Ruapehu trip report.
Accordingto various weather forecast stations our few days at Ruapehu were going to be wet and windy, showers and strong winds, or fine with light winds!
So we tooklots of food, cards and board games, just in case we ended up Lodge bound.
We arrivedearly afternoon on Tuesday, settled into the very comfortable Forest & Bird Lodge, then, as it was fine, went for a walk around the Silica Rapids path which took about 2 ½ hours. We saw a few other walkers, but Whakapapa village appeared very quiet.
Back in the Lodge we had a late dinner as we waited for other guests, none arrived.
Wednesdaydawned fine and sunny, with little wind. Plan A was to walk to Tama Lakes,about 6 hours return. After packing lunch, we drove down to the DOC visitor centre, we were allowed to park in the 60 minute parking restriction area “as it is so quiet”!
Theoutbound track took us to Taranaki Falls, which were not that spectacular as ithad been so dry. At the Falls we started to meet other groups but the whole daywas never crowded, we maybe saw 100 people on the walk.
The walk toTama Lakes crosses a series of valleys and ridges, so lots of ups, and downs,but none to high. Some groups stopped at the lower lake view point, most had afinal climb, on a slightly rougher track, up to the view point looking downonto Upper Tama Lake.
On the wayup Margaret and I were stopped by a fellow walker who recognised us, weeventually figured out it was Ross Gordon, a SAR instructor from 20+ years ago!
Mostpeople, including us, stopped at the top for lunch, you could see both Lakes,Ngauruhoe appeared out from its cloak of cloud for a time, but we only hadglimpses of the peaks of Ruapehu. Our return trip had a slight tale wind, whichincreased and got cooler as the day progresses, it was a worry to see peoplestill heading out to the Lakes late in the afternoon with it appeared verylittle gear.
Back at theLodge we were still the only guests, so a quiet evening, dinner and an earlynight. Next morning it was raining! After tidying and cleaning the Lodge we left about 8.30 andhome to 25* in sunny Masterton.
Those onthe trip, Margaret, Denise, Tony and Nigel