Author Topic: Mt Holdsworth - first ascent  (Read 1463 times)

Mt Holdsworth - first ascent
« on: March 24, 2009, 05:34:50 AM »
21 March 2009, fine to start, cool and little wind.

Mel and I finally managed to get to the top of our first Tararua peak. The day started calm and sunny, but the forecast was for showers from midday (never eventuated until the drive home  :D), so we got away as early as we could (just after 8:00 am from the Holdsworth Lodge car park). The trip reports on this site helped us with planning as we reckoned on a 9 hour return journey and we knew that the Gentle Annie Track would help get us well on our way.

We were surpised to find we got to Rocky Lookout inside an hour and Mountain House shelter another 50 minutes after that. Had short breaks at both places. Then it was the harder ascent up to Powell Hut. Mel is very short, which always makes these steep ascents a challenge: what is a big step for me is a bit of a scramble for her. Causes problems on the descents too, so we are always being overtaken on our tramps, both up and downhill. Once again, though, we were surprised to find ourselves at Powell Hut only 1:10 after Mountain House.

By this time the tops had low cloud hanging over them. As we left Powell the cloud dropped further and by the time we got to Pt 1330 it was the last view of the Wairarapa that we got. The wind stayed away until a few minutes after we got to the summit, then freshened rapidly. We cancelled our original idea of having lunch at the top, couldn't see anything anyway, and even with 4 layers on it was getting cold, so we headed back down.

With breaks briefly at Powell Hut and Mountain House, as well as lunch in a sheltered spot by the track a little above Powell Hut, we got back to the car park 20 minutes faster than we had gone up. Altogether the trip took us 8:50, with 7:35 of that on the move. The GPS measured the whole trip at close to 21 kms (via Gentle Annie both ways).

The trip back down Gentle Annie caused a lot of aches and pains in our knees, although we found it quite easy on the ascent. Next time we think we may try turning left just after Mountain House on the way down and dropping faster to the Atiwhakatu Track, then return along that. It looks like a shorter distance too.

Re: Mt Holdsworth - first ascent
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 04:45:51 AM »
thanks! some good useful info here.  its always good to see how long it takes real people top do such a hike instead of relying on sometimes overly conservative and wayward official guidelines!!

im gonna climb this next summer :-)