Author Topic: Overnight at Syme Hut  (Read 1186 times)

Overnight at Syme Hut
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:30:26 PM »
Another weekend expedition. After a 5.5hr drive down from Auckland on Friday night, the plan was to stop at Konini Lodge but it was all booked out to a school group so we stopped at the good value Stratford Holiday Park instead. An early(ish) start in good clear weather meant we were on the track from Dawson's Falls Visitor Centre by 8.30! The first hour is through the forest and bush before you break out of the tree line. Note, if using a map this is deceptive progress because you look about halfway there when in fact you are only between a 1/4 to 1/3 of the way. It is pretty much benched steps all the way to the scoria slopes and then it becomes very slow progress. Pick your path well and progress is good, pick it poorly and you are on your hands and knees in no time, trying not to go backwards.

After 3.75 hrs we arrive at Syme Hut, by which stage the temperature is plummeting and and the wind is rising. Freezing cold cloud envelops the Fantham's Peak and any ambitions of pushing on to Taranaki Summit after lunch are quashed. Instead we thoroughly investigate Fantham's Three Peaks, concluding that the middle one is the highest, though we bag all three to be on the safe side. We then entertain ourselves watching 7 people in different groups descending from the summit, whenever the cloud cover allows it.

I must say going outside the Hut in those conditions was an experience in the meaning of short-term "exposure" - I have never experienced wind chill to that degree. Even well protected, you could be shivering uncontrollable in 15 minutes. Gotta have some respect for that - that warning about Taranaki should be heeded!

Thank goodness I had a really good sleeping bag but nipping out to the thunder-box in the middle of the night was a mixed experience of near exposure and awe-struck star gazing.

When I woke in the morning the crystal clear sunrise, over the distant Tongariro NP, was one of those very special moments I will cherish till my dying day.

This is an awesome overnight tramp. (photos to follow)
Fortune Favours The Brave or The Unlucky Learn To Be Cautious?

Re: Overnight at Syme Hut
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 08:09:20 AM »

The goal.

Getting there as the weather turned

Seriously! It was that cold!

Fanthams Peak (we think)

Brief glimpse of Niki Naki Noo
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 08:16:41 AM by Inspector Clouseau »
Fortune Favours The Brave or The Unlucky Learn To Be Cautious?