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Manaia, Mt / Mt Manaia Trig Point Bagged
« on: February 01, 2012, 03:46:25 PM »
Mt Manaia was our first true attempt at any of the peaks on this fantastic website. The only other peaks we have bagged so far is Rangitoto and Mt Maunganui.

We followed the open DOC track up to the rock platform lookout, this took around 50 minutes. Like everyone else from there we could see the exposed trig point and decided to check out any possible routes. We saw the sign for the rock platform but didn't notice the part about respecting the local Maori and not going up, our apologies for that.

It was a short walk south to the rock column with the trig point. We could see the precarious western path that spirals up its side, and like other posts before me we thought it looked too dangerous with high winds and a 200m+ drop. After tracking round the eastern side of the column into denser and denser scrub and rapidly loosing height from our goal we decided to head back to the western route for another look. We scrambled up to the narrowest most exposed point and decided that we'd come this far we should at least poke our noses over the rocks to see what the path ahead was like. I left my bag at my feet to get rid of the extra hindrance and we climbed up. The hand and footholds are fantastic and the climb easy for anyone with basic rock climbing experience. Stick close to the rock face in strong winds and try not to think about the drop. Around the corner is a narrow grassy route which winds round to the southern face of the column. You are around two thirds way up the column at this stage. The next climb is in a slight rock gulley again with great hand and footholds. At the top of the gulley you are rewarded with the trig point and fantastic views. Not one for unexperienced climbers but very worth the effort.

The climb down the column is tricky but easy enough with the hand and footholds. Again stay close to the rock face. Definitely a great achievement and very glad we're still alive.

The first photo is looking back at the other rock columns from the trig point.
Second photo is us at the trig.
Third photo is the rock gulley from the grassy ledge 2/3rds up to the trig.
Fourth photo shows the western path spiraling up the column. The 'V' formed by the rocks against the sky is the pinch point of the climb, this is where the balls are needed.

Matt & Kelly

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