Route from Alpha Hut to Eastern Hutt Hut
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Hi there - Im off on my midwinter trip soon and am changing plans to spend as little time on the tops as possible - there is snow forecast down to 1400 m soon - but the freezing level will stay at about 1900m Anyway i was planning on getting to Elder Hut from the Kakakapanui side, then to Alpha (top) and then potentially down the ridge that starts at approx E 1790398 and N 5459496 and ends at he junction of the Quion Stream and Eastern Hutt river. This site seems to describe that ridge and it appears straightforward: https://trippytramping.blogspot.com/2015/04/alpha-via-eastern-hutt.html Anyone done this? It will save me time to go this way if possible - rather than down Quion proper and then backtracking to eastern Hutt hut. Im also aware Im not meant to stay at this hut - just want to bag it...... Cheers!
Haven’t been from alpha to eastern hutt. But have been to eastern hutt. It’s a lovely little hut in a good spot. Travel back to kaitoke is a very gentle stroll.
Not been down that spur but been down the spur due S from Alpha hut. Good going to river. Rivers were up and so I never made it to Eastern Hutt Hut. Both the Hutt & Quoin str were uncrossable. Seemed a viable route in low / normal river flows.
Thanks both - showers and wind forecast - I might make it a shorter day and just do Elder to Alpha, and then the next day straight out down the spur I mentioned and try to get to Eastern Hutt then. I will have to backtrack back up that ridge if the river is high. Boo. But from there its straight out to SH2 to hitch back to welly.....
I haven't been down that spur, but ages ago with a WTMC group I went down the less obvious spur from .1133 (south of Quoin) towards Eastern Hutt Hut. It was too long ago for me to remember in much detail, but if it's of any use, I wrote it up at http://www.windy.gen.nz/index.php/archives/70
Cheers Izogi - I did actually find that write up already!
used do the spur down from quoin ridge that meets the river oppocite the hut. NZFS cut a track up it in the 60s. is ok, except the scrub and long grass is slow going at the bushline another route that was easier, was down to the E Hutt headwaters directly below the old Alpha hut site. then downstream. bush was more open quicker time
mean the spur that leaves quoin ridge bout 500 meters SE of pt 1308
I remember the same conditions as TararuaHunter describes on the spur from 1308m to opposite Eastern Hutt hut. i.e. there are currently no benefits from there once being a cut track on this spur (possibly the opposite, as sunlight entering the track gap leads to dense scratchy regen). Hold on you say - sunlight? Tararuas? OK, daylight - it's enough for photosynthesis and even that occurs in the Tararuas. Have also been up the other route TararuaHunter mentions, a long spur from the upper Eastern Hutt river towards Alpha hut. It was a very old disced track - from 1960s or earlier - by the look of the large rusty discs - and that was in 1980s. Going uphill, when a few leatherwoods appeared in the bush, the route veered hard right sidling across an open bush / scrub / elephant grass slope to the site of the original Alpha Hut (large square blaze on tree - if it is still there!), a couple of minute walk east of the current Alpha Hut. As per my comment at start of this post, old track doesn't mean good route these days. Looking at my red line map, I have done 8 spurs in/out of the Eastern Hutt. The easiest by far was from the river up to Marchant Ridge at a point 250m west of 926m, which is SW of the 953m top of the Block XVI track. I seriously contemplated using some of these routes to get from Alpha to Kaitoke without going along the Marchant (going straight down a spur, alongside the beautiful upper Eastern Hutt and straight up a another spur would be a lot more pleasant if you don't mind a bit of steep grunt, because the Marchant is by no means flat or pretty...)
Excellent advice all - thanks geomatt - I will use your route when I finally get to do this trip. The plan was to go from kapakapanui (check out Thornhills too), drop down directly to Waiotauru, then to renata, over to Elder, then go to Aston and work out where to drop to eastern Hutt hut. That plan didnt even get off the ground as I made 1 out of the 5 river crossings to cross the Ngatiawa at the kapakapanui end (sigh). Well I did try to do this trip in the middle of winter and it was my "plan B" - Plan A was my East-West traverse from Blue range hut over via carkeek & out via Waitewaewae......that will also need to wait for better weather. In the end, in the 4 days I had off (between jobs) I tried to bag Mid king (that was really, really full-on. I dont know if anyone has been up there in June but the ice around the tussock was so thick it bruised my knees when I tried to walk) plus high winds meant i couldnt do it. In the end I bagged Totara Flats hut and tripped over Cone ridge to Neill Forks. Didnt see anyone for 3.5 days. It was pretty great.
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