By Saturday there were 15 registrants and a further 3 late-comers were turned away. The excellent weather forecast for Sunday had brought everybody out from under their shells (speaking of which we saw some large Powelliphanta snail shells in the bush). The travel to Flora carpark was uneventful and after introductions we headed off at 9:30am on the excellent track up to Lodestone. The summit (1462m) was reached in 75-90 minutes depending on fitness with the beloved leader bringing up the rear. Brilliant sun but with a strong breeze from the South so on with parkas for the break and admiring the 360 degree view. Then we headed down the N ridge and soon entered the bush to follow a rough track with yellow markers. There is a Friends of Flora trapline over Mt Hodder starting at the saddle below. The ridge steepens before the saddle (1150m) and there was some slipping and sliding. Ken took a more serious tumble but this hard-core tramper did not let bruised ribs and a twisted ankle slow him down and he continued in the front bunch on up the ridge leading to Mt Hodder.
IMG 4513 LRDescending off Lodestone heading for Mt Hodder (in mid-ground)

At the summit (1377m) we took a late lunch and the sun was very pleasant in the sheltered clearing. Three kea were seen and heard but did not land close and there was little other bird life despite the trapping. On we had to go so it was down the SE ridge towards P1148. However, time was getting on and Chris predicted it would be nightfall before we got out on the planned route that involved more up and down. So at the next saddle (1240m) we decided to go down Saddle Creek following a trapping line. The descent to Flora Stream was straightforward in open forest although a wasp nest was encountered and several of the party were stung before an alert sent the rest on a short detour. Flora Stream was not in flood and everybody boulder-hopped across without getting wet boots. Then it was 3 km along the 4WD track to Flora Hut for another short break. Pleasing to see there were several families making use of the hut and surrounds. Our memorial plaque for Ruth Hesslyn was still in place and unsullied. Then it was on and up to Flora Saddle and down the 600m to the carpark, the tail-ender (guess who) arriving at 5pm. An excellent day out thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Participants: Pat Holland (Leader & scribe), Andrea, Astrid, Brian, Chris, Ken, Don, Nicola, Mike, Richard B. Visitors: Grant, Kathryn, Larissa, Simon, Richard L.

NTC Trip Report Map