Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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After linking with the Katikati Tramping Club for the Kaimai Project the Programme Committee asked the KKTC to inform us of hikes they recommend in the Coromandel or Kaimais and they gave us a number of valued suggestions. The Ratís Tooth a sharp promontory standing out on the skyline of the Coromandel Range was our first choice however we knew that it involved a steep climb at the final stage and thirty two stream crossings and so  only seven experienced club members were accepted.

We met Tom Carr of the KKTC at Onetai Rd Hikutaia and followed Onetai Rd into a private attractive bush covered road and we parked at a ford. We followed the stream through regenerating bush disguising a logging line on the RHS until we met the hauler engine. Crossing the stream and moss covered rocks as necessary we entered a volcanic cave above the usual water line which could give practical shelter for many as it open with a sandy floor. A Maori canoe lay by the stream and it is thought to have been a tribal boundary marker. Proceeding upstream we came to an impressive four stage waterfall at least 30m in height. We left the stream to ascend to its height and on through beautiful kauri groves passing a large kauri which had escaped milling until finally before us stood the monumental sentinel known as the Ratís Tooth. Tom scaled it first tying a rope for us to hold for safety as the footing was slippery and the gradient challenging. Upon emergence at the top after approximately three hours we enjoyed wide views with the very convoluted bush covered Coromandel Range immediately before us. Beyond were views of the Pacific East Coast to the Firth of Thames and the Hauraki Plains only limited by the distant cloud and fog.

We spent about an hour over lunch and devotions viewing the landmarks. Nelson had looked for a verse in the Bible relating to Teeth and found the well known references to Job who was a godly man yet he endured all sorts of problems and he "escaped by the skin of his teeth" Job 19:20. One early difficulty was the loss of his seven sons who had cursed God and turned away from their father. A strong wind came and brought the house down on them and Job is quoted as saying "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" Job 1: 21. He testified in Job 5: 17 "Happy is the man whom God reproves therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty" "He shall be my salvation" Job 13:16. Let us hold to the example and integrity of Job and declare  "For I know that my Redeemer lives and that he shall stand at the last upon the earth" Job 19:25.

Tomís rope was greatly valued so that no one slipped despite the steep contour as we cautiously descended off the rock. We returned through the kauri groves and Tom took us along a ridge to avoid the stream and the clamber over large slippery rocks.  We returned to our cars in about two hours greatly enjoying a hike which provided attractive scenery all the way; the private road in, the bush covered stream, the four stage water fall, the cave and canoe, kauris and of course the pinnacle that stood out on the skyline. Members succeeding on the new challenge were:  Thank you Tom for a memorable hike.
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