Author Topic: I hate Mt Matthews!!  (Read 2921 times)

I hate Mt Matthews!!
« on: February 10, 2009, 08:10:52 AM »
A second failed attempt at bagging this damn oversized-hill!   >:(

This time we tried to shorten our trip to the top by walking 2 hours from the carpark the day before and staying in one of the huts (Oakes) in the Orongorongo Valley.  From the hut we walked about an hour up the valley to the start of Mt Matthews Track.  The river was really low and full of algae.  I was really surprised at the change of the start to the track.  In 2005 there were some big floods down the Orongorongo Valley and it looks like the valley where the Mt Matthews track starts has been completely innundated by a debris flow.  So instead of following a sign into the bush and walking up the valley though forest, you now follow large orange triangles up the stony river bed.  Eventually you hit the bushline and re-join with the original track.

The track really is a bit of a challenge - mega-steep and you are continually clambering over tree roots and steep banks.  By the time we got to the lookout above the South saddle we were tired and sweaty!  Of course, we did happen to choose what was probably the hottest day of the year to try the tramp...  I think it was over 30 degrees surely.  :-\

Jon decided to call it a day at the lookout and admire the view of the Rimatakas and the coast from there, but I (mad-person I am) decided to make a break for the top of Mt. Matthews.  So I went on for another hour - up another incredibly steep section, then along a flatter section for a while.  I checked the GPS, and wasn't far as the crow flies from the summit, so tried to continue on.  I could see there was another drop then a final steep section to the top.  Another 10 minutes down the track, I came across a slip which you had to walk around.  With hunger, fatigue, thirst, being alone and the fact I was probably running out of time to get back to the carpark before the gates were locked - the mountain finally did my head in and I couldn't go any further...arrrrgh!   >:( So I was probably 30 minutes from the summit but never quite made it.

It was a hard slog down, first to meet up with Jon, then to clamber back down to the valley...so steep and hot.  From there it was another 3 hours walk along the valley and out to the road-end carpark.  So in the end I was probably grateful I didn't do another hour of walking to the summit.  Especially seeing that we had to walk all the way out to the Orongorongo road-end, which was another 2 hours on from the hut we stayed in. 

So all in all it was about a 10 1/2 hour day for us, and that was minus 2 hours walking in.  I think you have to be a seriously fast walker to do this track from carpark to Mt Matthews return in 10 hours.  I am pretty fit at the moment, but I guess I'm still a slower walker (I am usually about the same pace as the DOC timings for most walks).

So what next....I have to stare at this mountain, knowing I still have to bag it one day!  I'll try again (and probably try to book a closer hut next time), but I'll wait for the pain to wear off first in a couple of years time.... ::)

Revenge will be sweet.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 09:14:57 AM by juliabecker »

Re: I hate Mt Matthews!!
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 09:39:57 AM »
30 degrees?  35 I reckon

It can be done, there were 6 other people going up, many i think were doing a return day tramp.  But man it is steeeeep.  Like tree root scrambling the whole way, and it goes on and on and on.  I'm just not fit enough for that.   Holdsworth had a bit of that, but not 3 hours worth.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:42:45 AM by Jon (aka site admin) »

Re: I hate Mt Matthews!!
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 04:08:35 AM »
is it realy that bad ??? im going up there soon on a sunday day tramp  :o :o just did raingage spur on holdsworth and thought that was bad is matthews worse than that !!

Re: I hate Mt Matthews!!
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009, 05:29:55 AM »
Hi Brent

Mt Matthews is tough and can be underestimated.  To do it in a day in the winter you would need to be moderately fast (8 hours would be an ok time), and certainly you need to be prepared to be coming back in the dark if necessary (ie head torches, warm clothes, prepared for wind and rain and experience in walking in the bush in the dark).  You may have seen in the media last April Polish visitor Jacek Grzybowski died when he got benighted on the way back, wandered off track somehow and somehow ended up falling into one of the streams in the area.  Not necessarily Mt Matthews' fault, but clearly he underestimated the time to get there and back, plus he got lost somehow.

You may need to look around a bit to find the path from the Orongorongo river up to Matthews, you certainly need a map in order to locate it. 

The track up Matthews itself is steep, longer than it seems (I remember thinking it went on and on when we thought we nearly at the summit), overgrown in many parts, and sometimes needs use of hands (on tree roots, no rock scrambling) but is not exposed (ie its not one of those ones where if you fall you're going to break a leg).  It's not as well maintained as the standard circuit around Holdsworth/Jumbo and is also (from memory) a bit steeper, even though it doesn't have as much height gain.  If you've done Holdsworth-Jumbo you should be capable of Matthews, just don't expect it to be any easier.  Matthews doesn't have the above-the-bushline thing you get out at Holdsworth, but it is steep and hard and a longish day.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 06:24:54 AM by ellisp »

Re: I hate Mt Matthews!!
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 02:29:37 AM »
H, I'm not sure exactly where raingage spur is on Holdsworth, but I've done the Holdsworth return day tramp (up and down Gentle Annie) on a clear, still, summers day, and that was no problem compared to Mt Matthews.

I did them in the same summer so my fitness was about the same, but Mt Matthews is harder tramping, and takes a lot longer.  I personally wouldn't try it in one day in winter - there just isn't enough daylight hours.

But I am pretty slow... and if you're fast and mega fit, I guess it's possible.  I know people who have done it in one day in summer with no problems, but we've tried it twice now - and failed both times - make of that what you will! 

and I just noticed rapsac ran it (in another thread) in just over 4 hours!  So if you're a runner.... 
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 07:44:04 AM by Jon (aka site admin) »