We are not quite sure what inspired us to tick off a third summit activation for today. Perhaps it was Warrens need push the boundaries and squeeze as much into one day as humanly possible or just that no matter what the time of day, he wanted to finish exactly what he said he would do. So we made our way out to Te Puke, summit three bound. Otanewainuku, which summit point stands at 645m.
Now dont be fooled, there is a platform look out across the valley, and this by all means will fool most, it certainly almost did us. Neill had told us this platform existed so that is where we had in our heads that we were to make our way to. What we found though was that in fact the true summit of this mountain existed in the middle of the bush track, before you actually make it to said platform. We overshot the summit before we realised and had to backtrack to activate from the correct point
We reached the car park at the bottom of the bush walk path around 7.15pm so we knew it would be getting dark by the time we made it out again. Well that achievement certainly passed us by, with needing to backtrack a little on the track and then rig up the aerial and go on air, pack up and make our way out. We walked out with the moon light well up in the sky and with the help of a flash light. It certainly was an adventure for the kids, one they will probably remember for a while.
Activating the summit completely surrounded in bush and trees towering over head made things a little more challenging. However Warren managed to active the summit and gain his activation points for his SOTA log, making a total of 5 contacts on 40m. before packing up and making our way to the platform to see the view as the sun was going down for the night.
If you plan to do this walk, we would certainly advise walking anti-clockwise around the loop track. The trek out of the bush was certainly a lot more testing in places and would make going up far harder than going down. Of course if you go clockwise you will reach the platform before you reach the mountains summit point.
Many thanks to those who joined Warren on the air and congratulations to those who gained their chaser points from this summit.
After a long day and a trip home via the back of Lake Rotorua and via SH5 we finally made it back to home base not far off midnight! Probably not the wisest of moves given the next day was Monday, but worth it after putting another SOTA activation on the list of successes for our total and for the day. Things will be quite from us now, most likely until new years day as Warren goes on call until 8am New Years Day from 8am tomorrow morning.
Summit height – 645 m
Access from near the beginning of Mountain Road, just off No 2 Road, Te Puke.
Nominal time to summit – 40 minutes walk
Summit marker – none. GPS required. Trig and platform is to the north of the true summit.
Land access permission – not required. DoC Land.