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Roaring Stag

Trip Report

Roaring Stag 26-27 March ’23.

Trip Leader – Tony Spittal

With this trip originally scheduled for 25-26 March, I was contacted by Wellington

Tramping and Mountaineering Club enquiring how many we had on the trip as they

had a planned trip for same date with 16 in their group (the hut sleeps 12). At that

stage I had no-one else who had put their names down so I advised WTMC of this

but also told them I was aware that Palmerston North Tramping Club had a club trip

planned on the same dates.

I was subsequently contacted by Conrad and as it turned out we were able to delay

the trip by one day making it a Sunday / Monday trip instead. Three of us, Conrad,

Boots the hound and myself set off from the Putara Road end carpark at 2pm

Sunday on what was a warm and humid afternoon. Making our way along the river

track crossing both swing bridges we passed a number of trampers making their way

back from Roaring Stag. There were a lot of comments of how much rain had fallen

the night before. It was also apparent from walking along the river track how much

damage had been caused to the track from previous slips last year with one

particularly large slip on the true right diverting the stream which in turn had washed

out sections of the track.

As we made our way up the hill to the Roaring Stage / Herepai Hut junction point, it

was apparent from the water running down the track that a fair bit of rain must have

fallen as advised. It was also quickly apparent to me that my very “mild” dose of

Covid a few weeks before was impacting more than I would have thought as I huffed

and puffed my way up the hill to the junction point.

We made the junction turnoff in 1 hr 40 minutes (Boots was the only one of the three

us not huffing and puffing) and headed towards the hut. The track was very wet,

muddy and slippery with a lot of surface water lying around. Foot placement was

crucial to stop yourself from slipping over on the tree roots as well as trying not to get

a boot full of mud and water as Conrad unfortunately experienced.

We made the hut in 3 hrs 15 minutes to find one other person there. No one else

showed up that night so we virtually had the hut to ourselves. Looking through the

intentions book, a total of 18 people had stayed the night before, all from the

Palmerston North / Manawatu area with WTMC a no show (just as well). It appears

they may have taken onboard the heavy rain warning for the Saturday night and

decided to stay home.

As this was my first time to the hut, I was very impressed by the state of the hut as

well as its location next to the river which was too fast flowing (and looked too cold

anyway) to consider a swim but I can see that this would be an ideal location in the

right conditions.

Boots and Conrad @ Roaring Stag

Next morning after a relaxed start to the morning, we left the hut at 9am heading

back up the hill towards the junction turnoff. The track had dried somewhat from the

day before however remained muddy and slippery. We made the junction turnoff in

good time and carried on through to Herepai Hut for an early lunch and also to

inspect the recently revamped hut. We met one tramper who had turned back from

Herepai high point as the wind was knocking him over putting paid (at that stage

anyway) to his planned S-K trip. Again, a very tidy hut still with that new paint smell

after the extensive work carried out on it recently from Backcountry Trust volunteers

(a big thanks to those involved).

Unlike the full hut on Saturday night at Roaring Stag, only 2 people had stayed at

Herepai on the same night. Following lunch and after packing up the empty beer

cans and beer bottle to carry out, we headed back down the track to the carpark

arriving at 2.30pm. Weather was fine, warm (mostly) but breezy.

Inside Herepai, nice and light. Plenty of head room now.

Slip damage from previous year.

A great trip with 2 new huts ticked off for me. Thanks to Conrad and Boots for the


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