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
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Heya Phil21, I would be interested in speaking with you about this track further if you are willing, I can't seem to find a way to message you so here's hoping this finds you.
Hi jmeyer, if you are willing to post a facebook name on here then I could message you, otherwise ask away on this forum. Having reread some of the previous posts you have on here I would just like to check what you meant by walking at 60-65% of DOC times. Do you mean you walk it in 2/3rds of the time - so if they say 3 hours you do it in 2? If that's the case then timewise I think 3 days is quite manageable for you, just be prepared for 9 hour days.
Phil21 - what would you say are the main challenging areas to be considered? Obviously all tracks have challenges so I’m talking notable exceptions. Which fords are dangerous after rain, some more dangerous than others I’m guessing?
From Whakapapa village to Whakapapiti Hut the only issue would be the river ford 15 minutes before the hut, easy unless theres been quite a bit of rain, you can always take the alternative Bruce road walk and drop to the hut that way. Usually only 2 - 2.5hr for me. From Whakapapiti to Mangaturuturu it does feel like a long way, think 5 hours+ greasy track in places a couple of steep ascent/descent but nothing to worrying unless it's icy. Crossing the River just before the hut would not be doable after reasonable rain. The track up to the Ohakune Rd has the waterfall to ascend, slippery in wet/icy conditions but fine if you take your time and very photographic. The Rd walk simple, hitch if you're lucky and the walk to Mangaheuhu Hut straightforward, lots of boardwalk a few muddy slippery bits. About 4-5 hours for this section. To Rangipo hut also feels like a long way, I like the slowly changing scenery, from Beech to desert. The Waihianoa Gorge is a bit of a steep up & down scamble but the last big climb before the hut, 4-5 hours again. Awesome view from Rangipo Hut especially sunset over the Kaimanawas. To Waihohonu I can usually push out pretty quickly if needed it feels mostly like a gentle downhill easy walking, lots of marker poles. Only one short drop from Tukino Rd down to valley. Lots of rain may mean a couple of fords but I've never experienced that. Head up to the springs 10 min detour. About 3-4 hours walking. From Waihohonu, well you're on a Great Walk track so straightfoward. Side trip to the old hut and Lower Tama lake well worth it. A leisurely 5 hours.
Cheers mate, much appreciated
Hi, are you out? Once you've rested I am keen to hear how you got on. Also, if you did the road walk, or cut into Blyth Hut from the top of the Turoa Skifield Rd? Am heading there in a week. Thanks Justine
Hi Justine1 Just be aware there is a round the mountain race on this Saturday 23rd March, 620 people did it last year so if you don't want to share the track then this wouldn't be the weekend to go. And I would add that picking up the poles from the skifield down to Blyth Hut might be a little difficult as they were getting pretty hard to find (as I came the other way) by the time I was near the skifield. So saying in good weather it would be pretty straight forward with good navigation skills or GPS, very open country there obviously.
Thanks Phil, Am leaving mid week next week. Lucky.Hmm, am not too sure about my navigational skills - might check with the others in my group. Thank you
Hi Justine - sorry I didn't reply sooner. I wasn't able to do the track due to ongoing back pain issues, however I did do some light hiking in the area and it does look spectacular. I would be very interested in hearing about your trip when you return. At this stage I'm probably going to wait til spring before attempting it. Good luck
Hi, just finished RTM. We started at Whakapapa and walked anti-clockwise (I definitely think this was the 'right' way to do it). Stayed at Maungaturuturu Hut the first night and Rangipo the second. 9-10 hour days, hard work, but good fun. I wouldn't have wanted to do shorter days. This tramp did make me realise that I far prefer forest, to the desert, but had a good time. Thanks
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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by jmeyer
On 20 November 2018
Replies 46
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