Route from Carkeek to Dracophyllum knob/hut
Hi there - planning my next solo trip - Im after some info - if anyone has it - on a route across the Park Valley from the Carkeek Ridge to Dracophyllum. Planning on knocking off a few huts on this trip - Carkeek hut will be my destination for the night, then the next day I may need to backtrack a bit up the Carkeek ridge to trip across to Drac. I think there is a crossing point across to Nicholls further down the Carkeek ridge/spur, however this is my best chance to knock off Drac. The ridge/spur countours down into Park Valley from point 1285 on Carkeek ridge look like a possibility? Any views or knowledge on a semi-established route this way appreciated. cheers!
@tararuahunter posted this map a couple of years ago showing the old routes around the park forks/carkeek/dorset area, all the routes shown are relatively easy to follow if you are confident off-track: https://tramper.nz/15845/park-forks-routes/ Also found this recent blog post describing one option crossing park valley: http://tararualite.blogspot.co.nz/2017/12/mid-tararua-crossing.html
@Nzbazzas post (1st link) shows the normal route via Nichols & parks forks. This is usually lightly marked with tape and has enough traffic for a light ground trail to be visible. However - to answer your question about a crossing to Dracophyllum - I've never tried it but did meet a party at Dracophyllym hut that had just come direct from Carkeek. Steep, tough but doable was more or less what they said.
I have been either up or down many of those spurs and ridges back in the day and they are all pretty much the same. Nothing stands out as being too difficult - they're standard Tararua fare. If you are competent in off track travel you shouldn't have any problem, just pick the route you like the look of best and try to keep out of the side creeks. I'm sure you know all about leatherwood? Chasing "Red Line" is good fun.
In case the redline reference is new to you: e.g.: http://mapspast.org.nz/mapsheet/2/?zoom=14&x=1803366&y=5481936 Red lines for tracks, black for spurs.
Nice map, Madpom. The Red Line I was referring to is to tramp somewhere (tracks, terrain etc) you haven't been before, and mark it up with red pen on your map. Maybe it's an old Tramping Club expression. My old inch/mile red line maps of the Tararuas look quite impressive even if I can't recall over half the trips now :-)
Ah. I got the wrong end of that stick, eh? I'd heard the expression used before from people revisiting all those long abandoned redline tracks in the Tararuas.
Awesome guys thanks all - it looks fairly doable on the map however we all know that contour lines on the map dont always apply to the Tararuas (especially on ridges!). Looks fairly straightforward and what makes it even more tempting is that the uphill amount on the Drac side is significantly less than the Carkeek downhill side! Thanks also nzbazza for the second link. The route shown from Carkeek to Drac on that page looks good and I think it can be a good "plan B" as I will be trying to drop down a bit sooner off the Carkeek ridge down in Park valley than where is marked on the attached map. Cheers simon
I first encountered "redlining" at the VUWTC in the early 90's. Back then the term meant walking each track (shown as a red line) on the NZMS274 Tararua Forest Park Map 1976 edition. As tracks fell into the unmaintained category in the post-DOC days the challenge became a little more difficult but somewhat more enjoyable. I also like @gazcan's approach, the tramping world is far larger than just the Tararuas.
I've heard the spur down 1212 isn't too bad. Though I've not done it. Looks good on paper. Carkeek is actually one of the few huts I still haven't made it too in the Tarrys.
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