I'm looking forward to doing this tramp in early November. From what I can gather from this site and others it is somewhat more difficult than one might garner from the DOCS pamphlet. Having done the Bealey Traverse last Feb I feel mildly confident at high saddle traverses but I have the distinct impression that this may rove more difficult - especially since there is no mention of crampon requirements. I'd be very interested in anybody's experience in this country at this coming time of the year.
You won't need an Ice Axe & Crampons - walking pole(s) fine. How much snow you will encounter in early November depends on the weather patterns between now & then. At present (early October) there is plenty of snow on the higher saddles, but in a normal year, you will most likely only encounter patchy snow drifts on the southern side of the saddles and high shady faces in early November. But its spring! and the weather in the south is its usual wildly changeable self at this time of year - you could easily strike a brief 5-10cm snowfall over much of the track, making things a bit tricky. In November it usually melts within half a day however. Spring is not a good time to do this track and the Arrow River (which has to be forded many times) is often very full due to spring snow melt and heavy rain in its uoper catchment The best time to do the Motutapu track is in the Autumn - cooler (it gets very hot in mid summer) ,much more reliable weather and no snow and the rivers are low. Peter Dymock
Hmm...thanks Peter. It's great to have this forum for some local knowledge. Perhaps I'll just stick to a few overnighters...
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