Four members and a visitor hiked Mt Pirongia. It took us about 7 hours to climb Mt Pirongia Summit (7.6
km) and about 7 hours down (10km). What a challenge!
Led by Carl Yang and Tina
Chen, the group started at the end of Grey Road around 9:45am. We walked part of the Mangakara Nature
Walk, enjoying the beauty of the native trees. Then we turned left to Ruapane Link Track. Soon we joined
Ruapane Track. The track finished at Ruapane Lookout (725m above sea level). Tirohanga Track started,
leading to Mt Tirongia Summit (959m). Disappointed by the misty view, we went down to Pahautea Hut (at
the Bell Track and Hihikiwi Track junction). The hut was relatively new and tidy without a fireplace.
It has 20 bunk beds that were all booked ($15/person/night).
The next day we
left for the Summit at 8:40am, hoping the sun would be shining at the time we were there. Yes, it shone!
And the little rainbow, appearing twice! We enjoyed the fabulous views for half an hour, then continued
our hike. Very soon, we turned right to Mahaukura Track and down to Grey Road.
All the tracks were
marked clearly. The tracks below the bush line were well formed and usually soft with layers of leaves.
But the tracks above the bush line were often uneven. Climbing to the Summit in the last two km was very
challenging. We were all exhausted after walking for about 4 hours. Three members experienced cramps
in their legs. We had to take breaks from time to time. We also faced the same challenge when going down
from the Summit, as the track was up and down over small peaks. Many parts of the track were muddy in
the wet and cold winter (6 degrees). We tried to avoid the muddy sections but often found it difficult.
The changing weather added another layer of challenge. When we climbed down the rocky cliff holding the
chains, it suddenly rained and was windy. It seemed we might be blown down the valleys!
tramp was challenging but successful. A great opportunity of stretching our physical boundaries. Still,
we managed it without any accidents. Well done!
COST: travel $30, accommodation $15, equipment
$5, food $14