Occasional Climber

Richmond traverse, September 2019

Crossing Hacket Creek beside Hacket Hut (250m)
Hacket Creek, at about 400m
Starveall Hut (1,190m), with Mt Starveall (1,511m) behind
A view to Bishop's Cap (1,425m) with the Gordon Range behind, on the climb up to Mt Starveall
The view northwest to Waimea Inlet and the distant Arthur Range, from Mt Starveall (1,511m) at sunset
Another sunset view from Mt Starveall, of the Gordon Range
Looking northeast from Mt Starveall, to the Hacket Peaks (1,437m) and Mt Gale (1,425m) - left foreground; and further afield to Mt Richmond (right)
The Hacket Peaks (1,437m) and Mt Gale (1,425m)
Looking southeast from Mt Starveall, to the Kaikouras
Down time at Starveall Hut (1,190m)
Heading southeast along the ridge, at about 1,300m, between Mt Starveall and Mt Slaty
A typical backcountry hut scene at Slaty Hut (1,390m)
Departing Slaty Hut, early morning
Looking northeast, back along the Richmond Range, from above Slaty Hut
Heading south at about 1,500m, en route to Old Man (1,514m)
Ridge top travel between Slaty Peak and Old Man
Ridge top travel between Slaty Peak and Old Man
A local family emerges from the mist near Old Man
Arriving at Old Man Hut (1,100m)
Nearing the treeline at about 1,400m on the east side of Little Rintoul
Old Man Hut, about 400 metres below, on the east side of Little Rintoul
Pinnacle and Raglan Range, viewed from about 1,500m on Little Rintoul
Looking back northeast from about 1,600m on Little Rintoul to Old Man (1,514m - right), Ada Flat and Slaty Peak (1,544m - left of centre). Mt Richmond (1,760m) and Johnston Peak (1,647m) are the snowclad peaks in the far distance (right of centre)
Near the top of Little Rintoul, looking north
The top of Little Rintoul (1,643m) is far left. The dip between it and Mt Rintoul is about 300 metres lower. The summit of Mt Rintoul is 1,731m, at centre
There was a bit more to Little Rintoul than we first expected. This view from the true top looks northeast to a steep and exposed little notch that could be deemed the crux of the Mt Rintoul route. Mt Richmond and Johnston Peak are the highest points on the distant skyline
Robbie and Shaun clearing the little notch
Commencing the 300 metre drop to the dip between Little and Mt Rintoul
Descending the 300 metre drop to the dip between Little and Mt Rintoul
In slippery conditions even the trail got a bit gnarly in spots
At about 1,550m, looking back to Little Rintoul, from above the dip on the east side of Mt Rintoul
Heading to the summit of Mt Rintoul, with about 100 metres to go
High fives at 1,731m, on top of Mt Rintoul. Little Rintoul now does look little, down to the right
Heading west across the broad flat summit ridge of Mt Rintoul, en route to Rintoul Hut
The summit ridge of Mt Rintoul forms a crescent. Here the main summit is left as we dropped off the ridge on a fairly steep descent of over 400 metres to the hut
Here at about 1,500m, with Purple Top (1,532m) dead ahead
More locals, vacating the toilet area on our arrival at Rintoul Hut
Rintoul Hut (1,250m), with the west end of Mt Rintoul above, at dawn
A source of much evening pleasure inside Rintoul Hut
The Arthur Range, viewed from about 1,500m, near Purple Top
The view northwest to the Arthur Range, from about 1,500m on the ridge below Purple Top - the Twins left and Mt Arthur right
Looking further west to Mt Owen, from beneath Purple Top
Heading southwest to Purple Top (1,532m - centre). The further high point (1,562m) to the left is beyond the saddle leading from Purple Top to Bishops Cap. It offers even better panoramas than Purple Top. On the far left horizon lies Tapuae-o-Uenuku
The view from Purple Top (1,532m), back northeast to our route encompassing Mt Rintoul (1,731m - centre), then Slaty Peak and Mt Starveall, out to the left
Peaks beyond the dip between Slaty Peak and Mt Starveall
A view from the 1,562m high point beyond Purple Top, looking west over Bishops Cap (1,425m), to the Arthur Range
The view east to Tapuae-o-Uenuku (2,885m - left of centre) and Alarm (2,877m - right of centre)
Nice examples of vegetable sheep, with Tapuae-o-Uenuku and Alarm in the background
Vegetable sheep and the Arthur Range
Farewell to the open tops for this trip. The treeline is above 1,400m in the Richmond Range. Here, looking to Bishops Cap centre and the Arthur Range behind
Looking northeast from a clearing at about 1,300m on the ridge above Tarn Hut. Bishops Cap is right of centre and Purple Top far right
The un-named tarn at 1,060m, where Tarn Hut resides, just beyond the trees on the far side
Old moss-covered trees beside the un-named tarn
Robbie taking a breather at Tarn Hut (1,060m)
The Wairoa River, near where it branches left and right, just below the bench where Mid Wairoa Hut sits
Mid Wairoa Hut (380m), on a cleared bench above the Wairoa River
One of the pleasures of tramping in New Zealand's backcountry, inside Mid Wairoa Hut
Hut life inside Mid Wairoa Hut. During our 6 days tramping, we enjoyed exclusive occupancy in 5 different huts - not such a common thing, now that this route has become part of the Te Araroa Trail
The route out from Mid Wairoa Hut follows the Wairoa River. The first three hours are rugged, with many steep ups and downs on narrow, rooted trails
Beside the Wairoa River, about an hour north of Mid Wairoa Hut
Beside the Wairoa River, about 2 hours north of Mid Wairoa Hut
Beside the Wairoa River, now broadening out for easier travel
Easier travel - at least most of the time
What happens to forests when logging comes to town - here, near the roadend, outside the Forest Park boundary

Read about it The sweet spot Vertigo Oct 2019

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