Holdsworth - Mitre (map S25 and S26)
2-4 March 2001
The Holdsworth Mitre trip is a tops trip traveling from south to north along the main Eastern Range of the Tararuas. The only departure from the traditional route was to have Chris Petersen, the caretaker at Holdsworth Lodge, pick as up from the Pines on Sunday morning rather than walk out along the Atiwhakatu Valley.
Friday night involved extricating ourselves from the traffic congestion of Willis Street, having take-aways at Featherston and a torch-light trip to Powell Hut where we spent the night.
Saturday morning was damp and misty, and that was the way it stayed all day with visibility being restricted to about 30 or so metres but only light wind. The route is a well padded one through the tussock and rock outcrops. It poses only a few potential navigational problems, the first two being at Angle Knob where the direction changes from north-west to north, and from McGregor to the Broken Axe Pinnacles, where you need to follow a well-cairned route off McGregor which will take you onto the Broken Axe Pinnacles.
We had decided to sidle the largest and most northern of the Pinnacles but after finding ourselves standing on top of the Pinnacle we decided to go down rather than backtrack. The top of Mid King is, or can be, another small problem area since the most obvious route will take you east down to Mid King Bivvy; the correct route is north through some longish tussock.
The two final problem areas both occur on North King and involve avoiding following a leading spur off North King to the north east and following a route to the north west before swinging north at a cairn just before a small weedy tarn. Around Adkin we had a lunch stop in sheltered but rather cold conditions so our stop was a brief one before continuing on to Girdlestone, Brockett, Mitre and Peggys Peak.
The misty conditions continued with us until the hut at Mitre Flats where I was the hut warden for the night. Besides our party of three there was only one other tramper in the hut that night, a school teacher from Palmerston North checking out the local conditions for a future school tramp.
On Sunday morning we made our way out to the Pines where Chris Petersen was waiting to take us back to Holdsworth, a cup of tea and hot cross buns.
Party members: Yvonne Ashworth, Paul Denton and Dave Reynolds (scribe).