Mount Urchin and Umukarikari

23rd to 24th October – Overnight trip in the Kaimanawas.

Seven of us Climbed Mount Urchin and then proceeded along an un-named track towards Umukarikari Track where we walked along the ridge to Waipakihi Hut for the Night. Next morning we then returned back along Umukarikari Track to Kaimanawa Road End for pick up by our Cambridge based Support crew (whom dropped us off and picked us up as well as providing a sumptuous meal before returning to Auckland)

Weather was kind to us this weekend.  While it was windy on the ridges, we hardly had any rain and it was relatively clear (with light cloud cover) throughout.

Some awesome and spectacular views were had. The track has some similarities to the Kepler Track (walked earlier this year), particularly along the ridges.

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Assorted Trip Notes

Weather conditions in the area can change on a dime.  They certainly did on Umukarikari Track on the Labour day Monday that we were heading out.  Weather conditions went from Fine and Clear as we were walking up the steep section of Umukarikari track (after the hut), then changed rapidly in a matter of minutes to cloud on the trail (threatening to unleash showers on us) as we approached Mount Umukarikari, shortly after the Junction with the un-named track where we settled down to have lunch, the cloud very rapidly lifted and cleared up.

The un-named track after Mount Urchin between the Steep down track towards Waipakihi Valley and the Umukarikari Track is tough going.  At the time we did it, it was rather over grown in places and had short but very steep undulations (albeit by about 10-15 meters so doesn’t show up as contour lines on the LINZ Topo50 maps) which made this section of track rather challenging and tiring.

Area is pretty popular with Hunters.  Would hazard a guess that about 1/3 of the people we met on the track were there for hunting.  There were a few hunters on Waipakihi hut who had helicoptered in however, due to unfavourable hunting conditions, they had requested a member of our party to call Helisika (The Taupo based one) once we got Telephone reception, to come collect them next day rather than their originally planned Saturday Departure.


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