Hogs Back

Sunday 14 August 2022

Nine in two cars parked in a sunny spot just short of the Castle Hill Village car park. We took the zig-zag track through beech forest, brushing past heavily snow-laden saplings and the occasional fallen tree. Emerging onto tussocky scrub-land we stopped to put on sunglasses and admire the dazzling, very snowy landscape. Morning tea was at a picnic table by the big horizontal, very photogenic tree. This tree lies on its side supported by strong branches and has survived like this for years. Hogs Back Track took us on a loop to the west of the scarp. Most of us got damp feet crossing Long Creek, or was it Waterfall Creek?

Soon after passing a very barren point 1056 we found a nice sunny spot by a small grove of trees for lunch and watched Cheeseman skiers carving some very symmetrical patterns in the perfect snow. As we approached the limestone scarp Peter and Kerry peeled off along the back of the hog, heading for the cars so that the others could walk up the ski road to the lodge and ice rink. Sacha’s photo of Dan on ice looked impressively balletic but we need to see the movie.

Peter and Kerry found the snow on the scarp easy to manage but the shaded slope down to Hogs Back Creek took care. Neither of them got across the creek with dry socks. The direct route to the village’s forest took them into swampy tussock but back on track, they made good time on the track that runs higher than the morning’s slow zig-zag track. Driving up the Cheeseman ski-field road coincided with an exodus of skiers down the road, so was slow going but we all met up in the middle of Texas Flat. Leader, Chris, had a basket with hot water and root ginger biscuits, so we all had a mini picnic before heading for home. Nga mihi, Chris.

We were: Chris Leaver, Graham Townsend, Dan Pryce, Joanna Frampton, Sacha Baldwin, Wendy McCaughan, Barbara Eisele, Peter Umbers and Kerry Moore. (KM)