Has anyone tramped up to Kime hut in winter? Planning a trip next weekend - weather at this stage looks ok. I’m not sure if there’s any snow yet.
Hi ... good to have this question. The track is normally well within the reach of ordinarily fit trampers. The climb to bushline and the classic old Field Hut takes a few hours of good solid exercise, but it's safe and sheltered. From there the track climbs less steeply for another hour or so up a tussock spurline to Bridge Peak: https://tramper.nz/2994/bridge-peak-looking-towards-otaki-forks-table-top/ Once you reach Bridge Peak the track wanders over a tussocky plateau for about 30 min to get to Kime Hut. Be certain not to take a wrong left hand turn and start heading north along the Main Range, toward Tararua Peaks. If the visibility is poor be certain where you are heading, check with map or GPS. It's a spot that has confused many people, including me the first time I went there. From the bushline up the track is now a lot more exposed to the weather. Typically snow itself is rarely more than knee deep and that is usually manageable if you have plenty of time. But it can also be quite icy which many people find treacherous if you aren't experienced or equipped to deal with it. An ice axe and crampons are not entirely silly at this time of year. Bridge Peak is your decision point, even though Kime Hut looks close on the map, if you are at all uncertain about pressing on, retreat back down to Field Hut. In winter any strong wind will be bitterly cold, but a southerly change can go from unpleasant to lethal in a matter of minutes. Chances are you will have a great trip and enjoy yourself; but be clear in your mind that while this track is usually fairly benign, it can and has within recent years killed people who underestimated it.
Thank you for this! We are definitely not looking at taking chances and are heading up there with an expectation to turn back to Field hut. ☺️
Yeah, be careful, a few people in recent years have died in recent years around Bridge Peak in Winter including the CEO of Te Papa
watch the mountain forecast. https://www.metservice.com/mountains-and-parks/national-parks/tararua-forest Winter 2009. The frozen bodies of Te Papa boss Seddon Bennington and his friend Rosie Jackson are found on an exposed ridge. Within cellphone coverage and close to a hut, they died on a day when less prepared trampers lived. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/features/4258473/Lost-how-tramp-turned-to-tragedy
Thanks guys! Yes we have decided to only go as far as Field hut, and probably only make it a day trip. That southerly coming in doesn’t sound pleasant with its -10 temperature!
go up to table top just above field hut if visibility is is good, nice views to be had... only just above the bushline so you're not exposed for long
I've done it. A bit of a white-out and a foot of snow. Fortunately it cleared when we reached Hut Mound. Stunning views from Hector that day. Kime Hut is - simply - freezing in the winter. I for one won't be planning another night there.
First picture I saw of the new hut taken by a club member in winter showed that the door had been left open by whoever was there previously. Hoar frost 2 inches thick on the bunks etc. Not exactly the best way to treat a brand new hut
I know this is getting into how many angels on the head of a pin territory but I was wondering if it was hoar frost or riming so I consulted dear old google: Soft rime is a white ice deposition that forms when the water droplets in light freezing fog or mist freeze to the outer surfaces of objects, with calm or light wind. The fog freezes usually to the windward side of tree branches, wires, or any other solid objects. Soft rime is similar in appearance to hoar frost; but whereas rime is formed by vapour first condensing to liquid droplets (of fog, mist or cloud) and then attaching to a surface, hoar frost is formed by direct deposition from water vapour to solid ice. A heavy coating of hoar frost, called white frost, is very similar in appearance to soft rime, but the formation process is different: it happens when there is no fog, but very high levels of air relative humidity (above 90%) and temperatures below −8 °C (17.6 °F). Soft rime formations have the appearance of white ice needles and scales; they are fragile and can be easily shaken off objects. Factors that favour soft rime are small drop size, slow accretion of liquid water, high degree of supercooling, and fast dissipation of latent heat of fusion. The opposite conditions favour ice with higher densities, such as hard rime or clear ice. So I guess it depends whether a mist/fog came into Kime Hut or not. Rime forms on the windwood side of an object. Not sure if the wind came into Kime Hut on that occasion when the door was left open! I recall the hair-like frozen stuff on the ground is known as frost heave. I was told it was formed by the capillary action of water creeping upwards from tiny holes in the ground and freezing once it hit the air.
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