One Man Walking

Round The Mountain (most of)

March 10th, 2008 · 5 Comments

The lack of updates here has unfortunately not been because of an increase in my training schedule, though it really should have been. While Chris has been posting at a prolific rate I have been sidetracked by work and the impending departure from my life in New Zealand. I have a few items for sale on TradeMe if any of you are interested. Mostly bike gear at the moment.I have managed to get some walking in though. I’m still going to and from work by foot and using that time to learn Japanese. I can now confidently ask someone where their husband is and if they’d like to come back to my place for a drink. Who said those Pimsluer guys don’t know how to party?This weekend saw my biggest outing since I got back with an attempt at a 2 day saunter on the Tongariro – Round The Mountain track. At 70+ Km it’s normally billed as 4-6 days but while I still have a job I have to fit things into weekends and so too do Tania and Paul.Wide valleys on Mt RuapehuWe took off from Auckland and some horrible hour in the morning and hit the track by 7:30am. It was surprisingly cold down there but with our brisk pace it didn’t take long to warm up and lose the gloves. A trail crew was out making new steps and cutting a path for us. Among their number was Ants, a guy I met on his first night as a hut warden when training for the PCT. What a different life it is to have your work day outside in this landscape. Building stairs, clearing bush and actually needing a rest rather than needing to stand up every now and again. We reached Waihohonu Hut pretty quickly and found a lady standing at the trail junction. Someone in her party had gone ahead and she wanted news of him. When we said we hadn’t gone via the historic hut, just 5 mins off the trail, she was just a little shocked. I imagine she’d planned her whole hike around getting to see the ram shackle old building that I’ve seen before and frankly was not interested in. Mangaehuehu HutShow me the work of mother nature. The grandeur of the mountains and the serenity of the valleys. An old hut does nothing for me and I think she felt it was a personal affront to her that we were not going to see it. A quick break and on we went.Over the wonderfully clear spring water, up the dry sandy river river beds and across the wide valley to the dirt track that leads to a small ski field. It was here that my memory of the trail seemed to fade. Things appeared in the wrong order and the huts were further apart than they ought to be. About 2.5km further apart according to Paul’s GPS watch. And that extra distance was a killer. As we sloped into the Mangaehuehu hut we decided that we couldn’t do another day that long and we are going to cut it short. Had I been alone I probably would have carried on to do the full loop and done myself serious damage. I’m glad I had a voice of reason with me.Board walk over the wetlands With just a little jump to the road that morning we slept in and took it easy. I remembered this section of the trail much better, this being the fourth time I’ve seen it. At the road we sat down and called a shuttle while discussing the incredible parking of one small motor-home that blocked off most of the carpark for no apparent reason. Another car turned up and the driver squeezed into the only spot left. As he passed us he said “Think you own the carpark do you?” wrongly assuming that the three smelly hikers sitting in the dirt owned that monstrosity. We corrected him and he went on his way. Before the shuttle turned up the bad parker came frantically running down the path having being told by the other guy his vehicle was being broken into. He was not impressed. I think he deserved it, there was no need to park across the entrance like that. But he turned out to be a nice guy and drove the other two to town while I went to get the car.Well that’s enough for now. I’ll try to keep the updates shorter and more frequent. They’ll be stuff about leaving parties, packing up, more training and my secret recipe for perfect vegetables. Talk to you soonP.S. I took the oppourtunity to record the track via GPS. Tongariro – Round The Mountain Track (most of)




photo  ·  pre-hike

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mountaingoat // Mar 11, 2008 at 12:27 am

    That’s more like it.

  • 2 Tony // Mar 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm


    AMAZINGLY – i was doing the Tongariro Crossing on saturday too!!!
    inc. the Nagharahoe (sp!) climb! killer!!

    What a primo weekend for weather – hope you had fun despite it getting cut short. Was thinking of doing your walk at Easter…weather permitting…

    oh – have you discovered the ‘Out of the Fog’ cafe on the way out of National Park – at Owongaho? great coffee and food!

  • 3 Chris // Mar 14, 2008 at 3:54 am

    Since I’ve been taking the piss out of Ian for all those great posts of his, I shouldn’t take the credit … Mountaingoat a.k.a. Ian is the prolific poster of the team, not me.

    Looking forward to the secret recipe…

  • 4 craig // Mar 14, 2008 at 10:44 am

    ahh my mistake. If you had a trail name too (hydrolith?) then I could stick with one set, but having MG, Ian and Chris for two people doesn’t balance right.

  • 5 Chris // Mar 18, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Yeah, my trail name is Ashioto (footsteps).

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