The pick-up went smoothly, though the parcel was looking a little ragged around the edges. Up over the Rimutakas again and the discussion was inevitably on the weather. The ragged Tararua veteran thought it looked windy. The hopeful Tararua newbie thought it would ease off. We were out of the Holdsworth Road end speedily, jogging to get to the tops as quickly as possible. Runners get to Powell Hut in under 60 minutes in the annual Holdsworth Jumbo mountain run and while we weren't quite on that pace with a bit of gear and food on our backs it was solid.
Greg emerging on the Holdsworth Tops - Totara Flats of the Waiohine beyond.
We zoomed in and out of Powell, the tops were too enticing. Holdsworth summit passed, and the pleasant ridge to Jumbo. After this it was new territory for me. Angle Knob, then dropping down until a bizarre cluster of rocks on the ridge signalled the turn-off to McGregor Bivvy. Its not too far down to McGregor and it is a wicked spot. High on a ridge it is in the ampitheatre of the Tararuas. From the left the main range comes rolling up with the massif (excuse me for using a aountaineers term while bush-walking) of Crawford and the Carkeek and Dorset ridges lapping down off the northern Tararuas. The best perspective though is the southern face (there goes that mountaineers language again) of Girdlestone.
And a few more photos of the vicinity:
Back up onto the ridge from the Biv, and over McGregor proper. One of the 15 or so Tararua peaks to top 1500metres. The most difficult part of our little expedition was to come though, the infamous Broken Axe Pinnacles.
Much to my mother-in-laws delight we chose the sidle route, which was still slippery enough. She was only delighted because she had taken the high route a couple of years ago. Made of sterner stuff those old timers! After this point the travel became easier again, if not a little up and down through the Kings. Mitre was showing off its western flank and the nice little waterfalls of the South Mitre stream and the slowly rising ridge of Girdlestone is very elegant
It wasn't long before Girdlestone, then Brockett and Mitre succumbedthis time to our increasingly weary feet. It was a pleasant time to be up there in the early evening as the wind died away (and the Tararua newb won the weather forecasting debate;-)). The view back along the range shows some nice country covered.
All that remained was a jog down to Mitre Flats hut then a wander back over, into and down the Atiwhakatu. A great day out in the Tararuas!