I'm after a proven route (with trip notes) that can either take in part of the southern or nothern crossing. we plan to go over Easter so we are trying to avoid crowded huts. So we're after an altenative less busy route that is medium going (no bush bashing), two nights, three days in dureation for 1 experienced and 2 beginners adult or at least think we are. Can be one way or return. I've only tramped once in the area hence this message.
Any help appreciated.
start Kaitoki up to Alpha across to Elders (small hut) then Renata (sleeps 10 but last time I was there the log book had no entrys for nearly 2 months Take everything) then down to Renata saddle then either follow 4wd road to Akatarawa summit (dont leave cars here) or cross the 4wd road and up to kiriwhakapapa and down to Ngatiawa rod end
I seem to recall mentioning this once before but I once slept at the front door step of Renata Hut after giving up trying to find the hut in what amounted to a white out quite dark and really heavy mist with just a bit of wind and rain (usual tararua mid winter). Woke in the morning rolled over and clunk (door step) :)
I think youll find Geeves means Kapakapanui not Kiriwhakapapa and yes this is a good trip and generally not too many people, though Alpha could possibly be busy over Easter with people doing the Southern Crossing.
Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. Im keen on giving it a go but because I'm responsible for a group and just so I'm clear is the below correct?
Enter via Kaitoki
Walk track to Hells Gate
Stay at Alpha Hut
Head for Elders
Head for Renata Hut
Stay at Renata Hut
Follow Renata saddle
Cross the 4wd road and up to Kapakapanui
Exit down to Ngatiawa road end
If correct, have you an approximate time for how long each day would be please?
An alternative to leaving via Kapakapanui if the group would prefer to follow the river rather than climb up to Kapakapanui would be to carry on past Waiotauru Hut and towards Otaki Forks, which has more infrastructure than the Kapakapanui exit, especially if you have plans to leave a car there. I'm unsure what state the track is in, though, so maybe someone should confirm that idea.
As for times, assuming the original suggested route, it'll take all day to get along Marchant Ridge to Alpha Hut but it's a common thing for people to do. Then maybe 3 hours to Elder Biv and another 3 hours to Renata Hut. After that, probably another 2 hours to Kapakapanui Peak (not the hut), and a couple of hours down to the road in either direction. Someone else should definitely confirm these time guestimates, and I haven't accounted for stops like snacks and lunches.
I haven't been there for a while, so I'm just staring at a map and loosely applying metrics that'd usually work for a group of reasonably fit but not super-fit and ultra-fast people. I usually go with averaging about 3km/hour, or an hour for every 300 metres of vertical climbing if there's significant up-hill.
If one were to stay at Alpha, you might as well go through with the entire Southern Crossing .
It is likely to be as busy at Alpha as it is at Kime or Field .
The Alpha/Renata/Kapakapanui trip, though good, is mostly below the bushline . So you miss out on the potential for the mind blowing views you would get doing the Southern proper .
It is also alot more demanding physically, imo, to do the crossing via Renata, as it is longer, takes longer, and is muddier, especially with the weather we have been having here .
If the weather is good, do the southern, it isn't to hard to make it from Alpha to Otaki Forks in one day, but this is subjective .
There is the potential to do many trips that are as rewarding as the Southern, but without all the people .
Though I have before, I am a little apprehensive to recommend routes to people who I do not know, as I said above tramping is all subjective .
I would hate to recommend a route that gets you into trouble .
A few people have gotten lost and been rescued in the last few months just going on day hikes up to Kapakapanui, God knows how, but they do .
From Renata up through Elder up to the Southern Crossing is a lot better marked and cut than it used to be but it is a bit more demanding than the Crossing itself so perhaps this may be a better option.Last time i went through down from Waiotauru hut through to Otaki Forks the track wasnt in very good condition,with slips,washouts and not very well marked.The Southern crossing in the right conditions i highly recommend,lets hope the weather comes to the party!