An excellent writeup of a typical close call in this area:
Outlines just how easy it is to miss the Arete Biv (although I assume this refers to the old one, not the new) and how easy it is to get disoriented in this area. It even ends being stuck for three days in Tarn Ridge hut in bad weather as I was. While it's in a great location, there are no easy escape routes from either it or Arete Biv if there are gales for a week.
The weather dominates everything. My misadventure started at Herepai, with a long day in cloudy but reasonably nice conditions around to Dundas. Then a lost day there with high winds and heavy rain. Then a short day across to the new Arete Biv in pleasant conditions, where again I lost another day waiting out poor weather. Then a day that started ok but rapidly clouded over and I missed my intended escape route down to Arete Forks, wound up grovelling over the Pinnacles in high winds and landed up at Tarn Ridge for three days.
It was meant to be a five day trip and at the end of seven days the forecast was for another week of the poor conditions. I was now low on food. The next day I've described, descending the unmarked route into the head of the Waingawa, then the massive rainstorm overnight at AF. The next day down to Cow Creek via the sidle track was memorably awful, with lots of fresh windfall and everything pouring water.
By now I had no food, had eaten little for three days and couldn't face the climb over Blue Range, so I opted for the longer but less strenuous walk out the Ruamahunga on the tenth day. Even then the weather decided to have another go at me, with plenty of heavy showers and on that final 200m climb on the farmland to avoid the gorge I got blown off my feet in the wind.
I've never been happier to see my partner turn up in the car; it was a weary and subdued tramper who gratefully lowered his somewhat slimmer body into a very hot bath that evening.
And now looking back I can see how easily it can go wrong in this area; I've been there four times and on a nice day it's a great spot. But if the weather gods are not kind it's a trap. RIP Darren.