Start Point: Opposite 92 Lone Kauri Rd
Start time: 7 AM
Duration: 6 – 6.5 hours
We dared to tramp on a rainy day and we learned our lesson!
The Brave Ones:
- Kin (got lost in wrong parking scandal – dearly missed)
Duration: 8 hours
Final Meeting Point: Elevation Cafe & Restaurant
Max elevation: 424 m
Min elevation: -23 m
Total climbing: 1993 m
Total descent: -1961 m
Total time: 07:29:33
Few More Details…
parking opposite 92 lone kauri road > buck taylor track > zion ridge track > zion hill > zion hill track > pararaha coastal route > karekare beach > tunnel head > pararaha valley track > les ward shelter > muir track > walker ridge track > odin timber track > parking opposite 92 lone kauri road
We already knew in advance that it was going to rain few days before today, then again light rain in the morning and drizzling during the day. It happened same way. And still we wanted to take chance perhaps because we never had done that in past.
All of us except Kin reached on time at the decided parking spot. We waited for Kin which was little strange since he used to be reach before everyone else. We waited, walked around and called for him but couldn’t find any sign of him for next 30 minutes. Then we decided to start hoping that he will easily be able to catch up with us, given his fitness.
This tramp was special in many ways that for first time we had Kirill, Ram, Sudhagar and Nishant joining us on a tramp.
Starting from buck taylor track, we then continued on zion ridge track. Here we reached at the peak of mount zion which is 223m high. There are beautiful views from the top which you don’t want t miss out on.
From there we proceeded on zion hill track which merged into zion ridge track from our left.
We walked all the way till the end of this track from where it joined on to pararaha coastal route on our left. It was pretty easy walk till now but we already got some idea from this one that our return journey might not be the same especially since we will be climbing and tracks will be muddy due to the rain.
Here we had karekare beach in front of us – one of the best beach views and the longest beach walk we ever did over any of the tramps till now. Thanks for the rain early in the morning, the beach sand was settled down and we could easily walk over it without putting much effort.
The lunch break was taken just after crossing tunnel head.
Then we had to spend some time to figure out the start location of pararaha valley track only to be surprised to find that whole track was submerged into the water. So we rolled up our jeans, replaced shoes with jandals and jumped into it to reach on the other side.
It was quite a vertical walk from there on and it was very tiring. We crossed chain of death and then the les ward shelter. Thereon, we started slipping over muddy walkway one after other and then again. As much we were trying to be careful, we were putting more effort and hence getting more tired.
In case you closely observed the planned tramp at the start of this post, we had planned to go off track somewhere from the middle of muir track but couldn’t do so due to already bad walkway and somehow continued on the same track. Therefore at the end of muir track, we walked on to walker ridge track which came out as more slippery and hence more difficult as compared to all other tracks we had covered.
By the time we reached at orange peel corner which is intersection of walker ridge track and odin timber track, just when our estimated tramp time got over and we were expecting car park to be somewhere around, we came to know that there was still more to go and that was going to be around two hours. Almost everyone of us was dead tired by this time and it was the moment we took a break. Drizzling was going on since the time we started on our return journey from pararaha valley track.
On accumulating our (whatever remaining) strengths back, we started the last lap of our tramp over odin timber track and oh boy, was it going to be one memorable track! It was a track with unnumbered steps and when it is already a wet track, climbing steps can be more difficult than climbing a track without steps. There came a time when on reaching every turn after climbing a long trail of steps, we kept expecting a plain track but it never came until the end of the track which reached to our parking.
This was the time we all took a sigh of relief and despite being extremely tired, we managed to take one last photo, the unforgettable last shot of last tramp of this year!
…and then we drove towards our meeting point.
One thing which we learned from this tramp was that never plan a tramp within window of 1 week on either side when it has rained!
Later we came to know that Kin had gone little further and parked at next parking location due to which we could never find each other.