Urchin tops/Umu Karikari conditions,camping +H2O?
Couple of questions: 1. Now (late July), are ice axe and crampons advisable? 2. Does anyone know of any ridge sites where you could put down a tent with access to water? I suspect there aren't any, meaning you'd have to carry it in. Cheers.
I suggest yes. Even the more accessible routes have sketchy overiced bits, which won't disappear for months. Instead of crampons you probably can get away with microspikes.
On access to water: how hard is it to carry 2 litres? There are tarns here and there, so you can fill up and carry it to a spot where you can fit a small tent. Not sure you should tent next to a tarn there, you might be disturbed by deer (haven't tried doing this myself though).
In the saddle before Sharp Cone ie just west of Umarkarikari there was running water in July (2018) in the gully to the east, only about 100m off the track. Can't remember if there was a camp size flat spot but it was relatively sheltered, everything was frozen and a cool breeze was blowing which is why we stopped there, warm.
You could also drop to the east from the track that leads to Urchin from between Sharp Cone and Umakarikari. There was running water there and what looked like decent campsites when I was past in summer.
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