Altitude: 1140m to 1452m. Gain: 431m. Loss: 368m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
Heading due west from East Peak, the Tararuas play a mean trick (to be repeated many times) with a steep descent of over 200m to the saddle between East Peak and West Peak (1335m). Throw away all that hard-earned altitude. The base of the saddle is a bit scrubby, but there's a well worn ground trail, the ascen to f the far side is rocky and good going.
Up high, amidst the tussock, on a narrow ridgeline traversing rocky peaks, we’ve reached the real Tararuas at last. From West peak, heading SW again, a series of climbs and descents follow as the ridge crosses a series of peaks and saddles: Walker (1392m), Pukemoremore (1474m) and pt1415. The gets too little use to form a good ground trail, and going is slowed by rolling tussocks underfoot. At pt1415 a DOC signpost points east to Dundas Hut, clearly visible clinging to the hillside 150m below.