hartbreak ridgeAfter a successful recce trip in May, Ian offered to take another group of seven adventurers up Hartbreak ridge in mid November, but we were thwarted by a bad weather forecast.  He managed to re-schedule the trip for a Monday in December, which suited just two of the original party.  This time the plan was to go all the way up the spur to the main ridge and to return via Totara Saddle, Browning hut and the main Hacket track.  We were the lucky ones, as the weather was dry, warm and mostly overcast, ideal for the trip up this often hot and exposed spur.

Ian knows every twist and turn of the old track, and has filled in the missing bits with plenty of markers.  After taking 45 minutes to get to the start of the climb, where the Miner river flows into Hacket creek, we made good time going up the steep, scrubby spur and on through the bush, plus 20 minutes for our lunch break, to reach the ridgeline track 4½ hours later.  Once on the ridgeline track, which doubles as part of te Araroa running west from Rocks hut, we sped along to Totara Saddle, then to Browning hut, down Browning stream to the Hacket track and back to the carpark in just over two and a half hours, in time to get home and have a shower before Christmas party commitments.

Ian’s considerable time searching out and waymarking the route, along with some recent judicious track clearance by another party, has turned what had become a bit of an ordeal into a very enjoyable day out. Participants: Ian M (Guide), Chris H, and David S (Scribe).