Altitude: 157m to 882m. Gain: 28m. Loss: 730m . Gradient: 14 deg (Steep)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/5)
Starting from the Papatahi summit, going is steady down a cut marked track through cloud forest. The moss and beech is soon left behind, and the track steepens entering scrub - steep faces and slips to the right. The track becomes steeper and steeper - soon becoming a series gravel chutes providing a tricky, crumbling route down the spur. Finally, the cut track swings south off the spur into the creekbed and ends. It is a further 200m down the steep rocky riverbed to the Orogorongo valley.
The Orongorongo is low - ankle to knee deep - in normal flows, but can be impassible after heavy rain..
Below the confluence, the Orognogongo is a broad shingle flat. Travel is easy but exposed to sun and heat (in summer!). The valley swings first left then right. An old 4wd track starts on the northern bank, and soon after the right bend a signpost n the norther bank points into the bush: Papatahi Hut..The hut is 60m above the valley floor - a steep and cruel climb at the end of a long day. This is a 'bush cabin' sole occupancy, bookings required - a combination lock on the door.