From Te Hekenga highpoint to Tiraha Highpoint via Taumataomekura
Distance: 1.8 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1571m to 1685m. Gain: 154m. Loss: 185m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

This is a tough, steep scramble and can hold snow / ice into late summer.

From Te Hekenga, the ridgeline SE can be followed for a couple of hundred meters before it becomes narrow, crumbly and dangerous. The north face is sheer, and not an option. Instead, drop south through the crown rocks, using any of the grass chutes present, onto the face below. Then sidle SE on steep tussock faces below the crumbling rock of the ridgeline. . A well established ground trail is visible on this face when not covered in snow, and in late summer it is a scramble, but nothing technical. However, this southern face never sees the sun, and I've known it to retain ice chutes as late as February. In these conditions, an ice-axe was a necessity when crossing the steep, exposed chutes of hard ice.

Once past the slip (shown on maps) the route sidles back up to the ridgeline, and follows it SW to Taumataomekura highpoint. From here it is a simple stroll NE to Tiraha: the southernmost peak on the infamous Sawtooth Range.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-07
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Madpom (2020-09-02). Experienced: 2014-01-01

Agree that this is probably the trickiest bit of ridgeline on a major route in the Ruahine. The sidle the the south is relatively straight forward when there is no snow/ice present. But all the same an ice-axe would be handy at any time of year on steep, slippery slopes.

Jamiec (2020-06-26). Experienced: 2020-06-20

I couldn't do this, but it is probably still possible in dry conditions