Author Topic: Pouakai Trig ex Dover Rd  (Read 4486 times)

Pouakai Trig ex Dover Rd
« on: January 06, 2010, 05:10:17 PM »
Completed with the Wife + Ash Bash and Claire Bear and inspired by Guanos pictures.  My first mistake was my belief we could at least be competative vs Guanos time.  We also made it up in "a little over 1.5 hours".  Of course that depends on your definition of "a little". Does an extra 1.5ish hours qualify?

To get to the start of the track you need to drive out of New Plymouth on Carrington Road.  It is a bit windy and narrow in places but all sealed.  Just watch the corners!  About 20 metres before you hit Dover Road there is a bridge. Immediately after the bridge is a small sealed carpark area on the left (mountain side) with a sign for Dover track

The track is rough and a full on tramping track.  I would advise proper tramping boots at any time of year. I actually had trail shoes on but after 20 metres on track I returned to the car and changed to my boots and i'm very glad i did! It started muddy and kept that way. Also ensure you have a good kit with plenty of warm clothes.  1000m vertical ascent means it can be warm and calm at the carpark but cold and windy at the top. The kids new Helly Hansen jackets got a great first use with bitter winds blowing on the top sections.

More than half this walk is in bush, starting at a gentle gradient but steepening and becoming rougher.  To start with you push through some muddy track with blackberry and gorse everywhere, it is quite overgrown. After about 10 minutes you cross a fence into the bush proper.  The track is pretty rough; mud, roots and rocks abound. It is not well formed at all and progress was very slow.  There is also the odd tree fall which keeps you on your toes in terms of navigating on the track. It reminded me of some of the roughest Waitakere and Hunua tracks in the winter and here we are in January.

After about 2 hours of slog you break out onto an exposed tussock, peat, rock and scrub covered ridge above the bush line and make your way upward across some narrow sections and rocky knobs.  It gets pretty steep in places and the track broken guided by poles inviting you to make your own decisions in part.

The trig is reached after about 90 minutes of steep work including the odd bit of simple rock scrambling.  It is very interesting and good views can be had.  We reached the top faced with a cold biting wind and swirling misty cloud.  We were lucky the weather broke for 15 or 20 minutes enabling the views this track is famous for.  Some snaps and lunch followed before the cloud rolled in again inviting us to leave.

7 hours work with the family in tow including a generous stop at the top for many photos and lunch.  This track was more challenging than I expected. For folk that major on speed and fitness over fair terrain more than balance and deft footwork over rough ground, this track will see them struggling to do too much better than the 3.5 hours up posted on the DOC sign at the bottom.  It is a true "guts it out" trampers track.

I would actually suggest re rating this hike as "Medium Hard".  Presently rated as "Medium". I consider it harder than any of the other "Medium" rated NI climbs I have done, and at least the equivalent of Mt Tongariro which is rated "Medium Hard".  My basis for this is track condition (very rough, unformed, muddy, some scrambling), weather exposure (open ridge exposed to SW and high rainfall), vertical climb (1000m) and time on feet/ distance (<>7 hours incl stops)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 03:27:15 AM by vinodrinker »

Re: Pouakai Trig ex Dover Rd
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 03:52:17 AM »
Crikey - sounds like it was a bit of a mission! I was spoilt with a beautiful day when I did it, which makes a huge difference. Lying in the sun at the summit in shorts and short sleeves, gazing across at 'Naki on a glorious day was a wonderful, and no doubt rather uncommon experience!
'There is always a risk in being alive, and if you are more alive, there is more risk' -Ibsen