(draft) Trip: My Trip
Distance: 35.2 km (20.2 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, hard - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 537m to 1526m. Gain: 2540m. Loss: 3306m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/6) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)


From Kylie Biv turnoff to Te Atua Mahuru summit via Main Range Route
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Distance: 5.1 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 1372m to 1526m. Gain: 433m. Loss: 382m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the Kylie Bic turnoff the ridgeline and route head due west, climbing over Tupari summit, before skirting the head of a series of slips above the basin to its south. The track frequently leads onto these slips which are gravel-on-rock and dangerous. Stay on the ridgeline or scrubby western side, and avoid temptation to try the east.

South of here a good ground trail becomes established along the narrow ridgeline, though the track is still unmarked. Several saddles and summits must be crossed, with good water available at the tarn 1km north of Ina Rock.

A signposted track junction on Te Atua Mahuru marks the top of the Colenso Spur track from Barlow Hut / Makaroro River to the east.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:38:40. Experienced: 2018-02-04

From Totara Spur summit to Kylie Biv turnoff via Main Range Route
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Distance: 1.1 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1457m to 1475m. Gain: 34m. Loss: 16m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted Totara Spur track junction, continue south along the broad, flat main range. The route is unmarked, with no clear ground trail, and at first you just follow a bearing of 190 degrees.

After 500m or so the ridge finally narrows and a ground trail appears, heading WSW over pt1470, then beginning to climb towards Tupari. Just before the ridgeline swings west to the Tupari highpoint, a cairn and a signpost (2014) mark the turnoff to Kylie Biv, 140m below to the south-east.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:51:03. Experienced: 2018-02-04

From Main Range / Potae junction to Totara Spur summit via Main Range Route
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Distance: 0.5 km (0.2 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, hard - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1457m to 1473m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 16m . Gradient: 2 deg (Flat)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the junction of the two ridgelines (300m SE of pt1503) follow the broad tops SSE for 500m. The route is neither poled nor obvious on the ground. A spur joins from the east (Totara Spur), and way over on the eastern extremity of the flat tops a signpost marks the junction of the main range route with the Totara Spur track.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:52:39. Experienced: 2018-02-04

From Main Range / Potae junction to Potae Track Junction via Potae-Main Range Track
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Distance: 4.0 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1099m to 1479m. Gain: 309m. Loss: 554m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the form in the main range, continue NNW over pt1503 (a 100x100m round lump 20m higher than the surrounding flat tops). Continue another 200m on a bearing of 320 degrees to reach a signpost pointing WNW towards Potae (Ruahine Corner Hut). From here head WNW and pick up the side-spur dropping in that direction. It all requires good compass skills in bad weather on these featureless tops.

Soon the spur becomes well defined and enters leatherwood through a well travelled, well cut track (2018). The track drops and climbs repeatedly through beech forest for 2km, before crossing a small stream, climbing and sidling a bit, then making a final steep climb to the wind-carved rock of Potae ridge. A signposted track junction with the Colenso / Ruahine Corner Track is found on the crown of the ridge.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 23:03:41. Experienced: 2018-02-04

Distance: 0.9 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1220m to 1298m. Gain: 88m. Loss: 105m . Gradient: 13 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the Colenso turnoff, the track towards Ruahine Corner climbs over the Potae highpoint - one of several spectacular carved sandstone tors on the ridgeline. Descending the far side, a 2nd track junction is reached, where a track joins from the south from a saddle connecting Potae with the main range.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 23:25:39. Experienced: 2018-02-05

From Potae - Waiokotore - Colenso Junction to Colenso Hut via Potae - Mangatera River Track
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Distance: 5.3 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 699m to 1220m. Gain: 319m. Loss: 825m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A mix of track, marked route and open river travel

From the signposted junction 200m west of Potae, the track drops steeply SW into the branch of the Mangatera River. On reaching the first forks, the track stops and you are left to work your way down the small riverbed. This was reasonable going, even in steady rain, with crossings knee deep in wet conditions. 2018 - travel was mostly along the banks which are frequently marked by orange triangles, and not requiring too many crossing on the slippery rocks within the river bed. Further down the river becomes more open, passing under several large cliff faces to join the main river.

On reaching the main Mangatera the river becomes much larger, and travel is on a wide riverbed of rounded riverstones. In steady rain the river occupied the whole bed, and crossings were knee to thigh deep. Some pools in the first 200m required scrubby bush-bashed to bypass. 2018 - no sidling required in low flows and travel easy and straight forward.

The valley becomes scrubby as it nears the forks below the hut. About a 1km down the main river a fork appears on the true left. Enter the fork and orange triangles can be seen a few metres up on the true right bank. 2018 - clamber up true left of log waterfall and walk up the river is easy and straight forward to Colenso Hut, which is situated above the river on the true left. Note: plenty of mozzies were inside the hut - take repellent!

Madpom's previous notes state: An uncut, badly marked track cut off the last corner above the forks and deposited us back in the riverbed heading upriver towards Colenso. If you can't find it, just follow the riverbed.
Colenso Hut is 600m upriver on the western bank.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 23:41:43. Experienced: 2018-02-05

Distance: 1.6 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 655m to 747m. Gain: 79m. Loss: 113m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A track heads west from Colenso Hut, passing Lake Colenso. It is well worthwhile taking the signposted 100m side-track down to the lake, which is a unique gem rich in birdlife and surrounded by mature bush and limestone bluffs.

After the lake turnoff the track wanders across marshy flats through bush and clearings until the valley begins to narrow. Dropping slightly towards the river, the track sidles the southern face. A signposted track junction is soon reached with a track dropping from the south from Unknown Campsite and Maropea Forks.

Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 23:46:09. Experienced: 2018-02-05

Distance: 3.6 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 537m to 931m. Gain: 278m. Loss: 420m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Unknown Campsite turnoff, the Iron Bark track sidles downriver a further kilometer, before starting a steady 200m climb to the ridgeline to the south. The track is well marked and cut (2012). Following the ridgeline west, it finally swings SSW and drops a spur to the forks above Iron Bark Hut. The last section of this was steep.

You can ford the river in normal flows (knee deep), but a bridge crosses the sidecreek, heading upstream which takes you to a swing bridge over the main river some 100m upstream of the forks.

Iron Bark Hut sites at the base of slips a hundred meters downriver on the western bank.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-04-17 22:04:23. Experienced: 2012-11-04

From Iron Bark Hut to Otukota Hut via Maropea River
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Distance: 3.7 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 538m to 610m. Gain: 95m. Loss: 27m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A reasonable riverbed route runs up the Maropea River from Iron Bark Hut to Otukota Hut. The valley is gorged in places, and travel was mainly on the flat rocky riverbed. Crossings were knee to waist deep in moderate flows (winter meltwater conditions).

Otukota Hut is on the southern/western bank, upriver of the forks shown on the map. The track up to the hut was marked with small triangles (2012)

Created by: Madpom on 2015-04-17. Experienced: 2006-09-20

From Otukota Hut to Mokai Patea via Bruce Ridge
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Distance: 4.0 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 613m to 1402m. Gain: 800m. Loss: 11m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A marked track climbs the spur to the south of Otukota Hut. The track is cut and marked. The ascent starts steep through mature bush, later entering beech forest as it nears the bushline where the track ends. The route up the spur from here is unmarked, but obvious in good weather. Travel is slow on large, rolling tussocks - especially when they're covered in slow!. In poor conditions, keep the western bushedge in sight as you climb until it ends 200m before the summit. Old yards are present at the top of the spur, where you swing west round the head of a creek to the saddle on the main range. A short climb west takes you to the unnamed highpoint where a ridge branches SW to Colenso Trig. The summit was marked with a warratah (2009).

Created by: Madpom on 2015-04-17. Experienced: 2009-06-20

From Mokai Patea to Colenso trig via ridgeline
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Distance: 2.0 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1294m to 1402m. Gain: 104m. Loss: 110m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An unmarked route drops SW off the Mokai Patea towards Colenso trig along the obvious ridgeline. Going is on open tussock for the most part, though the saddle between the two is scrubby. A reasonable ground trail exists through the scrubby sections. Basic map&compass skills required in poor visibility.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-04-17. Experienced: 2209-06-20

From Colenso trig to Kawhatau Base via track
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Distance: 3.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 670m to 1396m. Gain: 1m. Loss: 727m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A faintly travelled, poled route drops west from Colenso, past the tarn and over a small rise, before swinging SW down the spur towards Kawhatau. Once into the scrub/bush the track is easily followed, but moderately steep. The track is cut and well marked. The track hits the end of the private road at Kawhatau Base hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-04-17. Experienced: 2009-06-20


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