Thursday, April 19, 2012
12/04/12 Top Maropea
Robb - solo
The grey misty light fades over the valley below, and above to the south brings quiet dollops of rain upon the setting before me. It was only being inside the tiny hut waiting for a brew that brought awareness of the increasing rain. I could hear it bouncing upon the tin roof. A welcoming sound when here and secure. It has taken me 3 months and over two trips to arrive here once again, as twice prior my efforts to cross the open and exposed saddle have been in vain. So though today I walked up to Sunrise in the mist and greyness I did so with a smile, in spite of the inevitable steepness and heavy pack. For I knew I would eventually arrive here, which I have. In spite of the rain and the mist, it was still. Almost an ethereal silence, except the occasional explosion of a chubby kerereu lifting his bulk off a miro branch. And the plop of water on everything, including me. At Sunrise I stopped to boil the billy, rest up, and watch the gentle southerly roll in. Having crossed the exposed saddle now many times the cloud and mist welcomed me into the distance, to a route and a place I know well. Wind is a different connection, but not one I needed to worry of today. I still write the few hours between here and Sunrise is perhaps one of the most beautiful walks in the world. At least to me.
The next morning dawned with blue skies and frost. Nothing for it but follow the sense of wander lust down through the forest to the sound of the rivers and streams and path they provide. The sun light upon the tawahairauriki pulls me along.
As I suspected, there were choppered in hunters staying at the hut. Barak, Craig, and James, all young guys in their late 20's, and to be fair working the tough rugged country pretty hard. They had six stag heads lined up near the hut and looking for more. It was a macabre sort of display, but thus is the nature of The Roar, and the uncomfortable need to keep the introduced deer population down. They are here till early next week and have enough beer, food, and supplies to last a month. The luxury of a helicopter. They offered to make room in the hut, and even shared a few beers with me, a first from chopper hunters for me, but I felt a need to be on my own so politely declined.
At one point we were all sitting on the porch enjoying a river chilled beer. And the guys started talking about how the night prior they had been reading the hut book and were transfixed on an entry written by a guy in the hut who had lost his son, and what he must have been going through. I quietly told them I was that guy. It was another moment of silence shared at Maropea Forks hut, (please see prior post).
14-04-12 Top Maropea: It is never easy to enjoy a fire here in this cold damp hut surrounded by even colder, damper forest. At over 1200 metres finding any dry usable wood is difficult, much less rendering it into useable portions. And the open fire at this height poses its own problems. This was never a popular spot for the deer cullers, wet wood, hard to find, and difficult to get blazing.
Yet there are a few secrets to know, mostly involving time and preparation, and if done correctly one can create a fire to warm the soul, if not the hut, very briefly. It is always best to have a very warm sleeping bag to climb into here! Today, I had a bit of time, did the preparation, and I feel I have a fire I will enjoy. Every time I do here is a bonus. Some of my best fires ever lit have been right here.
"An iridescent grey cloud looms over the valley head
ghostly shadows and mist over
Orupu and Te Atua Mahuru
hidden from view
bulky friends still there regardless
It lowers itself as a crown upon the distinct features of Puketaramea
a place I know well
climbing to in the emerging light of dawn
after the longest and loneliest hours of my life
my son gone
I climbed relentlessly and focused
then I sat upon her and wept
for my son, for me
The Ruahine took my boy for her own
then she gently handed him back to me
I am still not sure what it is I came looking for
but I have found something."
Posted by Ruahines at 7:25 PM