These crossing trips all involve travel above the bushline. Make sure that your gear and route-finding abilities reflect the possibility of alpine conditions.
- Severe conditions may be expected at all seasons of the year.
- Winter crossings will need ice axe and perhaps crampons.
- Be prepared to turn back if conditions get too tough the hills will still be there next weekend and you will be better prepared.
- But don't forget your sunscreen and camera.
Renata Alpha is the southernmost of the ridge trips crossing the Tararuas. 78 hours between Renata Hut and Alpha Hut. Sometimes done as a Kime Aston Renata round trip, but navigation off Aston towards Elder may be difficult in poor visibility.
The track along the ridge above Renata Hut to Aston is well-cut (and well-marked in the bush) and the brief rises above the bush present no problems. After 1½ hours the bush is cleared briefly on the Renata .924 summit. The ridge is good going to the saddle just before Elder, where the bush becomes a little thicker. Elder, which is briefly in tussock, is reached in 2½ hours from Renata .924. Elder Hut (4 bunks, tank water, and splendid views) is just below the summit at the western end of Elder. Beyond Elder is a minor saddle, followed by a rise through fair bush strengthened with alpine scrub towards the bush-edge. A straightforward spur leads to Aston on the Southern Crossing, 2 hours from Elder. The ridge junction is actually about 100 metres westwards of Aston. Alpha Hut should be reached in another 90100 minutes. [revised May 2019]
Elder HutElder Hut is a Standard hut, located at -40.971876, 175.232402. It has 4 bunks with mattresses, toilets - non-flush, water from tap - not treated, boil before use, and water supply. Bookings are not required, usage is first come, first served.
Alpha HutAlpha Hut is a Standard hut, located at -40.98575, 175.281914. It has 20 bunks with heating, mattresses, toilets - non-flush, water from tap - not treated, boil before use, and water supply. Bookings are not required, usage is first come, first served.
Emergency exit. If bad weather forces an exit from the Renata-Alpha Ridge before Aston, the best plan would be to head to Renata Hut and the old logging road over the Ngatiawa - Waiotauru Saddle. Beyond Aston the best bet is probably to proceed to Alpha Hut, as there are gorges in the headwaters of both the Western Hutt and the Tauherenikau Rivers.
- Bannister Crossing 20.7 Bannister Crossing
- Holdsworth Mitre Crossing 20.9 The Holdsworth to Mitre major Tararua Range crossing
- Main Range Crossing 20.8 The Tararua Main Range north to south major Tararua Range crossing
- Middle Crossing 20.5 The Middle Crossing major crossing of the Tararua Ranges
- Northern Crossing 20.6 Northern Crossing major crossing of the Tararua Ranges
- Renata Alpha Crossing 20.1 Renata Alpoha major crossing of the Tararua Ranges
- Southern Crossing 20.2. 20.3, 20.4 Southern Crossing major crossing of the Tararua Ranges
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