Trip Reports
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1  North Island Trip Reports and Comments / Taranaki, Mt / Taranaki Date: February 20, 2012, 02:39:26 AM
Quick trip up and down in 4 hours from North Egmont. Came down the old Razorback track which was a lot more enjoyable than the trip up the service road.

A lot of low cloud so no views from the top but by the time I was back at the carpark the mountain had cleared and looked very impressive.

A good afternoon scramble.
2  North Island Trip Reports and Comments / Kaweka J / Two days in the Kawekas Date: October 06, 2010, 07:25:25 AM
My first taste of a true NI tramp.

Great to get out somewhere different and explore some of the Hawke's Bay back country.

Driving up Puketitiri Rd through sheep and beef farms and seeing the Kaweka's looming ahead with the final fingers of spring snow grasping the range it felt like I could be back in the South Island.

Originally I had planned to travel in Monday afternoon and get a headstart to Dominie Bivvy that evening. However, working late ended that paln and helping out a country damsal in distress (her Gator had broken down so figure I should give her a lift) meant it was 2pm before I got underway from Makahu saddle.

The climb up Trials Spur was steep but passed easily and Kaweka J's summitt arrived quickly and rather anticlimatically, it truely is just a hump.

After deposited a rock on the memorial cairn I bolted down Back Ridge. The going was smooth to Sterns Saddle but the haul through the bush to the scrubby knob of Maminga (1472m) proved tougher than the climb to Kaweka J.

Reaching the Back Ridge Biv turnoff at 5pm I encountered a sign proclaiming 3 3/4 hours to my planned destination, Kiwi Mouth Hut. Doubting whether I'd make the hut by dark I instead detoured to Rocks Ahead hut.

A relentless 700m drop took me down to Rocks Ahead Stream and a comfortable night in the bright orange hut.

In trambing logic what goes down often has to come up, so an overcast Wednesday morning saw me slogging an equally steep 700m to the Venison Tops. As I cleared the bush the overcast conditions gave way to a biting westerly.

As I swung east and headed for the cloud-shrouded range the wind strengthened and became bitterly cold. After cresting the range I swung north briefly to tag Whetu (1650m) before heading south.

The wind had reached the stage where even walking in a straight line was challenging and it was a rather despondent slog along the tops. Visibility was down to less than 50m but route finding was seldom a challenge with  a marker pole usually looming ahead out of the gloom.

At some stage I passed beneath North Kaweka (1707m) and was relieved when i finally reached the track down Makahu Spur.

Fifteen minutes and a few hundred metres down the spur the icey wind had dropped to a puff and I was baskiing in warm sunshine with a perfect rainbow arcing over the valley.

Hard to believe just minutes before I was struggling just to stay upright.
3  South Island / Arthur, Mt / Mt Arthur Date: July 31, 2010, 04:33:39 AM
2009 winter trip with my brother Paddy and partner Christine.

Was Christine's first trip up a mountain and before we even reached Flora carpark it was obvious we had underestimated the challenges.

While the mountains in Marlborough were relatively free of snow Mt Arthur had obviously taken the full force of a southerly earlier in the week and even at 900m the carpark was packed with snow.

Luckily the track up to the Mt Arthur hut wasn't icey and we were able to complete the hour walk in the dark on Friday night.

Saturday dawned fine and we were soon cruising along the ridge toward Mt Arthur. Originally we had planned to clim Arthur then double back and cut across to Gordon's Pyramaid and down to the Tablelands before returning by the low route on Sunday.

However, it was quickly obvious that crossing the basin below Arthur would be a tricky task with deep snow evident. Instead we decided to head for the top then re-trace are steps to the hut for a second night.

Traversed below Winter Peak where we left our packs. A scramble up a steep snow slope proved the only difficulty before getting on the summit ridge.

Enjoyed lunch on the summit but a slight southerly kicked up and we decided to be on our way.

The early exit proved fortuitous as within an hour low cloud, wind and snow flurries hit the ridge and we made a cold retreat to the hut.
4  North Island Trip Reports and Comments / Pirongia, Mt / Pirongia Date: July 28, 2010, 05:33:35 AM
Great day trip to stretch the legs.

Was a little concerned by all the boardwalk at the start but things quickly got a bit more rugged along the Ruapane track.

After the Ruapane lookout the track took on a great back country feel, though all the chains are probably a bit over the top. Enjoyed a quick scramble up Tirohanga where the view proved to be better than on the actual peak.

Reached Pirongia in two hours but only stayed for 10 minutes as views were limited due to low cloud over the Waikato and approaching rain from the east.

The trip down the Mangakara track lived up to it's rugged billing and missing filling up my water bottle at the stream made things less enjoyable.

However, after an hour of slogging up and down the rocky knolls Mahaukura (899m) was reached and after a further half hour the track slowly flattened out giving a smooth trip back to the carpark, the round trip completed in four and a half hours of brisk walking.
5  North Island Trip Reports and Comments / Maungatautari / Training run Date: July 28, 2010, 05:24:02 AM
Quick run up to the top in June 2010 on the advice of my lovely girlfriend.

Probably a little steeper and a lot muddier than i was looking for and a shame there's no views and plenty of rubbish on the summit.  :-\

First North Island peak for me.
6  South Island / Angelus Peak / Angelus Date: July 28, 2010, 05:20:15 AM
Climbed from the Hopeless Creek side in January 2010 with my brother Paddy.

Had planned a trip that would also take in Mt Travers, Hopeless and Cupola but were greated by damp and overcast conditions at the Mt Robert carpark.

Weather only got worse as we proceeded up the Travers Valley and we completed the last couple of hours up to John Tait hut in heavy rain.

Holed up in the hut while the rain continued.

The next morning greated us with low cloud covering all the tops and fresh snowfall to low down on the eastern ranges.

Decided to head for Hopeless Hut in the hope the weather would lift. Reached the hut by midmorning but remained hemmed in by low cloud and passing showers the rest of the day.

Were finally greeted by clear skies on our third day and pushed up to head of Hopeless Creek and climbed the headwalls to a picturesque tarn. Continued on to Sunset Saddle over fresh snow. Dumped our packs in the saddle and scrambled to Angelus peak in intermitent snow flurries.

Headed quickly down to the saddle and over to Lake Angelus for lunch before continuing along the Robert Ridge in clearing weather.

Not the trip we'd planned but still a great break.
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