Earlier this year we lost Andrew ZL3CC to a sudden and unexpected heart attack. To remember him, we decided to have a day of SOTA activity on the Saturday following his birthday. This year that fell on Saturday the 15th of September. I decided it was high time to tackle Pouakai ZL1/TN-002. I was joined by Kyle ZL2KGF who had done the summit earlier in the year but was keen to reactivate it for the winter bonus points.
We were treated with a bright and beautiful day with little wind. Just over half way we arrived at the well kept cozy hut, equipped with a fire and some spectacular views – very impressive! The track up is mostly board walk to the hut, and beyond the hut you are in the open so it is fairly easy to find your way. Some of the steps past the hut are in need of repair – and the final ascent does get steep. But overall it is a good track for a skilled tramper.
Conditions were tricky to start with. We each jumped out of the activation zone to chase the other either side of UTC to complete the summit and to gain a few extra chaser points. Summit to summits were had with John and Jackie at Kakepuku, Trevor at Opotiki, Daniel on Blue Spur Range, and Gerard, David and Peter from Summits in Australia. Unfortunately we missed working activators in Christchurch and John in Western Australia. That said it was great to see so many activators out participating in the event.
The walk back down was brisk to beat the darkness. It was a full day with a 4.5 hour ascent, 2 hours at the summit and 4 hours descending. Thanks to Kyle for the company and moral support, the other activators for the summit to summit points, and the chasers for being there.This was unique 95 for me, with 11 points to the activator log, a new complete, 19 summit to summit points, and now have activated a summit in every region in ZL1. A nice addition to the log indeed.
To keep Andrew’s memory alive, we will do this as a regular annual activity. I’m sure there will be many others keen to take part.
Summit – ZL1/TN-002 – Pouakai
Height – 1400 m ASL (900 m ascent)
Access – End of Mongerei Rd – carpark and follow signage up the private driveway onto the track.
Nominal time to summit – 4.5 hour walk.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Good cell coverage. 720 coverage on VHF also good.
Summit Marker – Trig station.
Land Access Permission – DoC land – not required