Dad had a plan, he wanted to test himself 7wks post-surgery, and share a mountain experience. I was keen especially since Kate was climbing to Pinnacles hut on Mt Somers overnighting.
On Thursday morning we awoke to snow low down on the Hunter hills – beautiful. I realized that this may have now become a snow trip. I will need boots and some thermals. Lucky Dad has small feet. Wasn’t really sure what was ahead of us, but as we sat at Monteiths Bar in the Friday afternoon sun, steering towards Mt Hutt we were sure it would involve snow.
Early breakfast and we headed toward Mayfield with 12 others from the tramping club. Barry R led us, a happy guy, enthusiastic about the day ahead. The track started from the Awa Awa Reserve, Rodedendrums abound. Dad had been up the Pudding Hill stream in the area many times, recalling a tramp with Brad, but this was the first time with me. I was cautious to his ability, but eager to try. We set off up the muddy track, manuka beside and above us and ferns at our feet. It was a steep assent winding up the hillside. I realised we weren’t going to be able to keep up with this pace, Dad panting, needing to stop to catch his breath. I encouraged the group to go on, we would continue at our own pace. They agreed although Graham, a mate of Dads from his cycling group stayed with us for a while.
Two hours in and we hit the scrub, out from the trees the snow covered mountains revealed themselves. Majestically they dwarfed us, sparking like jewels in the sky, giant peaks in the distance. I felt their strength and grandeur as we walked over to the next peak. Dad had walked long enough, we found a flat rock and dined amongst the mountain daisies, tussock and patches of snow on the rugged terrain. We were warmed by the sunshine, and each other’s company, as our eyes scanned the scree ahead looking for figures in the distance making their way to the saddle. It didn’t matter we weren’t among them, we had made it into the mountains together, this was enough and we revealed in it.