Ruahine Double CrossingIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Kym Skerman
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Back country - remote
Out and Back
Native bushOpen farmlandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
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This track starts out across farmland before heading into the bushline. This is a well defined but often muddy track that climbs steeply through typical southern Ruahine rimu, kamahi and tawa forest. Higher up the track passes through more shrubby species such as horopito, flax and pink pine. From here it heads across a series of open, rocky knolls to Mt Maharahara.
From the high point continue on in an easterly direction following the track. You are bordered most of the way by impenetrable leatherwood so is easy to follow the track. The only other turn off is a track to the right (south) that heads to Kiritaki Hut.
The track then turns sharply NE and takes you steeply down to the Mangapuaka Stream. You can either fill your bottles or water bladder here and return back over the range or follow the stream out East to the Kumeti campsite for a pre-arranged pick up.
The track has been cleared of scrub on the West side but is yet to be cleared on the East so care needs to be taken as the ground is quite rough. Even though is is easily accessible by foot you are in the remote backcountry and a PLB would be highly recommended. This would have to be one of the best training run/treks in the Manawatu for the likes of The Goat and the Coast to Coast Mountain Run as it has a mix of technical with some very steep ascents and descents over a relatively short distance.
Features of interest
The scratchy, leathery leaved shrub leatherwood is evident on the tops here. The southern Ruahine ranges have the largest, unbroken mass of leatherwood in New Zealand.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 10%
Technical Single Track: 60%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Start is from Opawe Road which is off Pohangina Valley E Road. Follow the gravel road until you see the sign on your right for the start of the rtrack. You will cross farmland to start but this is open access.
Parking is on the side of a gravel road.
Follow the white markers across farmland and then the orange triangles once in the bush. It always pays to take a map and compass on any backcountry adventure.
Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.
There is a small spring near the top and then the stream on the other side for water refills.
Do not attempt this in bad weather. You gain elevation very fast and the weather can change super quick up there so be prepared for all scenarios.
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