A wet and miserable Waitangi Saturday on Mt Taranaki. Here I ascended my favourite ridge, the Razorback, and climbed Jacob’s Ladder. Now on the Round-the-Mountain track, it was a downhill splash past the Dieffenbach Cliffs and across the Boomerang Slip to the hut. Wet & warm in only my polyester t-shirt and a buff, I had entered the comfortably drenched zone that all runners come to love, perhaps after some persuasion. I saved my Goretex jacket for later in the night when I’d need it most.
On my whistful way to Holly, I befriended a hunter along the trail. Not quite by choice… He was looking for his lost dog. I had lost his dog.
As I dashed around one typical corner, a moment of panic struck this hunter’s dog. Was I here to steal him from his master? The trail was narrow, as I approached at speed the dog chose to race off away from his owner. He was gone...
We found the city dog sleeping at Holly Hut. I had frightened the mutt on his first run in the bush, and he scampered off in fear. Fortunately, he was able to follow the scent of hot food to the hut.
I, however, had to keep moving, otherwise hypothermia was going to get the best of me. The time was 6pm, Holly was full for Waitangi Weekend and the smell of cooked dinners was incredibly tempting. I stood in the doorway, one half crying out for warmth and dry - the other sensible half beckoning me to the trail. Darkness was soon approaching and I was only one third through the 3 day tramp. Just over 1 hour had elapsed since I had tip-toed out of the North Egmont carpark.
Ascending to the Pouakai Ridgeline Wet and warm on the Razorback
After crossing the Ahukawakawa swamp, swampier than ever, I began to ascend the ridge to Pouakai Hut. Once a slippery grovel in the mud, I was grateful for the stairs to carry me efficiently to the Pouakai plateau. The views were spectacularly white, hardly a surprise, but ironic and slightly funny to read the viewing platform signs that promised fabulous views of the mountain and the White Cliff's on Taranaki's sweeping east coast.
|The view from the Pouakai Ranges on a clear winter day...|
|Begin your trip at North Egmont VC and travel anti-clockwise or clockwise|