Te Araroa Trail Pirongia
The easy walking and slackpacking of the past few days had turned me into a bit of a sissy, but after an hour on Pirongia mountain with a fully loaded 16kg pack or thereabouts, I remembered how wonderful it is to be climbing in the forest, getting muddy again!!
The trail started on the Nikau track, which was a gentle 3kms or so to the campsite. From there the Tahuanui track led to the summit.
I started at 8 am and reached the summit at 905m by midday. It was a lovely trail – steep in parts, muddy in others, with climbing required sometimes (if you’re a shortie like me) .. and lots of tree roots of course.
There was excellent signage throughout – even markers over/around fallen trees which is a luxury us TA’ers aren’t used to! At the summit, there is even a boardwalk!!
The views from the top are amazing. It’s been another sunny day so as far as you can see – Raglan, the Kaimai mountain ranges, Mount Ruapehu and Tongariro.
Home for tonight is the 20-bunk Pahautea hut. A lovely new’ish DOC hut built next to the old one, with capacity for plenty. I met Anja and Markus at the hut and we decided to have a half-day and go down the mountain tomorrow. During the course of the day about 20 others arrived too.