Sat 22 April 2017 – (Not) Bobs Knob/Bluff via Ihaia Track
With sunrise peeking above the horizon and a cloudy mountain ahead, ten of us set off from the end of Ihaia Road at 7.15am with our target set on Bob’s Knob (1,780m) and perhaps Bob’s Bluff (1,960m). The track was a tad muddy (to say the least) and with a few streams to cross, it was definitely a ‘gaiter day’! After a quick snack and obligatory loo stop at Waiaua Gorge Hut we continued the upwards slog through winding bush, past a few adjacent drop offs & slips, and a decent view of Brames Falls. The hanging cloud above cleared a few times to tease us with views of Bob’s Knob and Bob’s Bluff ahead. By late morning we had reached a wonderfully steep muddy ridge – you know – the kind where you know it’s going to be a mud-slide coming back down! With a little more scrambling, by midday the team had spread out a little and made it to between 1,300m-1,400m. Unfortunately this was our turnaround time and, with Bob’s Knob lurking in the cloud 380m above us, we knew we would have to admit defeat (this time) and plan for an alternative route and summer timing next time! The long muddy wet walk back took a few hours and, having completed a round trip of 23km, we made it safely back to Ihaia Road. No doubt there was some muddy gear to clean up the next day! Huge thanks to Ivan Bruce for leading, and the good company of Will Johnson, Aaron Hickson, Bill Catrledge, Ian Lange, Chris Hayes, Mark Hall, Sophie Tucker, Amy Blackmore and Anjie Blair.