(draft) Trip: Default
Distance: 50.6 km (54.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 338m to 1489m. Gain: 2972m. Loss: 4459m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)


From Comet Hut to Shutes Hut via track
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Distance: 6.0 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 338m to 1078m. Gain: 424m. Loss: 827m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good track runs south from the Comet roadend, climbing steadily the 100m to the plateau.From there an easy 2km follows through pines and beech on a good cut track, before the plateau ends and the abyss of the Taruarau valley opens up before you. The track remains well cut and benched as it zigzags down the steep spur to the valley floor. A lot of contours crossed, but on a decent track. Sidling down and downriver, the track crosses a sidecreek where there are good campspots, and then drops the final few meters to the river.

The Taruarau must be forded - knee deep on fine shingle in low conditions, but it's a big river and can easily flood.

Once across the track heads downriver on a low terrace of open manuka - more well used campspots. Triangles mark a steady climb to higher open terraces, before a cut track heads in thick low bush at their rear, sidling into the sidevalley which holds Shutes Hut. A further 1km of sidling steep valleysides follows before the track reaches a basin with a large grassy clearing, a stand of mature pines, and Shutes Hut.

Comet->Shutes 1h45 to 3hrs

Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-19 20:53:22. Experienced: 2014-03-04

Distance: 4.3 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 480m to 1181m. Gain: 728m. Loss: 45m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A broad, moss-covered track climbs the spur behind Shutes Hut through manuka bush. Moderately steep at first it eases further as you climb towards the bushedge at around 850m. Beyond the bushedge, claypan and low scrub replace the manukua bush and the track becomes indiscinct, meandering between adjoining clearings of claypan. Occasional cairns and warratahs mark the way, but often you are left to follow your nose.

Passing the first 956m summit you swing south and enter scrubby tussock tops, dropping to a saddle then climbing another 100m to the next high point. Throughout, you are left to find your own way south along the ridgeline - there are very few markers and no clear ground trail. A long climb leads to pt1183, and in bad weather compass work was required on these brad tops.

Thankfuully, the ridge narrows between pt1183 and pt11800 and the route is identifable along the escarpment of the Koau valley. A wooden signpost at the point where the ridge swings west marks the turnoff to Dianes Hut in the Koau valley below. Shutes -> Junction, 2 - 3.5hrs

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-19. Experienced: 2014-03-05

Distance: 0.9 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 786m to 1163m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 377m . Gradient: 26 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signpost on the ridgeline, a track drops initially SE into the Koau, through flax and tussock. You soon enter mature bush of beech and broadleaf, and drop steeply east towards the valley floor, sidling downriver in the process. It's a good but steep tramping track. Diane's Hut sits in a clearing 40m above the river on the northern bank, directly on the track.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-19. Experienced: 2014-03-05

From Dianes Hut to Dianes Hut turnoff via track
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Distance: 1.8 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 769m to 1193m. Gain: 424m. Loss: 17m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Dianes Hut the track drops 40m to the Koau River. There are no markers, but the route is downriver in the riverbed for some 300m. Finally a DOC triangle appears on the southern bank, marking the start of the track up to No Mans Road.

The track starts steep and ill-defined - a steep scramble up a crumbling face. Later it becomes a defined but steep spur, the track now obvious, which becomes gentler as you climb into moss-covered beech forest.

The track meets No Mans Road just where you run out of up.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-19. Experienced: 2014-03-05

Distance: 2.7 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 1193m to 1251m. Gain: 12m. Loss: 70m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading NNE from the Dead Dog turnoff, No Mans Road continues to meander along the beech ridgeline for a further 2.5km before reaching a signposted track on the left, leading to Dianes Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2006-10-01

From Herrick Spur summit to No Mans Hut via main range track
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Distance: 2.7 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1311m to 1376m. Gain: 73m. Loss: 82m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading north from the top of Herricks Spur, the route is well marked with Warratahs, though sometimes lacking much of a ground trail through the tussock. With visibility down to 50m the frequent warratahs were a great aid, and only a handful of times did I need to rely on the compass.

The ridgeline narrows again north of pt1348 and the track becomes clear as it reaches the top end of the rough No Mans Road. No Mans Hut is 300m NNE down the 4WD track.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2006-10-01

From Herrick Spur summit to Golden Crown summit via Rushine main range track
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Distance: 3.1 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1211m to 1326m. Gain: 143m. Loss: 159m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The track south along the main range from the top of Herricks Spur is poled, but often lacking any form of ground trail. In places it runs along the western face on the top of gravel slips, but more often it crosses tall tussock/low scrub tops - stumbling and staggering.

After 1km the track starts to climb SW and enters beech forest. From here things improve. A well cut, well marked track follows the ridgeline SE then south over a series of peaks and saddles.

The turnoff to Sentry Box hut via Golden Crown is obvious and marked with a signpost.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2014-03-05

Distance: 2.2 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1281m to 1337m. Gain: 61m. Loss: 32m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Golden Crown, the main range track heads south-west along the mainly flat Ruahine ridgeline - a well cut/marked track through beech forest. Crossing the head of a creek draining north, it swings west and enters marshy tussock tops, becoming a poled route. The signposted track junction for the main range (west) and Parks Peak (south) is reached soon after.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2014-03-05

Distance: 3.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1243m to 1342m. Gain: 137m. Loss: 141m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Follow the well marked, cut track south along the ridge, rising and falling through mature bush to the Sentry Box turn off (marked with a signpost).

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2101-10-31

Distance: 1.8 km (30.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1229m to 1333m. Gain: 100m. Loss: 104m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good track follows the ridgeline from the track junction to Parks Peak hut, climbing a couple of small peaks, threatening to break out above the bush but never quite doing so. Parks Peak hut sits in a large clearing on the eastern side of the ridge, looking over Hawkes Bay.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2010-10-30

Distance: 7.4 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 533m to 1336m. Gain: 127m. Loss: 927m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A broad, well-cut, well-marked tramping track runs south from Parks Peak hut, dropping to meet Yeomans Track 1km from the park boundary.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-03. Experienced: 2015-08-03

From Yeomans/Parks track Jn to Yeomans/Makaroro Jn via Yeomans track
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Distance: 0.9 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 514m to 539m. Gain: 11m. Loss: 30m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the base of Parks Track, the old logging tramway that forms Yeomans Track continues south 1km to hit forestry tracks at the park boundary.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-03. Experienced: 2015-08-03

Distance: 2.4 km (0.7 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 481m to 533m. Gain: 20m. Loss: 52m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted track junction at Makaroro Rd / Yeomans Track, head west along Makaroro road until the road ends. Running straight ahead from the end of the road is a cut but unmarked track, This heads to the upriver end of terraces and then zigzags down to the river at the Gold Creek / Makaroro River confluence.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-08-03 18:30:23. Experienced: 2015-08-01

Distance: 4.8 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 481m to 1362m. Gain: 29m. Loss: 910m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good cut marked track drops from Sparrowhawk Biv to the Makaroro / Gold Creek confluence. The initial section below the hut is steep and traverses the tops of steep slips - care is required. Below that the gradient become more pleasant and this is an easy walk.

A river crossing is required if heading downriver. The river is knee to thigh deep in normal flows, and an easy flat crossing - but can easily flood.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-03. Experienced: 2015-08-02

From Sparrowhawk Bivvy to Armstrong Saddle via Main Range Route
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Distance: 6.0 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 1237m to 1489m. Gain: 683m. Loss: 686m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

South from Sparrowhawk the main Ruahine ridge becomes scrubby. The climb to Maropea is ok, but Maropea summit is dominated by speargrass and best bypassed to the west. The saddle south between Maropea and pt1476 is scrubby and tough on the legs, but 'ok.'. The next saddle south however, is covered with thick scrub and densely packed bush and is a real bushbash (2014). It is hgard, painful going and 'find-your-own-way' until you get clear of it climbing to pt1499. I sidled the west, then crossed to the east, but the route was hardly recommendable.

Once on to pt1499, things improve, and it is an easy climb over the peak and down to Armstrong Saddle, where the track crossing from Sunrise to Top Maropea is obvious. A small tarn at the saddle provides water if you need it.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 02:51:44. Experienced: 2018-02-03


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