Good 2-3 day trip on North Island August-Sept?
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Hi, I'm looking at options to do a good 2 to 3 days trip on the NI next month or in september. I have good gear and can handle temperatures down to -10°C with my two down sleeping bags, have goretex overtrousers and stuff, but no snow shoes / crampons / ice axe and don't know to use them so I'm not looking for heavy snow conditions as I won't be comfortable with that. Can Tongariro Circuit or Pouakai circuit in late Sept. be OK or would it be too soon? Something else? Shouldn't be too far from Auckland as I can't take more than 1 or 2 days off from work. And if you have ideas of nice overnight walks in the Auckland area I'm open to suggestions, I'm trying to get out every weekend but it's sometimes hard to find something I haven't done yet :) Thanks!
A few 2 day ideas from reasonably close to Auckland, none likely to encounter snow,certainly not the former:- Cape Brett Lighthouse Waitawheta Hut from Te Aroha Pinnacles Hut Crosbie Hut from Thames
all of those huts have to be prebooked through DOC online
Thanks. The Pinnacles is on my list but I would prefer a circuit, and one of the tracks to Pinnacles hut is closed because of a deep river crossing. I'll look into the other ones. It doesn't have to be with huts, and I much prefer if it's not with huts that require booking as it's hard for me to know when I'll be going and I often go with less than 24 hrs notice.
What about Tongariro Circuit in september? Too early?
This is an option ,please have a look , http://www.doc.govt.nz/tongarironortherncircuit
The Northern Circuit isn't an option in late Sept for a person with no crampons or ice axe (unless they're skilled in the rocks-instead-of-ice-axe technique)
In to Waipakahi Hut (Kaimanawas) is a good trip where you probably won't encounter much/any snow (check the weather of course). (I seem to suggest this trip a lot it seems!)
OK @hutchk that's what I thought, let's play it safe then, and wait until I can finish alpine course, I still miss the snowcraft course, only did the ropes stuff. Thanks @Dodgydave for that suggestion, this looks great. Was just at Waikoko campsite this Sunday, got snow in the morning and the hills looked blanketed. On the map it looks quite high, would it be subject to much snow/ice/avalanche risk? Would you reckon that would be a good option for sept. if weather allows? Are you suggesting to do the loop or just return along Umukarikari Track?
I'm by no means an expert on avalanche conditions/risks as I tend to consider snow a PITA that is cold, wet and slows you down! However, I would not think avalanche risk is considerable there especially not on the Umakarikari range as it is quite broad. As to the loop (down the Waipakahi then up Urchin and linking back to the Umakarikari range?) or just an in and out trip would depend on conditions and time. If you just have two days a straight in and out trip would be easiest and fastest. It is potentially a rather long day to go from Waipakahi Hut, down the river, climb up to Urchin then link back to Umakarikari and out. You can go up and over Urchin and out to that carpark but you then have a 5ish km road walk back to Umakarikari carpark. If you have three days you could camp by the river just before the track climbs in to the bush and up toward Urchin. Lots of good campsites there.
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