 9.15. Our two youngest club members  had consulted 16 month old Freddy, and as he was apparently keen to go, Freddy’s father carried him in a back pack, being extra careful not to slip on slimy rocks during river crossings.

It was quite a few years since any of us had done the tramp, and while we had been warned about slippery rocks, we didn’t know that slips had cut away the track in many places, and ropes had been attached to trees to help trampers get over the very steep tricky bits. 

Ropes assisting us to descend to the river, or ascend out of it, were quite manageable. The longer rope, helping trampers up a very steep bank high above the river, followed by a narrow sidle, was a bit more taxing. As the leaders of the tramp we became rather apprehensive in case anyone was unable to manage the rope ascent, but everyone coped really well. One member  was very quick to assist people, pointing out hand and foot holds, taking walking poles and handing them on up later, and generally holding out a helping hand.

The bush compensated for the difficulties, nice and cool, nikau palms gleaming in the sunlight, and fantails flitting about. It was certainly a relief to get out of the riverbed and out of the sun.

About midday Freddy was complaining a bit, so we decided we had come far enough, even though we hadn’t reached the hut, so we stopped for lunch, and then turned back.

It was a satisfying tramp: all ropes were negotiated safely, Freddy’s Dad never stumbled and dropped him, only 1 person slipped in the river and got fully wet, and some members said that the ropes  had been the best parts of the tramp! We were back at the cars by about 3.15.

SWTC welcomes new members! Phone or email Ed and Juliet Cooke, 304 9497, efjac@xtra.co.nz, if you are interested. See our Facebook page and website.

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