Author Topic: Mt Baldy ex Hot Springs Road.  (Read 2706 times)

Mt Baldy ex Hot Springs Road.
« on: August 31, 2008, 03:38:18 PM »
An interesting and varied climb with plenty of surprises. Took the whole clan on this climb.

Starts with a drop to a river which actually took a bit of negotiating with the nippers in order to keep feet etc dry.  Obviously the level should be lower over the summer months.  Then on in to a very impressive grove of youngling kauri trees. In fact I dont think ive seen so many kauri trees in one place.  The track then climbs steeply for quite a while before a undulating section.  You then drop down before a final steep climb which goes on quite a while to the tops which then break into the open just before the junction to Te Rareatukaiha hut (just a 15 metres odd from the junction)

Now things get confusing. Heading north away from the hut after about 5 minutes you come to another junction which isnt marked on older maps, one the 'old north south route' and a 'new north south track'.  A sign warns the old route is overgrown and 'please dont travel', but speak to the hand it is in fact the route to mt baldy summit - so warnings ignored but care taken. It seems that the track though rough is fine (as far a we went anyway)

It is a rough section of track but with care it is easy enough to follow and no worse than those times crashing through the bushes as a kid. You just need to be careful with footing as often the scrub and grasses dont allow you to see exactly how your foot will land. I would imagine twisting an ankle would be all too easy for the careless.

After about 20 minutes you reach the unmarked and scrub covered summit of Mt Baldy which is very exposed but offers great views to Pirongia, Mt Te Aroha, Tauranga, Hauraki Plains, the spine of the Kaimais etc.  With the weather blowing in and ice cold (even with the promised fine weekend)  it certainly pays to carry your wet weather gear and extra clothes on any trip no matter what the forecast.

To the north the summit of Tangitu towers another 50 metres in elevation and not too much further to the north beckoning(perhaps 45-60 minutes return). The kids exhausted after battling the scrub, it was cold and windy so i curbed my natural instincts for an extra for experts trip extension. I also wanted to bag Mt Maunganui (which id never done) on the same day before returning to Auckland so we retreated the way we came.

The trip down was a lot quicker once off the old route, and after a slow start we managed to recover to clock in at 5 hours to the minute.  If you really put the hammer down I could see that with a quicker river crossing and a quicker summit section 4 hours could be seriously challenged.

The track was mainly dry covered in leaf litter but a few muddy sections on the tops. Some of the trip was quite easy, other parts thigh burning, other parts poor track.

Just Do it
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 03:15:07 PM by vinodrinker »