Author Topic: Kaweka J - Bagged it  (Read 2271 times)

Kaweka J - Bagged it
« on: March 02, 2009, 11:35:57 AM »
Will post a full trip report later but bagged it. 3 hours 30 minutes round trip from the saddle carpark via trials spur to Kaweka J summit and return
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 11:43:09 AM by vinodrinker »

Re: Kaweka J - Bagged it
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 03:25:45 AM »
congrats vino!  I see you're heading further and further south!  Next stop Stewart Island huh?

Re: Kaweka J - Bagged it
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 01:26:40 PM »
yes. Hawkes Bay is a second home for me with all the wine there. no doubt new bags will come at a slow rate thius year as its a long way to the closest ones. Looks like Tatamoe is the closest now aside from the tricky and expensive top get to Hirikimata

Am penciling in coming to Wellington next summer as its been 15 years since ive been there. Need to do Te Papa, visit Martinborough again and climb Holdsworth and some of the Wellington hills

Would like to get Ruapehu done this summer but time is running out with the oxfam walk training taking up $$ and time.

You never know - maybe easter if its fine (and i can still walk after oxfam)

Re: Kaweka J - Bagged it
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2009, 03:47:25 PM »

Heres a little review of the hike.  Allow a good full half day from Napier. To get to the start of the track from hawkes Bay is reasonably easy to follow.  Take Puketitiri Road out of Taradale (west from the roundabout at the north end of church road, just north of Mission Estate winery).  It is a long drive and there are no petrol stations so ensure you have a full tank enough to do a tough 200km drive. With a grind to 940m asl starting point at the carpark the gas tank will disappear quicker than normal as we found out. No harm done just a few anxious moments.

Keep on this road for about 60km passing through the tiny settlement of Puketitiri. This road is all sealed Just after this Whittle Road turns off to the left. Keep an eye out for road signs to your left.  Whittle Road itself is more like a gravel driveway, it doesnt really look like a road. It is one lane narrow and I wonder sometimes how a car coming the other way would get past. Luckily we bumped into no traffic from here on in or out at all. 

After about 4km Kaweka Road appears to the right. Turn here. Kaweka Road is a little rough and steep in places.  We had a 2wd 2.5L car and we crawled at 20km/h most of the way. After rain I would expect this road to be 4wd territory (some of the road is dominated by clay with little gravel so im wondering how rain would affect grip), though in summer if you are careful and have a reasonable car you should be ok if you take your time. It is steep enough in places for grade warnining signs to appear on the road side.

Eventually you reach the carpark after approx 30 minutes of offroad action.  From the carpark at the end of the road (there is a toilet, bbq table and sign board) things are well signposted and the track is pretty well formed.  Heading up you have the option of taking Makahu Spur (to the south) or Trials Spur (to the north).  These are all clearly signposted. The tracks part ways near the bottom and rejoin half way up the climb.  We took trials spur both ways which appeared not as steep but I may be wrong.

Half way up the track becomes shingle rock. Sticking to the spur, passing a few good rock outcrops along the way the grade gradually steepens. Along the way is a biv though we didnt stop for a look.

After a good slog, at the top things flatten out and you reach an intersection. Turn South (left).  Kaweka J is not obvious, it is just a slight rise in the distance about 10 minutes walk away.  It is apparent in the end as the ww2 memorial cairn sits metres away from the foundations of an old trig which is no longer there. You will pick out this cairn from the distance if the weather is as kind as it was to us

Views of the central mountains and the hawkes bay are very impressive, and although attaining the last section to the summit is childs play and almost an anticlimax (chalk and cheese cf Hikurangi!!). The climb up the spur is a good workout though and the views are constant and impressive.

While at the top, a trip along the ridge north to the more prominant North Kaweka (1707m) looks a good option and i would guess that would add 2 hours return to the trip.  North Kaweka has a trig and is perched more like a true summit right at the north end of the range.

The rise to your right (west) as you complete the last 5 minutes walk towards the summit of Kaweka J (1724m) appears a candidate for the summit as well. My GPS measured both this and Kaweka J at the same height.

We reached the summit in just under 2 hours. Return was the way we came for 3 hours 35 minutes inclusive of a few stops on the way down to pose for photos atop some of the outcrops.