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]
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 Major crossings of the Tararua Ranges
- Holdsworth Mitre Crossing The Holdsworth to Mitre major Tararua Range crossing
- Main Range Crossing The Tararua Main Range north to south major Tararua Range crossing
- Middle Crossing Major crossings of the Tararua Ranges
- Northern Crossing Major crossings of the Tararua Ranges
- Renata Alpha Crossing Major crossings of the Tararua Ranges
- Southern Crossing Major crossings of the Tararua Ranges
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 New Zealand License.