Length: from 10.0 up to 17.0 days
Distance: 138.5 km (74.1 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, hard - Hard terrain
Altitude: 338m to 1702m. Gain: 12072m. Loss: 11832m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) - Occasional rivers (3/5) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)

The length of the Ruahines from Kurikapango / Comet Road in the north to Woodvill ein the south.

A classic, enjoyable Ruahine tops trip, rough tracks and ridgelines - some exposed and moderately challenging. Iconic names: Sawtooth, Broken Ridge, ...

Then the leatherwood expanses of the southern range. Bushbashing and valley hopping to join the dots ...


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 (3/5)
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

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-19. Experienced: 2014-03-04
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

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 (3/5)
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: 70m. Loss: 12m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

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

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

Distance: 1.4 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 1229m to 1311m. Gain: 90m. Loss: 30m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Dead Dog Hut turnoff, No Mans Road continues more-or-less flat SSW along the ridgeline for 1.5km to No Mans Hut.

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

Distance: 2.7 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1311m to 1376m. Gain: 82m. Loss: 73m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From No Mans Hut, head the last 300m up the 4wd track to the rideline, where a signpost marks the start of the track south along the main range. The route is uncut but marked with warratahs across tussock tops. The ridge soon widens and becomes featureless, but even in poor visibility the next pole was usually in sight.

As the ridge narrows again 600m SSE of Ohawai, an A3 signpost on the left marks the start of the old, unmaintained tracks east to Herricks and Dead Dog via Herricks Spur. Strangely the signpost says 'Farmland'.

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

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: 1.0 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1338m to 1359m. Gain: 31m. Loss: 30m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Parks Peak junction, the main range track swings west around the headwaters of the Makaroro. The tops are brad and marshy at first and the track little more than a poled route. 400m before the hut, beech forest is reached, and the marked cut track resumes, swinging east and dropping to the head of a small stream, where Aranga hut is located in a grassy basin.

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

Distance: 2.3 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1336m to 1403m. Gain: 116m. Loss: 62m . Gradient: 4 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Aranga Hut, the cut marked DOC track continues west onto flat tops of pt1406, a poled route continuing as far as the bushedge on the western side. Here the track enters private land and is no longer maintained by DOC. A roughly marked route continues west over the saddle to pt1396, dropping and sidling the northern face for the last 200m.

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

Distance: 4.8 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1280m to 1473m. Gain: 251m. Loss: 168m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

South from pt1396 there is no ground trail along the main range - slow going along untracked/unmarked tops of tall tussock and low scrub. It takes 1km or so to leave the scrub behind and emerge onto short tussock and moss. From here going is good, if spongy in places.

In bad weather, watch for the swing east over Piopio - compass is strongly recommended.

After 2 gentle saddles and a gentle climb the broad tarn-dotted tops of the eastern side of the Makaroro are reached. The track junction here is not marked, lying somewhere on the broad junction of the two ridges 300m SE of pt1503.

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

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.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2014-03-05
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:52:39. Experienced: 2018-02-04

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.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2014-03-05
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:51:03. Experienced: 2018-02-04

Distance: 0.4 km (0.2 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1360m to 1475m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 115m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The route down from the Kylie Biv turnoff to the biv itself follows a steep, narrow spur SE. The route is marked with warratahs and cairns, dropping into leatherwood, where there is a well cut track (2018). The biv sits among tall leatherwood on a flat shoulder of the spur. The view from the bivis unimpressive, but the long-drop 20m beyond looks all the way down the Makaroro to the plains below.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2014-03-05
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:45:37. Experienced: 2018-02-04

Distance: 0.4 km (0.2 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1360m to 1475m. Gain: 115m. Loss: 0m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the biv to the ridgeline is easier than the descent - the start of the track through the leatherwood obvious above the hut. A signpost marks the track junction at the top of the spur.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-20. Experienced: 2014-03-05
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:45:37. Experienced: 2018-02-04

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.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:38:40. Experienced: 2018-02-04

Distance: 1.4 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1460m to 1526m. Gain: 103m. Loss: 127m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

The ridgeline swings SW from Te Atua Mahuru towards Maroparea highpoint, crossing a broad saddle dotted with tarns. The route in unmarked but easily followable on the identifiable ridgeline.

The junction of the route to Maropea Forks Hut is not marked with a signpost, but is at the Maroparea highpoint.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:28:05. Experienced: 2018-02-04

Distance: 3.0 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1318m to 1502m. Gain: 312m. Loss: 172m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

The ridgeline sawtooths over several small peaks south of Maroparea, climbing lastly the conical Orupu. Dropping east of Orupu you swing south to a low saddle and hit leatherleaf again - thankfully sparse. Heading south from the saddle the turnoff to Sparrowhawk is not signposted, but a few warratahs mark the route to the hut, tucked out of sight at the head of a spur 50m to the east of the ridgeline.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 03:22:23. Experienced: 2018-02-04

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.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-09 02:51:44. Experienced: 2018-02-03

Distance: 2.9 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1308m to 1666m. Gain: 418m. Loss: 117m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An unmaintained track climbs from Armstrong saddle to Te Atuaoparapara summit for spectacular views.

From Armstrong saddle, follow the track west towards Top Maropea Hut for 600m to where the track starts to drop north, and the ridgeline swings SSW. Follow the ridgeline SSW along a rough ground trail, dropping to a saddle and then climbing the pyramidal peak beyond. The trail up the lower section of the climb is indistinct - but at a push you can merely follow the ridgeline up. A ground trail becomes clearer higher up, cutting briefly onto the eastern face (don't go too far, you'll hit slips) before climbing to the first summit above.

Te Atuaoparapara is the second of two summits, and the views are spectacular.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-21 23:15:35. Experienced: 2014-03-07

Distance: 1.5 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1316m to 1676m. Gain: 44m. Loss: 404m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The route south from Te Atuaoparapara descends a steep ridge with scree on one side and bluffs on the other. It is not for the inexperienced, and should not be attempted in strong winds.

From Te Atuaoparapara, descend south, briefly on nice tussock but soon reaching scree faces. The ridgeline is dotted with tall impassible rock outcrops, and it is necessary to sidle below these on the western face. Descent the sharp ridgeline, or the western face just below it on loose scree to the saddle below. Do not venture onto the eastern face.

One on the saddle you can breath easy. Swing SE to climb onto the bare rocky ridgeline of the next highpoint, and follow it south over pt1625. Cairns try to lead you onto the eastern face - this is a mistake - don't do it. Instead, pass pt1625, head due south for 150m, and follow the tussock spur dropping towards the Waipawa Saddle. This becomes fine scree lower down, and is good running down to the saddle. A cairn and warratah at the saddle marks the track crossing from Waipawa Forks to Waikamaka Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07

Distance: 1.2 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1134m to 1320m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 186m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/5) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good poled route descends west from Waipawa Saddle to Waikamaka Hut.

Follow the warratahs west off the saddle, following a steep, narrow spur between two tributaries of the stream. There are some narrow, nervous scrambles at one point, after which you cross the southern fork of the creek atop a waterfall, and descend a tussock face to the river.

From here you are left to follow the small stream downriver to the forks at Waikamaka Hut. The stream is small and poses no risk in normal conditions. In flood conditions you may be able to sidle the southern bank, though it would be tough and scrubby.

A signpost, 10m before the confluence, marks the track ascending 20m to Waikamaka Hut on the southern bank. An old run-down biv is also located on the northern bank.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-07
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-21 23:11:23. Experienced: 2014-03-07

Distance: 1.5 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1130m to 1405m. Gain: 277m. Loss: 6m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Waikamaka Hut, head up the creek to the south towards Rangi Saddle. This starts as a riverbed route, but a cut, marked track later appears, crossing the creek a few times until it reaches the bushedge. From here there are no (useful) markers, follow good ground trails up the creek, often sidling low on the western bank, but avoiding climbing more than 15m above the creek. 150m NE of Rangi Saddle the creek forks, and a steep, speargrass-covered face climbs to the saddle itself. Warratahs mark a route, but do not coincide very well with the faint ground trail. Riven the thick speargrass, follow the ground trail, if you can find it. Hard - painful going to the saddle.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 1.0 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1406m to 1686m. Gain: 297m. Loss: 17m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Rangi Saddle, a narrow unmarked ground trail climbvs SE towards Rangioteatua. The climb is steep, but on short tussock it is reasonable going to the first knob. A short saddle follows, then another, steeper climb to the main peak. Things become steep and rocky 80m or so up this ascent, and a scree chute to the north looks tempting. It is not recommended though as it steep and is little more than gravel-on-rock and offers no purchase to climb. So persist with the rocky spur and zigzag round the outcrops until the next knob when you get onto good stable rocks, and the gradient drops to a walk rather than scramble. After the steep climb, Rangioteatua is a gently rounded summit with views over the Hawkes Bay plains.

The summit, where this route meets the main NS Ruahine Main Range route is not marked.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 1.1 km (0.3 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1620m to 1702m. Gain: 100m. Loss: 94m . Gradient: 10 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An easy walk along a broad, exposed shingle ridgeline leads from Rangioteatua to the next peak south, pt1715. A brief climb up the northern tussock face of the peak takes you to the trig. This is the junction ont he main range route with the track up from Smiths Stream Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 3.0 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1477m to 1700m. Gain: 214m. Loss: 281m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From pt1715 (trig) a vague spur drops SW - a real compass job in poor visibility as the route/spur is not obvious. After descending 200m, you find yourself on a narrow ridgeline between pt1715 and Broken Ridge. A minor knob in the middle can be crossed, and the ridgeline is ok as far as the next saddle. Then the fun begins. A rocky outcrop blocks the way climbing directly up to Broken Ridge, and it is necessary to drop 50m NW towards Waterfall Creek to pass it. Sidle the loose scree face, crossing a gully, then climb again 100m up a loose scree face to regain the ridgeline again on the south side of the outcrop. The ridgeline is now a mix of waist-deep tussock and scrub, and climbs steeply to Broken Ridge. Force your way through it, gaining height until you crawl onto the top of Broken Ridge

Broken Ridge deserves its name - a narrow knife-edge of rotten crumbling rock. Follow the ridgeline SSE, avoiding false trails leading onto steep, gravel-on-rock faces. Gradually the ridgeline widens and the going becomes good as you reach the final easternmost knob (where the ridge starts to drop). This is the junction with the route from Hinerua Hut to the east.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-21 23:00:02. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 1.3 km (0.7 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1459m to 1670m. Gain: 211m. Loss: 174m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the knob where Broken Ridge forks, drop south (on a 190 degree bearing in bad weather) down a spur that heads for the saddle with Ohuinga. Swing west off the sour onto the saddle (this turn again is hard to spot in bad weather), dropping into tall tussock and leatherleaf. Beyond the saddle, a 200m climb follows up the defined spur, still in thick tussock and low leatherleaf, to reach Ohuinga highpoint.

A cairn marks the summit, and the junction with the routes to Tarn Biv / Black Ridge to the SE, and Iron Peg / Purity Hut (etc) to the NW.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-21 22:55:50. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 3.0 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1471m to 1668m. Gain: 246m. Loss: 252m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Sawtooth Ridge is a narrow ridge with two rocky outcrops spaced evenly along it - hence the name. It is no better or worse than surrounding ridges in the Ruahines, but from its name has gained a daunting reputation. It is a tramping route in summer, with a few scrambles but no technical climbing. In winter it is a serious proposition. There is no marked track over the ridge, but a well-used ground trail is clearly visible, and this should be within the capabilities of most trampers who have tops route-finding ability and don't mind a scramble or two.

A broad rocky ridge runs south from Ohuinga, dropping steeply after 300m to the saddle at the lowpoint of 1400m, passing two rocky outcrops by sidling below them

Continuing south from the saddle, the two main rock outcrops (the teeth of the saw) are only partially climbed - good, well used ground trails cut across the steep faces of each avoiding the rocky bits of the outcrops. If you find yourself climbing on exposed rock, you're in the wrong place, and there is probably a sidle trail nearby. (My notes fail to record which side of each tooth I sidled.)

Climb / sidle the remaining smaller 'teeth', the ridge rising gradually so that by the far end of the sawtooth you're only 100m below the summit of Tiraha. A short climb follows up tussock and scree chutes to the summit.

Tiraha Summit is not marked. It is the junction of routes along the Sawtooth Ridge, the ridge east then south to Howletts, and a tough route starting SW to Te Hekenga and thence the western Ruahines.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 2.6 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1327m to 1663m. Gain: 76m. Loss: 409m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Tiraha highpoint the unmarked route to Howletts heads SSE along the high spur, passing the start of the Daphne Ridge towards Howletts. A cairn marks the spot where the route drops east of the spur into a basin, then cuts back NE across the tussock face to regain Daphne Spur. This dogsleg avoids a steep, slippery descent of the eastern face of Tiraha.

Once on Daphne Ridge the route is obvious. A good ground trail runs east down the ridge, swinging south towards Howletts. The first 2km are on tussock and shingle, occasionally sidling high on the western face to avoid climbing unnecessarily to intermediate knobs. 300m before Howletts the track enters stunted beech and a marked, cut track runs the remaining distance to the hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-08

Distance: 3.4 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1221m to 1409m. Gain: 311m. Loss: 293m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Howletts, follow the ridgeline SW passing the turnoff to Daphne after 50m. The route is not poled or cut. The ridgeline is scrubby, but the track fairly well defined as far as Taumatataua. Prior to reaching the next highpont (pt`1431) the route swings SE off the ridge, dropping 200m to the saddle, then climbing a similar distance up the far side to the next ridgeline. This section is thick with low leatherleaf and can be a bit of a scrub-bash.

A signpost located where the track hits the ridgeline (400m west of pt1271) marks the track junction with the track dropping NE to Daphne.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-09
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-21 22:48:15. Experienced: 2014-03-09

Distance: 2.2 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1335m to 1503m. Gain: 209m. Loss: 78m . Gradient: 8 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Daphne track junction, head south along the unmarked, broad tussock ridge climbing steadily, past the pyramidical pt1452 and then on to Otumore highpoint. Warratahs starting around this point lead to a signpost at the junction of the Longview track and the route SW down Ngamoko range - 200m south of Otumore highpoint on the eastern escarpment.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2014-03-09

Distance: 1.8 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1171m to 1476m. Gain: 22m. Loss: 318m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted junction 200m south of Otumore, the poled track east to Longview drops steeply off the range towards the Pohongina saddle. The track is well trodden and well marked with warratahs - but note that this section of the range is subject to severe winds.

Crossing the saddle the track climbs slightly and swings south to skirt west of pt1232. The unmarked route NNE to the Tukituki/Daphne starts at this corner. 100m later a signpost is reached marking the junction of the track up from Kashmir Rd with the main range track. 100m south again, a further signpost marks the turnoff to Longview Hut, 50m east off the ridge.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-12-21. Experienced: 2012-11-20
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-12-21 22:44:51. Experienced: 2012-11-19

Distance: 9.2 km (2.8 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1039m to 1223m. Gain: 860m. Loss: 907m . Gradient: 11 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From Longview Hut, a good, obvious poled tramping route follows the ridgeline south towards the Apiti Track. After Rocky Knob (detour off main track) the track enters scrub and then sections of bush - where it is cut and marked.

Madpom wrote: Pt1164 has a marked turnoff to Makaretu Hut (2007 - note that when I visited Makaretu in 2014 it appeared that this northern access was no longer maintained).
2018 - this appears to be the main, mapped route down to Makaretu, complete with a new doc sign, and makes sense relative to the exit point at the Makaretu end. An old, overgrown looking track to Makaretu is signposted (with old DOC sign) head east on the spur south of Te Pohatu (Co-ord: S40° 00.173' E176° 05.691')

South of pt 1664 (450m/10min) the track enters the top of a slip and no obvious markers are present on the far side, pick your way across and down (past the stoat trap) to re-enter the leatherwood.

The track is mostly easy walking with some undulations and recent windfall - both trees and leatherwood, but generally straightforward to negotiate around. (Feb 2018)

Created by: Madpom on 2018-02-10. Experienced: 2007-01-01
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-21 18:28:40. Experienced: 2018-02-18

Distance: 2.8 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1050m to 1223m. Gain: 210m. Loss: 144m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map
From pt1164 to pt1232

From pt1164 the Longview-Apiti track continues south along the ridgeline - vegetation tending increasingly to bush/scrub. The track is well maintained: cut and marked. The signposted track junction with the Apiti Track is about 3km south of pt1164.

Created by: Madpom on 2018-02-10. Experienced: 2007-01-01

Distance: 2.2 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 776m to 1223m. Gain: 68m. Loss: 513m . Gradient: 16 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A good cut track drops SE from pt1232 towards the Ngamoko Road road end via the Apiti Track. Cut and marked through first leatherleaf and lower down good bush. Just beyond the 2nd saddle a signposted track junction is reached with a track dropping south towards the Mangatewainui River and Cattle Creek Hut.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-04-22. Experienced: 2013-10-01
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-02-21 18:35:56. Experienced: 2018-02-18

Distance: 4.2 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 523m to 916m. Gain: 427m. Loss: 277m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted track junction, gfollow the marked track south down into the Mangatewainui. The track stops at the creek, which must be followed a further 1km downstream to the forks. From the forks, climb the spur to the south of both forks, angling west as it climbs towards pt951. There is no cut track on this spur (you are on private land) but the remains of the old NZFS track become more obvious as you climb. Follow the ridgeline as it swings south-west over the low pt951.

pt951 is the turn-off for those headed for Duck Pond Hut and the Apiti Stream to Ngamoko Hut.

Rivers are low (ankle deep) in normal flows but will be impassable after heavy rain.

Created by: Madpom on 2018-02-10. Experienced: 2007-01-01

Distance: 3.2 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 717m to 922m. Gain: 82m. Loss: 276m . Gradient: 6 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Follow the unmaintained, unmarked (2014) track south along the ridgeline from pt951 towards Cattle Creek Hut. The turnoff to Cattle Creek is signposted and tracks from here on are maintained.

Created by: Madpom on 2018-02-10. Experienced: 2014-01-01
Last updated by: Madpom at 2018-02-10 17:14:08. Experienced: 2014-01-01

Distance: 4.0 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 569m to 899m. Gain: 331m. Loss: 495m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A marked track heads directly off the porch at Cattle Creek and down the hill, crossing the stream. From there a relatively steep 15 min climb ensues to the top of the ridge. Turn south and head along the ridge which is fairly straight forward. A sharp 90deg turn is signposted, at which point the track drops sharply, then eases off until the creek is reached. Follow the creek downstream through overgrown patches of buddleia - sometimes you can walk on the bank, but mostly in the slippery stream bed. Sporadic cairns are present A Stanfield Hut is on the true right before the seemingly impenetrable mass of willows in the stream.

Created by: Ellya on 2018-01-25. Experienced: 2018-01-22

Distance: 1.3 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 569m to 1041m. Gain: 486m. Loss: 17m . Gradient: 24 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Steep descent off the ridge down to Stanfield Hut

Created by: Ellya on 2017-10-01. Experienced: 2017-09-17

Distance: 1.9 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1025m to 1158m. Gain: 170m. Loss: 53m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Gentle drop through scrubby bush to top of ridge above Stanfield Hut to junction where old track up to Takapari highpoint joins in. Track is partially overgrown, but still passable. Muddy in places.

Created by: Ellya on 2017-10-01. Experienced: 2017-09-17

Distance: 2.6 km (0.8 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 1060m to 1177m. Gain: 61m. Loss: 146m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The 4WD Takapari Rd runs along the eastern escarpment of the Ruahines south from the Standfield Hut turnoff to Travers A Frame Hut. A couple of steep descents are tricky in 2WD vehicles, but should be fine in 4WD with some clearance.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-07
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-11 04:14:22

Distance: 4.8 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Road - Easy terrain
Altitude: 1006m to 1129m. Gain: 275m. Loss: 306m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An easy but long walk along the 4WD Takaparui Road from Travers Hut to it's southern end. Note that tracks to Forks Hut start 300m beyond the end of the graveled road. A journey through an endless expanse of leatherleaf, with views over the Tararua district and Manawatu.

Created by: Madpom on 2014-08-06
Last updated by: Madpom at 2014-08-11 04:14:44

Distance: 4.2 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Hard terrain
Altitude: 470m to 1059m. Gain: 170m. Loss: 756m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A very tough, rough route exists from the southern end of Takapari Rd to the Otamaraho Stream on the eastern side of the Ruahines, for onwards access to Kumeti and points South.

From the end of the 4WD Takapari Road, continue south along the tops on an overgrown, but followable tramping track. This is shown on maps, continuing a further 1.5km along the eastern escarpment. At the point where the map shows the track stopping, a roughly cut track swings SW towards the spur north of the Otamaraho Stream. JJust befor the drop-off, the track forks, the northern fork dropping into a slip at the head of the the next stream north, and the southern fork heading for the spur. The track is reasonably well cut (2014) for the first 100 vertical meters descent, but beyond that becomes very overgrown. Occasional tape, tin lids and old cut stumps are all the indicates that a track was every present. It is possible to bush bash down the spur until it flattens a little and bush gives was to tall toetoe mixed with waits to head high scrub. Here progress becomes very tricky, and I dropped off the spur, heading SSW. I do not that on air-photos (WAMS), a bov of some sort seems to exist another 400m down the spur,so if you persist, you may pick up a track leading to that - but I found the way impassable once I hit the toetoe.

Initally, going dropping off the spur continues very scrubby and tight, but once below the scrub, heading SSW off the spur, the bush became open and going good for about 100 vertical meters, following a small sidestream visible as a dry gully on the map. 60m above the Otamaraho valley floor this creek met waterfalls and vertical faces. DO NOT CONTINUE below this point, instead, sidle upstream (WNW) onto good, if steep slips which can be descended to the valley.

From here it is a simple process of following the Otamaraho downstream. A couple of small waterfalls in the first 150m require scrambling round, but once below them, the valley floor is broad and flat as far as the park boundary.

Outside the park, a Queen's Chain exists, so you could continue down the creek if you wanted, to Thornburn Road. Alternatively a reasonable, but steep route crosses the spur to the SW, just inside the park, to the Kumeti roadend.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-02. Experienced: 2014-03-12

Distance: 1.7 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 378m to 655m. Gain: 199m. Loss: 277m . Gradient: 17 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the point where the Otamaraho Stream flows out of the Ruahine Park, head up the inside (Ruahine side) of the fenceline climbing due west. This is a small, steep gully of open bush. Keep near to the fenceline as the gully peters out, swinging SW across the face to cross the spur which drops due south. Once over the spur, drop SSW into the head of the dry gully visible from map contours - the 2nd dry gully visible within the park. Stick to mature bush as you descend and you will have an easy descent, though patches of dog nettle are present. Avoid continuing too far west as the good bush becomes thick scrub beyond this gully.

Once in the gully, follow it to the north forks of the Mangapuaka Stream, and then follow that downstream until you reach the forks with the main, southern branch - at the park boundary. Travel is best in-stream, or on the western bank. The eastern bank becomes very thick.

Once on the shingle flats of the main fork of the Mangapuaka, cross the main river (ankle deep in normal flows, but can flood)head upstream 150m to where a signpost on the western bank points south out of the riverbed to the Kumeti Roadend. The roadend is 20m out of the river.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-02. Experienced: 2014-03-13

Distance: 4.9 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 389m to 1041m. Gain: 656m. Loss: 4m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Kumeti Roadend,, head up the Mangapuaka riverbed for approx 1km. An old 4wd track heads up the gravel flats, cutting later onto river banks. The 4wd track gives out around the old Kumeti Hut site, and tha route crosses to the southern bank where a signpost marks the start of the tramping track to Kiritaki Hut. The route up the riverbed is not marked, and it would not be hard to miss the start of the track to Kiritaki. Several river crossing are normally performed - ankle to knee deep in normal flows - but the river can be impassable after heavy rain. A bushbash up the south-western bank looks possible, but tough, if the river is uncrossable.

From the signpost, the track is well cut and marked, climbing steeply south, gaining 300m onto the spur. Once on the spurt the gradient flattens to a gentle climb, and bush gives way to scrub. A further 3.5km of gentle climb follows to reach the signposted track junction at an unnamed peak 400m east of Matanginui. Here a track turns south towards Kiritaki Hut, and another continues west to the western park boundary at the former Opawe Hut site.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-02. Experienced: 2014-03-13
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-03-02 01:24:26. Experienced: 2014-03-13

Distance: 2.7 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 529m to 1041m. Gain: 286m. Loss: 543m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted track junction east of Matanganui highpoint, the track to Kiritaki Hut heads due south along a spur, well cut and marked through scrubby vegetation. After 1.5km it climbs to a small highpoint, then drops west into the Oruakeretaki Stream. This section is inaccurate on topomaps (and on the route drawn here) but cut and marked int he scrub, and signposted in/out of the river so easy to follow. Hitting the river the route is unmarked, following the riverbed downstream for maybe 300m, before a signpost on the true-right bank marks the start of the track leading up the Kiritaki Hut. The stream is small, and mainly a process of boulder-hopping with dry feet. However, the narrow gorge looks like it could become impassible after heavy rain.

The track climbs steeply and is rough and loose for 200 vertical meters until it hits the top of the face it is climbing. From there a well cut, marked track runs WSW along the broad ridge, climbing gentle to reach Kiritaki Hut, 400m away.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-03-02. Experienced: 2014-03-13

Distance: 3.5 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 398m to 836m. Gain: 69m. Loss: 458m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Kiritaki Hut a good track wanders west and south before dropping into the headwaters of the Raparapawai Stream. The route down river then follows the riverbed, with increasing river flats as you go downstream. Travel is reasonable in normal flows with no crossings much more than boot deep.

After 2km of river travel, a signpost on the western bank below the 2nd major sidecreek on the western side marks the start of the track to the Mangaatua.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-02-15. Experienced: 2104-03-14

Distance: 2.9 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 398m to 788m. Gain: 403m. Loss: 326m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the signposted turnoff at the forks, a cut, marked track climbs a spur to the ridgeline and ascends to scrubby tops above. On reaching the summit the track heads 200m south of the highpoint and drops into the creek draining west from that point. The track markers and cut track then stop and you are lefdt to find your way down the grassy creek/slip to the main river below. The junction of this route with the main creek at the western end is not marked or signposted.

Follow the creek downstream. It starts of narrow and bouldery but eventually open up to good travel with narrow river flats beside it.

The s=track to coppermine is signposted on the western bank about 1km below the point you hit the creek.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-02-15. Experienced: 2104-03-14

Distance: 1.8 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 414m to 722m. Gain: 239m. Loss: 308m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good, steep cut marked track climbs from the signposted track junction in Mangaatua Stream to the ridgeline to the south. It heads briefly east along the ridgeline to a signposted junction, before dropping south into Coppermine Stream.

Both Coppermine and Mangaatua streams must be crossed, but are boot deep in normal flows.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-02-15. Experienced: 2104-03-14

Distance: 3.3 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 403m to 907m. Gain: 555m. Loss: 51m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The turnoff to Wharite is a few meters upriver of the Mangaatua junction in Coppermine Creek. From here, a cut, marked track climbs moderately steeply to the south to ready the ridgeline. Once there it swings west, climbing more gently through regenerating bush and later leatherleaf to reach the summit of the Ruahine Range. Swinging SW it passes over 3 small beaks and saddles before climbing to Wharite Peak. Wharite is unmistakable, on account of the large transmission tower located there. It is the top end of Wharite road, which though private is generally open to the public..

Created by: Madpom on 2015-02-15. Experienced: 2014-03-14

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