We knew the weather really was not going to be as nice as we would have wanted but Cairn Trips are not cancelled easily and our party of eight left Hastings at 6am planning to rebuild the cairn on Saturday and if necessary finishing it Sunday morning and having the service at 11am. John M had planned with DOC for them to arrange for materials and equipment to be delivered to Chris Crosse for him to helicopter up. DOC as well had generously supplied 4 gabions (prefabricated wire mesh cubes to put rock in). The load was flown up on Friday.
Our idea was to camp overnight on the playground flat. From Dominie Biv onwards the wind steadily increased and visibility reduced as the clouds swept around us. On top it was bleak!! These were not the ideal conditions for spending the time we needed to work on the cairn. We were all feeling the cold. It did not take long to reassess our plans, have a quick cairn service, get out of the wind and retreat to the playground for lunch. Here we rang Pam who was expecting us for afternoon tea on Sunday to see if we could call Saturday instead, as Sunday was expected to be even worse. At the same time the small party coming up on Sunday for the service was cancelled. By having a number of people on sight at the cairn assessing the situation a number of good ideas were mooted for the rebuild.
Would you believe it, as we descended the sky cleared and the sun came out. We even passed a group of visitors walking up the ridge for a Saturday Afternoon Stroll. One had started in jandals but went back for better foot-wear.
Pam with her assistant Brent had a fantastic afternoon tea waiting for us,at the farm, including “chocolate coated strawberries”. Thank you Pam for making the wreath and for your generosity to Cairn Trippers over many years.
We will return to the Cairn Refurbishment shortly, using weather, not the date, as the priority.
My thanks to all who came, especially John for coordinating everything and Lex for driving. GRH.
Party: John M, Lex S, Brian S, David B, Keri B Derek B, Randall G, Graeme H