Mount Titi Full Bush Intermediate
Submitted by Gary Crilley
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Not Suitable (Slow)
The area at the base of the mountain is used a lot by motocross and trials bikes. Best to avoid if there is a large meet on.
Aug 31st 2020: there is due to be a 1080 drop in the Akatarawa Forest in September, so best to leave your dogs at home for a while.
This trail can be tough for the navigationally insecure, so at the request of a couple of members Gary (the author of this guide) has ribboned it. Purple and orange ribbons show which track to take at every branching.
Aug 2021: A large matai has fallen and obliterated a portion of the ascent up Titi. Gary has now cut a diversion around the tree and marked it with blue ribbons.
Head east across the creek (this is a wet track with numerous creek crossings). Go straight up the valley in front of you, following a quad bike track. Do not turn right and go up the steep gravel road. You are now climbing Mount Titi. Note: this is a downhill mountain bike route so keep your eyes and ears alert for fast moving wheeled objects.
At approximately 2.9kms (300m climb) the track crests a rise and begins to go down. At this crest a narrow track branches sharp left and this is the beginning of the single track to the peak. Now you’ll run through some beautiful bush rarely seen by the public. When you get to the tall, mossy trees, the track will divide numerous times as it has been made by descending mountain bikes, but the undergrowth is clear. Just follow the obvious bike tracks in the mud, always heading up.
When you reach an altitude of just under 600m (a climb of 400m from the start), the track crests and begins to go down. At the crest is an obvious track up and to the right. 40m along this track is Titi peak. On your left when you reach the peak (roughly west) is a muddy track heading down. Follow it. The track is slippery, muddy and riddled with nasty little shoelace roots that just live for tripping runners. But it is beautiful, untouched, technical masterpiece that rewards the brave.
Keep going down until you reach an old, overgrown 4WD track, then turn left. You will have to deviate from the track occasionally to avoid steep sections and tree falls, but the alternative tracks are easy to follow. Eventually you’ll come out on Perhams Road, a broad clay 4WD track. Turn left and follow the clay road for 1.5kms.
After you cross the bailey bridge there is a steep climb. When the climb starts to level out, you will find a hole in the bush wall, and through the hole is a straight single track that descends gently. Here begins a fantastic downhill run that will remind you why you’re not a road runner. Keep running down the ridge, all the way to the creek at the bottom.
Once on the valley floor you head downstream for 1.5kms. There is no actual track here, but the valley is flat and there are motocross bike tracks everywhere. You will cross the creek several times but cannot get lost as long as you stay on the valley floor. When you see the green hut, move to the right of the valley and follow the fenceline. Perhams Road is now visible up and to the right. Cross the gate when you come to it, and rejoin the 4WD track for the last kilometre or so to the finish.
Features of interest
The Maungakotukutuku Reserve and Akatarawa Forest are criss-crossed with numerous 4WD tracks, easily navigated with road signs at intersections, and popular with trail runners. Beyond these clay ‘roads’, however, the bush is dense and formidable. But it is also criss-crossed with a multitude of unmarked single-track routes ideal for runners. This is a route for runners who want the full bush experience. Much of this forest is remote, and rare native birds are returning. Keep your ears open.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 13%
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 37%
Easy Single Track: 18%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 22%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
From Wellington, turn off SH1 at MacKays Crossing and follow Emerald Glen Road, Waterfall Road to Valley Road. Turn right on to Maungakotukutuku Road and go over the hill. Park at the bottom where the gravel road begins, by the Quad Bike business.
From Paraparaumu, cross the railway tracks and head up Ruapehu St until it becomes Valley Road. Keep going and turn left on Maungakotukutuku Road.
Quite a bit of parking nearby. If the motocross brigade have snagged all the parks just come back up the road a bit and park beneath the big pines. Cars are generally safe from break-ins, but not from dust.
There are NO track markers, and most tracks are not on the map. TopoMap or at least a compass is recommended. There are many tracks on this mountain, with many intersections. The key here is to go UP and LEFT. If the track splits or you come to a T intersection and one direction is down, choose the UP. If both directions go up (or down) choose the LEFT.
If you have a compass or TopoMap, just head toward Titi peak or generally east of south. Note; if you take the wrong track, you cannot get lost. They all go somewhere. You’ll just miss the mountain.
On the descent the instructions now are LEFT and DOWN.
To find the descending track from Perhams, keep an eye on the right side of the road. This is a wall of dense bush with a drop behind it. As the road flattens, there is only one hole with a track behind it. About 500m from the start is the only diverging track – sharp, downhill to your left. Ignore it.
Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Compass, Map.
No taps or huts, but no farmland upstream either so any running water on the mountain should be drinkable. The creek at the bottom runs through farmland. The run is short, though, so take your own.
Very slippery after heavy rain, and with numerous creek crossings you need to watch the weather. You have to cross the creek downstream right at the start, though, so make your judgement here.
Most of these tracks are occasionally used by mountain bikes. Always keep alert for fast descenders.
And once again I have to mention that some of these tracks are not marked on any maps, have no track markers and may not have anybody on them for days, if not weeks. If you are navigationally challenged, take a friend. And if you go on your own, take a PLB.
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