Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tramping on Mt Taranaki

The New Zealand Geosciences conference was held in New Plymouth this year. A great excuse to go for another tramp on Mt Taranaki. However, I am not in top tramping fitness... so we chose a pretty easy tramp up to Pouakai Hut, only 2 and a half hours from the carpark, starting off pretty gently and slowly getting steeper. I went with one of the students who grew up in New Plymouth and had done this tramp many years ago and wanted to take her 10 year old niece on her first tramp. We were also joined by her brother, Ralph.
Sophie, Ana and Ralph Barton

On the drive up to New Plymouth it was rainy and cloudy and we could barely see Mt Taranaki, but as we arrived at 1pm in the afternoon the clouds lifted and we walked up the Mangorei track in the sunshine and got some great views back down to the city and the coast. When we got to Pouakai Hut we dropped our bags and headed up to the ridge above the hut and got some great views across to Mt Taranaki. It was perfect weather with no wind and warm, so we spent quite a bit of time just hanging out before heading down to the hut for dinner. 
Pouakai Hut

Looking across at Mt Taranaki

We had a nice evening eating and playing cards. Unfortunately when we woke up in the morning it was cloudy and drizzling... we had originally planned to walk out along the ridge to North Egmont (part of the Pouakai circuit), but there was no point as we wouldn't have been able to see anything. So we had a lazy start and then pottered back down the same way. Probably enough for Ana, the 10 year old... 

I felt pretty good on the walk up - but had to take a little more weight on my shoulders as I couldn't tighten my waist belt around the small "bump" that is developing. So this will probably be my last overnight walk - unless I can convince someone else to carry most of the stuff. I will just have to stick to some day walks over the next few months. 

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