Keen to claim 15 huts in Richmond Range with me?
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Feature: The most difficult part of Te Araroa Long Trail. There are 12 huts en route. Highest point at Mt Rintoul 1,731m asl. Area: Richmond Alpine Ridges Plan: 4 Jan (Sat) 12:00 AkL fly to Nelson, shuttle to track start. Walk 1.5 hrs to Hackett Hut. 5 Jan (Sun) Starveall Hut, Slatey Hut. Walk 7.5 hrs. 6 Jan (Mon) Oldman Hut, Lake Chalice Hut. Walk 9.5 hrs. 7 Jan (Tue) Mid Goulter Hut, Lower Goulter Hut. Walk 8 hrs. 8 Jan (Wed) up to Bushy Top, Tarn Hut. Walk 6 hrs. 9 Jan (Thu) Mid Wairoa Hut, Top Wairoa Hut. Walk 9 hrs. 10 Jan (Fri) Hunters Hut 6 hrs. May run to Right Branch Hut return extra 3 hrs walk. 11 Jan (Sat) Porters Creek Hut, Maitland Hut, Red Hills Hut. Walk 9 hrs. 12 Jan (Sun) Out to St Anaud. 5:00pm shuttle to Nelson. 7:00pm fly to AKL. Option: if weather not good we may skip 2 or 3 huts. Still got 12 huts at least. Gears: Self-sufficient, food and cooking utensils, sleeping bag, warm clothes, parka, poles...etc. Sleep: All in huts with the capacity of only 5-6 bunks. No tent needed but a tarp fly welcomed. Pace: Fast walk with ultralight pack.
Looks a good walk but I'm going to be away holidaying in the NI so I can't join you. A mate & I will likely walk it minus Lake Chalice & Goulter River bits in a few months time. I've done parts of the route already and your times look very conservative for a "Fast walk with ultralight pack" in fact some of your listed times are slower than the Te Araroa guide times. You may find you get through it a lot quicker than you think?
Right Branch Wairoa and Maitland huts no longer exist and track down RB Wairoa has not been maintained for maybe 3 or 4 years.
Thanks Harsi and Glennj for the useful information. 3 enquires need your further advice: 1. The trip from Lake Chalice Hut to Mid Goulter Hut. Is it quicker to take Mt Patriarch Road instead of lakeside track? 2. Is the track from Lower Goulter Hut up to Bushy Top easy to follow? Got Orange Markers? 3. Is the track from Mid Goulter Hut up to Purple Top clear? It's not shown on Topomap. My estimated times are conservative for allowance of bad weather.
Hi Lucky, I will only comment on question 1. not having walked 2. or 3. If already down at Lake Chalice hut, not the carpark, I reckon it is quicker by about 30 mins to carry on down the Goulter to Mid Goulter hut rather than climb up to the carpark, follow the Patriarch road & 4x4 track then head down the ridge to Mid Goulter hut. [It's approx 1/2hr from Lake Chalice carpark to Lake Chalice hut & then from Lake Chalice hut down to Mid Goulter hut 3hrs. From Mid Goulter hut back to Lake Chalice carpark using some of the Mt Patriarch route was 3hrs] FYI it is only about 2hrs taking it easy between Mid & Lower Goulter huts.
3. Is the track from Mid Goulter Hut up to Purple Top clear? It's not shown on Topomap. DoC has not maintained this track for donkey's years, now a sparsely used route. The map that you are using to put this tramp together seems to be some what out of date. http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap for the latest map info. 2. Is the track from Lower Goulter Hut up to Bushy Top easy to follow? Got Orange Markers? Been a few years since I used it, but it is a DoC maintained track and you can be confident that it will be well marked. It is a pronounced spur line anyway.
There is / was a water butt on top of Old Man, been there for a number of years, probably still there. Some one from DoC, Motueka will probably know. In my opinion neither Lake Chalice or it's hut are all that attractive and the return trip from the bottom of the Old Man hut track may not be worth the effort.
Thanks Glennj and Hashi. I know detour to Lake Chalice and Goulter valley might be a waste of time, but I am aiming for hut bagging in this trip. Not only run to Mt Oldman Hut and return to the junction, but also thinking of staying in Tarn Hut 2 nights with a day just for running to Mt Rintoul Hut and return. My idea is to bag 14 huts, including 11 in Te Araroa and 3 in detour to Goulter valley. Maybe a little bit too ambitious. Weather forecast looked good next week except this Saturday. I bought an ACR ResQLink PLB today for this trip. Anyway just give it a go. See if I can manage. Will report after come back.
Have done the walk solo. Very happy to bag 14 huts in 6.5 days. Day 0 Hacket Hut, Starveall Hut. 6 hrs done in 3.5 hrs. Day 1 Slaty Hut, Oldman Hut, Lake Chalice Hut. 15 hrs in 11.5 hrs. Day 2 Mid Goulter Hut, Lower Goulter Hut. 8 hrs done in 6.5 hrs. Day 3 Bushy Top, Tarn Hut. 6 hrs done in 5 hrs. Day 4 Mt Rintoul Hut, Tarn Hut, Mid Wairoa Hut. 14 hrs in 10 hrs. Day 5 Top Wairoa Hut, Hunters Hut. 11 hrs done in 9.5 hrs. Day 6 Porters Creek Hut, Red Hills Hut. 10 hrs done in 9 hrs. Average walking time 9 hours per day, very enjoyable!
How did you find the route between Mid Wairoa and Top Wairoa? There are some people in the Te Araroa facebook group in the past week, going on about how dreadful and frightening it is compared with the rest of Te Araroa.
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