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Sunrise Hut

Sunrise Hut 15th - 16th June 2024

Katrina, David and Sandra left Masterton early on the Saturday morning, travelling to the North Block Road end. We stopped in Dannevirke for a hot coffee along the way, the traffic was pretty light since it was early.
We used the recommended detour route to access the road end - there was still bits of gravel, one way sections, a ford and plenty of farm gates.
We set off from the road end at 930am, the track was well maintained, mostly a metre wide highway and good benched track. The sun came out as we climbed the zig zags, the air got a bit cooler, and the views more impressive. The beech forest had a few interesting things to see; bird interp sign, mistletoe cage and unusual "hot lips puffball" fungi.

We arrived at the hut at 1220pm, just in time for lunch. After lunch we stocked up the wood box, cut kindling and lit the fire. We hunkered down for the afternoon as the wind was very gusty. The rest of the hut overnighters turned up later in the afternoon - two Scout groups and two other trampers (who used the afternoon to visit Waipawa Forks hut). We helped some of the Scouts with their cookers and dinner cooking and after they had retired to their bunks to chat, we cooked our tea. A lovely evening watching the lights of the towns on the plains below and the flames of the fire as we chatted.
The next morning, sunrise was estimated to be at 735am. Most of the hut was up by 630am when the first rays of light could be seen in the distance. The Scouts were very excited to see the sunrise and made the most of the awesome view (only one cell phone borrowed from a parent on the trip, which was used to take their photos). The little bit of cloud on the horizon made for some great photos.
After breakfast, David, Katrina and Sandra walked across the still-quite-windy ridge and up to Armstrong Saddle. Unfortunately it was too cloudy for a view of Ruapehu, but we did get amazing views back to the hut and plains below. There was a light sprinkling of snow on the tops and the wind was a bit icy. We returned to the hut, had a hot drink and then packed for our trip back to the road end. The sun was shining all the way back down the hill, we stopped to look at Triplex Hut on the way past, with snacks at the car park. We stopped on the way home in Norsewood for coffee and cake.


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