Sunday, June 1, 2014

Jumbo-Holdsworth Tramp, Tararuas

For once great weather was forecast for the long weekend, and with a big trip overseas looming and many hours sitting on a plane, I thought I would take advantage and go for a tramp – stretch the legs and clear the head. I decided it was about time that I did the Jumbo-Holdsworth Loop, which is the classic Tararuas tramp and although I had done parts of it before I had never been to Jumbo. I dragged along one of the PhD students at work that has been getting in to tramping and also needed to clear her head and escape Wellington for the weekend.

It is a nice easy walk to Aituwhakatu Hut along the river, but then from this hut it climbs very steeply – in true Tararuas style – up the Jumbo. It took us about 5 hours overall and we were one of the first groups to get to the hut. However, we were followed by many others... including granny and granddad and their two granddaughters of 6 and 7 years old... amazing that they made it as it was a pretty big climb of >1000 m. The hut continued to fill up and we ended up with 24 in a hut that can sleep 20. Needless to say it was a little bit cosy, especially with the fire going.

Steep climb up to Jumbo

View of the Wairarapa from above the treeline

Helen and Sophie at Jumbo Hut

The next morning we set off up to Jumbo and across the tops to Mt Holdsworth. It was a little windy and quite cold– but we had amazing views all the way to Mt Taranaki and down to the mountains on the south island. There was some interesting ice features on the south sides of the mountains, but no snow.
Icy tussock

Ice flowers

We reached Powell Hut for an early lunch and then descended the Gentle Annie track – which has had a lot of work on since I last did this part of the tramp. There are now a lot of stairs, which is fine for descending and made the top section much quicker than scrambling down. We cruised back down to the carpark for 2pm. A nice winter weekend in the hills.... hopefully the weather cooperates for a few more over the next few months. 

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