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Tararua Tramping Club

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Tararua Footprints Renata Alpha Crossing

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20 Major Crossings

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.

20.1 Renata – Alpha Crossing Ordinary Tramper

Renata – Alpha is the southernmost of the ridge trips crossing the Tararuas. 7–8 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 90–100 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.

Major crossings

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"I returned to my camp, on the 14th being 4 days without provisions, except, what I obtained, by thinning the ranks of a numerous, and destructive little animals, and to modify the name, I must call them Māori Rabbits."

Patrick Q Caples, a few days later, returning up-valley.

Page last modified on 2019 Sep 14 21:57

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