Length: from 6.0 up to 8.0 days
Distance: 67.1 km (39.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 494m to 1721m. Gain: 6654m. Loss: 6324m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/5) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)

A circuit around the southern Kaweka Ranges in winter.


Distance: 3.5 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 494m to 1229m. Gain: 742m. Loss: 16m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the information panel at the campground, the Kuripapango track runs up flats on the eastern bank of the Ngaruroro river for 200. Two sidestreams are crossed by bridge.

After 200m of flat, the track starts to ascend steeply up the spur to Kurikapango summit, and continues on the same gradient for 2km, gaining 800m. The track is generally ok - on gravelly clay-pan in places but not as slippery as faces further west. Track markers are poles / cairns, but the track is well used and generally fairly obvious. The track hits the Lakes-Kiwi Saddle track 100m west of the summit/transmitter tower at a signposted junction.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-07. Experienced: 2012-09-03

Distance: 2.7 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1221m to 1370m. Gain: 224m. Loss: 75m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading NE from the track junction slightly west of the Kurikapango summit, the track continues to follow the ridgeline, generally sidling north of its summit. The track wanders & climbs through pockets of manuka & pines & then enters a section of beautiful beech-leaved tracks with velvet-like moss carpets either side & then pops out of the bush onto open tops at pt. 1359. From this vantage point there are views down towards the Cameron Hut area & further afield to Mt Ruapehu, which it's heading sitting above pt. 1191. Beyond pt. 1359 the track teeters between bush to the north & scree faces to the south as it drops over a couple of saddles & makes the steep, loose climb to the Cameron Hut track junction. The junction is signposted on the bushedge on the unnamed summit 1km south of Kiwi Saddle Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 19:40:45. Experienced: 2018-07-24

Distance: 0.9 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1162m to 1373m. Gain: 3m. Loss: 211m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Cameron Hut turnoff there are good views into the true left middle catchment of Kiwi Creek & further west to pt. 1191 & the ridge that runs north-south towards pt. 1238. From the Cameron Hut turnoff the track to Kiwi Saddle Hut continues north, passing some lovely gardens of alpine coprosma's. The track drops steeply for 300m along the west side of the ridgeline as it passes through areas of fine gravel & clay-pan, reaching Kiwi Saddle 300m below. This short descent is exposed & marked by cairns & intermittent poles. Upon reaching the flat saddle below, markers desert you & you make your way though a couple of pockets of manuka before encountering Kiwi Saddle Hut about 20m inside the bushedge.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 19:58:41. Experienced: 2018-07-24

Distance: 0.9 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1162m to 1373m. Gain: 211m. Loss: 3m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Kiwi Saddle Hut the track south climbs 300m through pockets of clay-pans & fine gravel on the west side of the ridge marked intermittently with cairns & poles to the unnamed summit & the junction with the Cameron Hut track. The climb is steady; not too steep on solid, fine stone. There are good views to be had to the west into the catchment below & further westward.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 19:58:41. Experienced: 2018-07-24

Distance: 2.7 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1115m to 1377m. Gain: 118m. Loss: 313m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Dropping west from the track junction towards Cameron Hut, its just 100m to the bush edge & some shelter from the elements, otherwise remain on the open tops & enjoy the views. The track rounds the end of the open tops & drops steeply, albeit briefly south, to reach the bush edge & a 'flat' spot. The track wanders, seemingly for an age, along the south side of the ridge to descend a prominent rock outcrop & the track becomes increasingly covered in windfall. As the track meanders westward along the ridgeline at around the 1100m contour, it passes through some lovely moss-lined sections as it climbs & falls over numerous small peaks & appearing to get no closer to the silver thread of the Ngaruroro River (visible on a good day) 1000m below at the base of the deep gorge. There are good views along this ridge of the slip-scarred northerly faces below Te Iringa on the opposite side of the valley, where the vegetation is the sparse manuka so typical of the Kawekas; the north slopes of the valley covered in a solid canopy of open beech. Finally, west of pt. 1191 a track junction is reached in the bush, with the north track sidling across towards pt. 1238 & Kiwi Mouth Hut (the fastest way out of that hut, if the Kiwi Stream is up). If intending to descend to Cameron Hut, keep heading west. Stash some gear at the track junction if you intend to return here from Cameron Hut; you'll be grateful you did.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 20:27:36. Experienced: 2018-07-25

Distance: 2.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 560m to 1182m. Gain: 59m. Loss: 681m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Cameron - Kiwi Mouth junction, the track continues a further 500m west along the ridgeline, popping out into open tops almost immediately beyond the junction & there are magnificent views of Mt Ruapehu. The track skirts along the bush edge through pockets of clay-pans & then into beech forest as it gradually descends the ridge until reaching a prominent rocky outcrop. Here, the track abruptly veers steeply south into a gully. This descent is short before the track sidles & re-joins the ridge line below the rock outcrop. From this point on a precipitous descent to the Ngaruroro River begins; the broad 'Kaweka highway' is gone; the track cut only by the passing of feet as it zig-zags its way down a narrow foot bed & through a series of crumbling slips & two major clay-pan chutes with brief linking gravelly sidles between them. The descent goes on for ever - in & out of scree chutes & out onto smaller clay-pan faces. These faces are 'fine' in the dry but lethal after rain.

The track climbs very briefly to the top of a small open rocky knob from where it veers across the spur & enters the reprieve of the beech forest. At this knob, features on the valley-floor resolve into objects as you descend to a semi-circular flat, trapped between a sweeping curve of the river & the steep sides of the gorge. A large, circular clearing in the middle of the flat is a small dry lakebed. The sea of green becomes tall, mature manuka, growing some 10m tall on the flat. At the base of the spur a mossy highway is met & the track makes it's way along beautiful beech covered river terraces to a track junction: Kiwi Mouth Hut & Te Iringa to the right, Kurikapango (via the river) left but no mention of Cameron Hut. Closer inspection of the steel signs shows someone has scribbled Cameron Hut being to the left. Tall manuka poles line the track as it heads briefly downriver before swinging south towards the point of the peninsula. Cameron Hut sits in a moss-carpeted clearing 50m back from the river.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 21:19:19. Experienced: 2018-07-25

Distance: 2.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 560m to 1182m. Gain: 681m. Loss: 59m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Cameron Hut, a cut, marked track leads north across the small flat to the base of the spur. A signposted track junction points upriver to Te Iringa & Kiwi Mouth Hut (via the river) or north up the face to the Cameron - Kiwi Mouth track junction.

Simply put, the 600m climb is steep & basic, becoming more of a route than track, the higher one climbs. The route climbs through beech forest to a small open rocky knob before it zig-zags it's way further up the spur via a series of crumbling slips & two major clay-pan chutes, linked via brief gravelly sidles. The ascent goes on for ever - in & out of scree chutes & traversing smaller clay-pan faces. These faces are 'fine' in the dry but barely passable after rain due to the smooth slippery surface & lack of things to hold onto: 'like butter spread on steel plate' my trip notes report. Walking poles or another aid would be useful after rain. Eventually, you reach more solid bush & a gravel surface & climb out onto the beech covered spur above a prominent rock outcrop on the spur proper. From here, you climb gradually through open mature beech forest along a broad cut & marked track & onto open tops, before swinging east for 500m to the Cameron - Kiwi Mouth track junction where a marked route heads north through a broad saddle towards pt. 1238 & Kiwi Mouth Hut, with the main track continuing east towards the Kiwi Saddle - Kurikapango junction.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 21:19:19. Experienced: 2018-07-25

Distance: 1.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1138m to 1189m. Gain: 42m. Loss: 55m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A rough, unmaintained but marked track runs north-south between the Kiwi Saddle-Kiwi Mouth track and the Cameron Hut track. The track drops 100m to a beech-clad saddle before climbing to the track junction at the far end. Both ends are signposted.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 21:33:44. Experienced: 2018-07-26

Distance: 1.9 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 636m to 1230m. Gain: 54m. Loss: 594m . Gradient: 21 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Kiwi Mouth - Kiwi Saddle track junction the orange track markers become prolific & you climb gently through beech forest to the flat high point of pt. 1238. Dropping in a NW direction you negotiate your way down a 'single-lane' width track through beech & alpine scrub before emerging onto open clay-pan faces. From this point to the bush line proper, you essentially connect up the various steep (600m in 1km) open NW facing clay-pans & clay-shutes as the route descends an ill-defined spur. Orange triangles become sparse & at some of the larger clay-pans care needs to be taken to identify the exit point as it is not always at the base of the clay-pan. The route steepens & swings west, & the views across to the expansive open tops of Mt Meany & the ridge up to the Manson Tops is impressive. Eventually, you hit the bush line & the gradient eases somewhat & eventually you are greeted by the distinctive orange of Kiwi Mouth Hut, sitting beside the Ngaruroro River.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-17 21:55:53. Experienced: 2018-07-26

Distance: 5.5 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 621m to 1287m. Gain: 709m. Loss: 114m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading downriver on the true left from the Kiwi Mouth Hut a well marked & well cut track runs 700m SW to a swing-bridge. A signpost at a junction just above the Ngaruroro River indicates the route downriver to Cameron Hut. Crossing the bridge, the track becomes indistinct & it climbs ever so slightly through, over & under a significant number of windfalls (July, 2018) to meet the spur running down from Manson Hut. Once on the spur things improve dramatically. It is a consistent climb north to the first of two bush knobs before pt. 1045. The track cuts across the western face of pt. 1045 on ill-defined slips & clay-pans which are steep & slippery after rain, eventually reaching a saddle north of the aforementioned high point. From here on, travel is on a well-used & well-marked poled route, climbing steeply through the last of the beech to the open tops of the ridgeline, where the views begin to unveil themselves. Continuing in a NW direction the track climbs higher through tussocks & clay-pans, skirting around the NE side of pt. 1311, before turning due north 1km before Manson Hut. A number of old tree stumps are passed on the scree covered tops. A stamped metal signposted indicates the turnoff to Manson Hut, which sits 50m below the ridgeline in a tongue of bush.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-28
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 21:31:11. Experienced: 2018-07-27

Distance: 0.3 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1116m to 1231m. Gain: 2m. Loss: 115m . Gradient: 23 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Manson Hut, head south through a tongue of beech directly behind the hut to the crest of a spur where a stamped metal sign indicates the roughly marked route east to Old Manson Hut. Follow the foot bed down through slips, clay-shutes & manuka scrub. The route drops steeply buts becomes better defined, becoming a track as you re-enter the beech forest. The track finally emerges into a flat, grassy basin 100m below & Old Manson Hut sits on the edge at the back of the bush-basin.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 21:39:07. Experienced: 2018-07-27

Distance: 3.6 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 961m to 1333m. Gain: 446m. Loss: 324m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

When standing in front of the Old Mansion Hut looking downhill towards the lower end of the grassy basin, head to the lower right hand corner & follow vague, ill-defined & old flagging tape down the small un-named side creek to the Tapahiwhenua Stream. Head down Tapahiwhenua Stream for 80-100m & climb up on to the true left bank to the base of a rugged-looking, & scrubby but open side spur. Climb in a NE direction, picking your way through scrub near the bush edge on the crest of the spur. As you gain height the scrub lessens & the going becomes easier, eventually reaching the bush edge & open tussock tops where you can look back into the bush-basin holding Old Manson Hut. Once on the open tops the spur becomes more defined & it sidles to the south of an un-named high point (SE of pt. 1412) eventually meeting the DOC poled route that runs in a NW-SE direction from Mansion Biv.

Upon meeting the poled route stick to the spur as it descends steeply to the bush edge, which it skirts around the bush for a few hundred metres before an orange triangle indicates where to enter the bush. At this point the route becomes a track & the decent continues through the bush to a saddle NW of pt. 1257. The climb out of the saddle is straightforward & the track soon emerges back out on to the open tops where a ground trail climbs & skirts along the bush edge towards pt. 1257. The trail swings SW for 200m to Mansion Biv, which sits just inside the bush edge. Note: do not swing into the open country after emerging from the bush saddle, stick to the bush edge ground trail.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 22:04:04. Experienced: 2018-07-27

Distance: 3.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1158m to 1415m. Gain: 324m. Loss: 153m . Gradient: 8 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Manson Biv head out to the open tops & follow the ground trail 200m NE to pt. 1257. Make sure to locate the orange triangle on the bush edge so as to pick up the cut & well marked DOC track that drops in a NW direction into the bush saddle. The climb out of the saddle is short but steep, bringing you to bush edge, where you skirt around the end of the bush & climb very steeply through tussock to an un-named highpoint. Once back on the open tops (800m SE of pt. 1412), follow the poled route 2km in a generally NW direction across pleasant flat tops to meet the main Manson tops poled route at a stamped metal signposted junction 500m ESE of Manson highpoint.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 22:12:41. Experienced: 2018-07-27

Distance: 0.6 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1400m to 1421m. Gain: 28m. Loss: 12m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Continuing NW from the Manson Biv junction, the poled route reaches another stamped metal signposted track junction after 500m - just below the Manson highpoint. This is the turnoff to Otutu Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 22:19:35. Experienced: 2018-07-28

Distance: 2.6 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1051m to 1445m. Gain: 252m. Loss: 397m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the open top junction NE of Manson, climb 200m SW to the top of Mansion via a poled route. Over the next 1km the route drops SW-W along a tussock ridge, passing through a short beech grove & down a short rocky gut to the bush edge, marked by a large orange triangle. A well-used track develops in the bush & drops steeply to a stream junction in Mason Creek which can be crossed normally with dry feet. The track then sidles very briefly up the true right of the main branch of Manson Creek before climbing very steeply for 200m up a well-marked & well-cut track to the bush edge. From here a sporadically poled route swings NE through beautiful tussocks & open tops to a high point south of Otutu Hut, before descending close to the eastern bush edge to the hut & a nearby weather station.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-07. Experienced: 2012-09-03
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 22:36:41. Experienced: 2018-07-28

Distance: 2.9 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1249m to 1419m. Gain: 234m. Loss: 164m . Gradient: 8 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map
From Otutu Hut to pt1373

From Otutu Hut head north along the beech-clad ridge dropping into a saddle via a beautifully cut & well-marked track, adorned with thick layers of moss either side of the track. The beautiful track gradually climbs to the scrubby open poled tops, climbing to an un-named high point (SE of pt 1411) where there are magnificent views west to Ruapehu & Ngauruhoe. The route swings east, dropping to the bush edge & into another bush saddle SW of pt. 1373 where a stamped metal sign post indicates Rocks Ahead Hut, Manson Hut & Manson Biv. No mention of Ngaawapurua Hut to the north, accessed via private Maori Land which permission is needed to cross.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-07. Experienced: 2012-09-02
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 22:51:45. Experienced: 2018-07-30

Distance: 2.7 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1293m to 1418m. Gain: 227m. Loss: 172m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From pt. 1373 head due south for a brief time before the track through the beech forest swings to the E-SE whilst dropping into an un-named bush saddle. The track then sidles through bush in a S-SE direction over a series of un-named bush highpoints before climbing to reach the bush line east of the Manson - Rocks Ahead junction. From the bush line, climb an open spur over an un-named high point in an easterly direction to the aforementioned junction.

Created by: Reidpaulnz on 2018-07-14
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 22:57:14. Experienced: 2018-07-30

Distance: 1.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1383m to 1424m. Gain: 17m. Loss: 52m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Manson - Rocks Ahead junction a poled & well travelled route heads E-NE towards Rocks Ahead Hut through what looks like a moonscape dominated by sporadic stumpy rugged knobs & waves of rocks. After 1km on broad exposed tops a narrower ridgeline forms & the track swings east, dropping 40m into a saddle, which marks the turnoff to Omarukokere Biv to the north.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 23:08:44. Experienced: 2018-07-30

Warning: this route segment has not been experienced by the author

Distance: 2.6 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 758m to 1383m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 625m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the marked 'Rocks Ahead Manson Tops' route, head north down an open spur to the bush line. Upon entering the bush pick up the obvious ground trail which continues descending the spur in a NE direction. The track passes through both scrubby manuka & mature beech forest. Lower down the spur, the track swings towards the east & the Ngaruroro River with the track becoming vague in places as it nears the water body. The track emerges at the base of the spur, near the biv's helipad.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-07-14 06:32:50

Warning: this route segment has not been experienced by the author

Distance: 2.6 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 758m to 1383m. Gain: 625m. Loss: 0m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The spur west of Omarukokere Biv is the main all-weather access to the hut. From the biv head east past the helipad and to the base of the obvious spur behind the hut. Both the spur and the route are vague at first, but within 200m the spur becomes defined and the ground trail becomes visible. Follow the crest of the spur uphill all the way to the bushedge. Travel starts in scrubby manuka, but soon enters mature beech forest.

Once on the open tops continue south along the spur to the main ridge where it meets the obvious, marked Rocks Ahead - Manson Tops track.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-07-14 06:32:50

Distance: 2.8 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 711m to 1383m. Gain: 29m. Loss: 701m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Omarukokere Biv turn off the route remains on the exposed open Spion Kop tops & swings SE towards pt. 1383. South of this high point is an un-named high point where the route swings east & drops to the bush edge. The route skirts along the bush edge & then enters the bush proper where a well-travelled track quickly develops. The track swings SE & descends steeply to Rocks Ahead Biv. The middle & lower sections of the track down through the bush was dominated by windfall (July, 2018) of which DOC are aware.

Created by: Reidpaulnz on 2018-08-18. Experienced: 2018-07-30

Distance: 0.2 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 711m to 723m. Gain: 12m. Loss: 4m . Gradient: 4 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

To reach Rocks Ahead Hut from Rocks Ahead Biv, follow the marked track 50m downriver to the cableway. You can either take the hand-wound cage over the Ngaruroro River, or drop to the bed & ford it if flows are low-moderate. On the true left bank follow the track upstream for 50m to a large clearing housing the hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-18 23:26:49. Experienced: 2018-07-30

Distance: 3.4 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 712m to 1404m. Gain: 745m. Loss: 53m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the track junction 20m south of Rocks Ahead Hut, a stamped metal sign post states it is 2 hrs 30 min to Back Ridge Biv. The track up on to Back Ridge heads east & initially climbs gently before steepening as it climbs unforgivingly up an ill-defined spur to the first bush knob. The gradient lessens & the spur becomes more defined as you make your way over numerous small climbs, followed by small descents, including a climb over pt. 1371 & into a bush saddle before the summit of Back Ridge is reached. Travel is through mature beech forest & higher up the track is lined with beautiful moss. The last 100m to the stamped metal signpost at the track junction on the summit is in the open. Follow a poled route which drops to Back Ridge Biv which lies 150m SE of the junction on the far bush edge.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-20 20:25:38. Experienced: 2018-08-01

Distance: 2.6 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1316m to 1454m. Gain: 101m. Loss: 195m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Back Ridge Biv, a track climbs north 150m to the stamped metal signpost track junction on the summit. From here the track to the main Kaweka Range heads N-NE along the ridgline, initially through beech forest & along a cushioning moss-lined track, emerging briefly onto clay-pan tops at the Maminga highpoint where views of the western flanks of the Kaweka Range are impressive, as are the views west into the Rocks Ahead & south into the Kiwi catchments respectively. The track then drops into bush for Sterns Saddle. where a stamped metal signpost indicates the turnoff to Back Ridge Hut. The ridge is a delight to walk along.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-20 20:34:38. Experienced: 2018-08-01

Distance: 0.5 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1265m to 1317m. Gain: 30m. Loss: 54m . Gradient: 10 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Sterns Saddle, the Back Ridge Hut track cuts east, sidling the face to cross a rocky knoll/ spur from which Back Ridge Hut is visible below. The track drops & sidles to a small un-named & easily-crossed creek. Back Ridge Hut is on the edge of a small copse of beech on the opposite bank.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-26
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-20 20:38:30. Experienced: 2018-08-01

Distance: 2.4 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1292m to 1701m. Gain: 470m. Loss: 61m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

This route takes the northern of the two ridges leading up from Back Ridge Hut to the main Kaweka Range. A roughly marked track behind the hut climbs briefly (2-3 min) through beech trees before you emerge into the open. A good foot trail exists in the tussocks as the route climbs towards the un-named peak north of Back Ridge Hut. The route sidles the SE face, climbing over a shoulder of the peak & sidling into a small basin before taking you into a small saddle. A poled route then follows the spur east, climbing to the main Kaweka Range through a series of clay-pans & over a series of steep loose rocky tops, including pt. 1552. The poled route frequently sidling the dark southern face of the spur which can hold ice late in the day in winter. The junction with the main Kaweka Range is marked by a stamped metal signpost which due to the sparsely placed poles could easily be missed in poor visibility.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-07-30
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-20 20:58:20. Experienced: 2018-08-02

Distance: 0.8 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1688m to 1721m. Gain: 33m. Loss: 13m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Back Ridge Hut turnoff, the main Kaweka Range route continues south across broad, featureless, stony tops to the Kaweka J highpoint. The route is sparsely poled & markers could be hard to find in poor visibility. The Makahu Spur track junction is signposted & reached 100m before the summit. By the summit of Kaweka J stands a large cairn & there is a memorial plaque to Heretaunga Tramping Club members who lost their lives during WWII. A nearby stamped metal signpost marks the start of the route west down to Sterns Saddle & on to Back Ridge.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-05
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 18:08:40. Experienced: 2018-08-02

Distance: 1.9 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1576m to 1721m. Gain: 24m. Loss: 169m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading SW from the cairn & memorial atop Kaweka J, the ridgeline continues broad & flat, meandering along the Kaweka tops to reach Mad Dog summit. The route junction for the northern access to Studholme Saddle Hut is signposted & reached 100m south of the 'Mad Dog' summit itself. Although the main Kaweka Range ridgeline is obvious in good weather, a map & compass would be advisable in poor visibility.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-05
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 18:37:12. Experienced: 2018-08-02

Distance: 0.8 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1307m to 1576m. Gain: 1m. Loss: 269m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

At the signposted turnoff just south of Mad Dog Hill, drop down a SW leading spur into the head of the Studholme catchment. The route descends the sparsely poled spur & the first 100m is down through loose but easy scree. The next few hundred metres require full attention as the route descends, zigzagging down a steep narrow rocky rib, where a cairn marks the point to drop west off the spur to the bush line where a large orange triangle is to be found. The track descends through the bush along a good ground trail to a small log-jammed stream which Studholme Saddle Hut sits.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2011-01-01
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 18:47:54. Experienced: 2018-08-02

Distance: 0.5 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1244m to 1314m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 70m . Gradient: 8 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Follow the well marked track (initially on the true right of the un-named stream) down through beech forest. It soon exits the bush into a lovely small tussock valley. From here, numerous easy crossings of the stream take you down valley to Studholme Saddle Biv, which sits on the eastern side of the stream you followed & at the forks with another small stream, entering from the east.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2011-01-01
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 18:58:19. Experienced: 2018-08-03

Distance: 0.4 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1244m to 1392m. Gain: 148m. Loss: 0m . Gradient: 21 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The beginning of the route up the spur to pt. 1408 is difficult to pick up amongst all the low bush/ scrub on the true left of the un-named stream that flows from slightly west of Studholme Saddle. Standing at the forks of the two streams close to the biv one can see a waratah on the sky-line to head towards. An alternative way to access the spur is via the edges of an old slip (originating from two large rocky outcrops on the spur), on the true left, 20-30m downstream of the forks. It is possible from various points on the slip to sidle across & pick up the faint ground trail on the spur proper. From this point ascend the lightly poled route up the spur to the stamped metal signpost on top of the main Kaweka Range, just north of the turnoff to Mackintosh Spur. Note: there is no stamped metal signpost at the base of the spur near the biv.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-06-27. Experienced: 2011-01-01
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 19:23:32. Experienced: 2018-08-03

Distance: 0.4 km (0.2 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1374m to 1418m. Gain: 44m. Loss: 18m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the stamped metal sign post atop pt. 1408 the route heads south along the main Kaweka range, dropping into a small saddle before ascending to the Mackintosh Spur junction on the next immediate knob. The junction is marked with a stamped metal signpost, indicating Mackintosh Hut to the east & Kiwi Saddle Hut to the west.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-05
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 19:21:47. Experienced: 2018-08-03

Distance: 2.8 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 903m to 1418m. Gain: 14m. Loss: 529m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A wide, well-marked & well cut tunnel of a track drops through a land of contorta pines as it winds its way down Mackintosh Spur. At one particular point the track climbs up & over a gnarly rocky knob. Note: the track was cleared of large amounts of windfall on 2 Aug. 2018. Lower down the spur, pines are replaced by pole-thin manuka's & the track soon emerges onto flats at the base of the range. At a track junction a stamped metal signpost announces Mackintosh Hut is 20 minutes away & 'The Lakes' car park (via the former Kaweka Hut) is to the right. Another track junction, 5 minutes later, indicates Makahu Saddle car park to the left.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2018-08-21 19:44:24. Experienced: 2018-08-03

Distance: 1.0 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 855m to 908m. Gain: 5m. Loss: 53m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Kaweka Biv track junction, the MAckintosh Hut track heads SSE across beech and pine covered flats. A junction 300m before the hut is the turnoff for Makahu Saddle Hut. Mackintosh Hut sits on the edge of an area of beech overlooking a large clearing.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-10-06
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-07-08 15:56:23

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