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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Nice one Justine, glad to hear it. How would you describe your experience and what advice would you give me when my back starts to cooperate?
Hi All - for those that are interested I was lucky enough to get last week of work and managed to do a 4 day RTM with the Northern Circuit thrown in for good measure. Absolutely perfect conditions every day meant for a fantastic trip. The snow line was just below Rangipo Hut at 16oom so there were no issues with slow going plugging through snow, though there was a fair bit of ice in places. The Tongiriro crossing had snow from the climb out of Oturere valley and down to the South crater but I didn't even use my crampons, though was pleased to have them as I could see it getting icy later in the day on the drop down to from the Red Crater. As usual there were the odd munb-nuts people there in jeans and soft soled shoes. Day 1 - drive down & walk from the Chateau to Whakapapaiti track. Day 2 - walk to Mangaehuehu Hut via Turoa Skifield & down to Blyth. Day 3 - to Waihohonu Hut. Day 4 - to Oturere & over to Mangatepopo (I was going to stay there but if was full of teenage schoolgirls so I skipped back to the car late in the day).
Thumbs up
That seems like a substantial walk-in-the-park. Day 2 must have consumed all of the daylight. How difficult is it to drop down from Turoa to Blyth?
Day 4 was the longest - but I did dally around the tops as it was such a good day. Yes day 2 was a long day, I left Whakapapiti at 7.15 and was at Mangaturuturu by 11.30, so good going. Turoa Road by 1pm and Blyth by 2.30 and the hut at 4.15. From the skifield carpark you just need to sidle around the (roughly) 1700m elevation to where the South East Basin is marked on Topo maps, the poles head down from there. So just pick a nice route from the carpark and stay below their water reservoir, there may be a short uphill scramble but nothing dangerous. It should be easy to spot the poles in clear weather, though I had done it in the past from the other direction, so I knew where to look.
Hi just wondering what firewood situation was at Waihohonu? Sounds like you had an epic trip! Cheers
As I recall the shed was about 1/2 full
Thanks Phil. had been thinking about a weekend there shortly but weather not looking so great now.
Picked perfect weather window 5-8 April 2024. 3.5 days. No wind, no rain and cool weather. Dry track so was quick walking. Whakapapa to Waihohonu 3:20, Waihohonu to Mangaehuehu 3:55 + lunch at Rangipo + 3:45, Mangaehuehu to Mangaturuturu 4:10 + lunch ski field top + 1:15, Mangaturuturu to Whakapapa 5:25 + lunch Whakapapaiti + 2:10. Last day was the killer. So much up and down. We seemed to be much slower compared to DoC times than the rest of the sections. I feel DoC should up these times on this 'GOAT' section. We are 50+ couple who are fit but not trying to push hard, just steady hiking with light packs and few breaks other than lunch. I can imagine the times are a lot longer in worse weather or wet track. We went up past Blyth Hut and to base of ski field. Marker poles take you all the way to the ski field boundary. Near the top, climb up and past head of big valley to your left and then follow ski boundary poles around and down to car park. At end, drop down bit lower where there is a shallow gully. I don't think this route is faster, just avoids the 3km road and adds to the adventure. Enjoy!
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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by jmeyer
On 20 November 2018
Replies 47
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