Round the Mountain Track (Ruapehu)
Heya, was looking at doing the Round the Mountain Track in a few weeks. I was thinking I would park at Whakapapa Village and go from there. I'm curious to hear more about the track and the condition of it, elevation gain and loss, fords, etc...How difficult would you rate the track? I realise this is subjective but any info appreciated. I'm guessing the smart play is to go counter-clockwise to avoid a 3km uphill roadwalk? About me - heaps of experience, tramps in the 800-900km range overseas, moderate NZ experience, however a recent back injury has put everything on hold for a few years and I kinda feel like I'm starting over a little. Been training for the past 6 weeks and keen to try to do something worthwhile. This track seems to fit the bill as it's close to Auckland and I don't have to get on a plane. I plan on doing the track in 3 days at the most. Any advice or information appreciated. Cheers
That's a perfect section and that's clockwise in my thinking :-)
Yes, clockwise haha sorry
@jmeyer: >Regardless of the track, I always bring a tent - I would hope people don't go out there without a shelter Nice one. Some people don't realize this necessity.
Hi jmeyer - I love this walk & have done it several times & the last 2 times in 3 days so it's definitely doable in 3 (& I'm over 50). I usually walk a bit faster than DOC times so each to their own. I've done it clockwise & anti-clockwise, there's usually one long day in there somewhere. I've also started from the track in from SH1 to Waihohonu hut and gone clockwise.
Hi Phil - good to hear, can you post your schedule the last two trips, and what would you say is the hardest section?
If going anti-clockwise & parking at NP village then day 1 is to Mangatururu Hut, day 2 to Rangipo & Day 3 back to N Park. I think this would be the easiest way to do it as day 3 feels downhill a lot of the way. Clockwise I stayed in the same huts. NP village to Rangipo hut is a lot of km's but the first part on the great walk is easy going and even the rest is not too hard. 2nd day is always the longest & hardest, with more uneven track.
Hey Phil do you mean Whakapapa Village? I had that schedule down as well but I was concerned about that 26km day, wasn't too sure about the terrain in that section. Even looking at the DOC times it's only 9 hours, and in my experience I travel at 60-65% of the DOC times. Where is the hairy section climbing or descending next to the waterfall?
Yes Whakapapa village where DOC HQ is. The waterfall section is from Mangaturuturu Hut to Ohakune Skifield Rd. Its not too bad, the rock can be slippery when wet (or icy in winter) so just need to have a bit of care. As an alternative I have driven to Waihohonu track entrance off SH1 in the morning & walked to Rangipo in the afternoon Then to Blyth hut on 2nd day which makes for an easier day than aiming for Mangatururu. Day 3 - Can then head up the ridge above Blyth & cross over to skifield, there's poles most of the way - skip the road walk. Stay at Whakapapaiti hut which is lovely. Day 4 - Back to car in about 6/7 hours & drive home (so 3 days of walking over 4 days)
You're the second person on this thread to suggest crossing the ski field and avoiding the roadwalk, that sounds appealing however I'm inexperienced with off-trail travel and I'll be alone. You mention poles, are you saying the route in marked despite it not being an actual track?
Yes, I followed poles all the way to within sight of the skifield lower carpark, lost them at the skifield boundary. Maybe in poor weather, cloud just follow the main track but otherwise I don't think you could get lost, up & left.
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