We spent two days scrub bashing down the beautiful and untracked Seddon Creek. Definitely worth all the cuts and scrapes!
That's the Bracken Snowfield at the top of the 1000m cliff
Whoa the Tararuas did NOT come to play today! This is meant to be some of the best ridgeline walking in the range, but I got white-out conditions with sleet, zero visibility, and gale-force wind gusts across the tops. The only other party coming over today took a bail-out so I guess it's just me at Jumbo Hut tonight... Epic way to spend my birthday!
Crossing the moraine creek 3 wire. #trampingnz We did a day of clearing across a couple of big slips up this track. Would be awesome to see this track resurrected so that the bush section isn’t the crux of the through trip to Gertrude Saddle. #permolat
(Reposting because it got deleted
..) Day 8 - Hunters Hut - 29km
⛅ 😀 / 😌
Kebab for brekkie kept morale up during the long wait for a hitch. Finally picked up by a guy who had left a farm near Hereford 50 years ago to move to NZ!
We trudged a dull road walk before storming up to lookout point to join a trail back into the mountains. And what a trail it turned out to be! A massive climb up, awesome ridge walk, the obligatory multiple river crossings then long descent into the hut. Tired but content. Storm due tonight!
Day 9 - Red Hills Hut - 19.5km
☁ / 🌧😫 🙂
All hinged on the amount of rain before we reached a major river crossing. Ella decided to drink whisky rather than water last night, so the early miles were hard, but we managed to reach the glowing first hut in good time. The weather held and the river turned out to be a massive anticlimax. We're now bunkered in and waiting for the storm to hit!
On our second Tararua day, we climbed Pukematawai (1432m/4698ft), then turned south and followed the crest of a long ridge to the shoulder of Mount Crawford and Nicholls Hut. The clouds lifted somewhat after we descended from Pukematawai, slowly revealing the impressively steep peaks around. The whole range is long ridges connecting classically shaped mountains, covered in bush below and alpine plants and snow grass above. The ridge line was fantastically tough-it took almost 10 hours to cover 14k/8.7mi. We trekked through muddy patches, tripped through the wiry snowgrass, climbed over and around steep towers, slipped down vertical descents, tip-toed over sheer drops on eroded bits, and crawled over and under trees in several sections of goblin forest. It was a relief to reach the hut at the end of the day! We enjoyed the fine company two other walkers, and then woke up to ascend 400m to Mount Crawford (1462m/4796ft), once again in cloud. This time we waited at the summit until the clouds rolled back enough for some tremendous mountain views. And then we had to descend almost the entire height of the mountain, dropping rapidly through a beautiful and blessedly dry forest. It was the toughest part of the Tararuas. It is tougher on the knees going sharply down than up, and the rooty and muddy nature of New Zealand’s tracks meant that we had many a slip and fall. We finally bottomed out and crossed the Otaki river over the most frightening rusty creaky swing bridge in the world, and though battered and sore already had another hours-long stretch of bush to navigate before staggering into the Parawi Lodge hut a good 11 hours after we began.