We decided to visit Mt Pohatuhaha at the northern end of the Ruahine Ranges. You turnoff at Maraekakaho down Kereru Road, then onto Mangelton Road. Near the end you get to Sentry Box hut and Mt Pohatuhaha.
Myself, Bren and my dad (1st time tramping for him) set off about 9.30am. We'd read in the happy wanderer book that it was a good track if you're into steep. Well it certainly was steep. We climbed up the ridge pretty much straight up - no nice zigzags like Sunrise Hut. It was a bit boggy but the track was clear. Halfway up there is a rocky knoll - a great lookout point over the Wakarara ranges and the Hawke Bay.
Being a really windy day we didn't stop there for too long, enough to refuel and then carry on.
The second part of the ascent was good - more up. Weaved through some forest and open areas - by about 80% of the way up my third wind was kicking in, legs feeling like jelly but I carried on. At the top of the hill we walked right for about 15 minutes and reached Mt Pohatuhaha. Windy Windy Windy... but great views, holding onto the trig point tight. The Mt was 1368m so nice and high. Dad was loving it - he'd never been up in the ranges before and he's hooked now. Bren and I get out every weekend so it was another lovely mountain trek for us. Going down showed our skills at mud surfing and tree swinging - steep and boggy, but it was heaps of fun. Sore quads for 2 days after though!
Overall a great walk to blow out any cobwebs, get your heart pumping and challenge yourself. A calm day is favourable over windy (as always!) and great views (although you can't see Ruapehu like you can at Armstrong Saddle). Rating 7/10.