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Heels 1974

Mt. Reeves (Or The Trip That Didn't Pike)

page 37

Mt. Reeves (Or The Trip That Didn't Pike)

Well this trip went. Everything went as planned. No pikes, no deviations - despite all efforts and advice to the contrary.

Even the July weather couldn't hold our brave party up. Five keen members all managed to catch the train at Wellington undaunted by the rain, wind and cold. Flooding in the Wairarapa, water-covered roads, a bank to bank Waiohine river and even an hour long walk along the part of the road into Wall's Whare that the taxidriver couldn't face, was not enough to precipitate a pike.

Once we got to Wall's Whare (a whole hut all to ourselves) it became increasingly apparent, however,that various elements in the party would not only enjoy a good pike but they were half-expecting it. Perhaps they hadn't heard that even though this was the second attempt at this particular tramp under the same leader, he had been completely justified in staying the weekend at Wall's Whare on the last attempt because the weather had apparently been "the worst since Wahine Day".

Anyway, a few hours, a couple of bottles and cans and one performance of Schuman later,we hit pit.

The next morning we finally left about 10.30 a.m. despite the subersive efforts on the part of a certain Pom who wished to remain in his warm pit, not realising the steely determination of our leader. Another member of the party had left vital cooking equipment (primus) behind and had very little food of his own but this wasn't going to deter the rest of us.

So the tramp went and we somehow made it safely to the top of Mt Reeves where the weather wasn't as cold or windy as expected. We got a fantastic view of the Tops pointed out and identified to us by the Experts, and, in the other direction the Wairarapa was spread out for our inspection.

Tutuwai was empty on arrival and remained our own for Saturday night - weather no good for anyone except us. Very wet wood and no axe made a fire difficult but Trev made a fantastic job (who needs a primus anyway?) and we finally got tea cooked and refreshes made.

Sunday morning, we managed to improve on our starting time - 11.30 a.m. this time, after spending several hours in pit consuming cold breakfasts and playing cards. Our leader finally managed to get up sometime after the rest of us and, I suspect, only because Sunday was the day we were expected back. If we'd had any more time,a pike would have been declared right then - but no! nothing marred our unblemished record. The trip continued over the swing bridge and struggled over to the site of Allaway Dickson via a virtually non-existant track and thence to Tauherinikau. It rained despite reassurances and earlier rain turned tramping into wading for some distances along the flats. Other members of the party had difficulty with thigh-deep mud and in crossing the creeks without falling into too many. However, most of us managed to avoid these obstacles successfully. And so we arrived at Tauherenikau. Then Smith's Creek, the Puffer and out to Kaitoke and the waiting taxi.

Those who successfully achieved the distance from Wall's Whare to Kaitoke via Mt Reeves were Ken Taylor, Trev Read, Bill Foster, Bronwyn Lumsden and

Prue Pullar