Ski touring from Rangiwahia Hut
Sunday 17th August
For several years the notion of climbing up to Rangiwahia Hut after a big snow dump and skinning along the ridges had been floating around. In the 1930s there had been a local ski field there with a tow rope and people hiked up to the hut to stay. A big slip in 2002 made access to the hut much more difficult but a new track cut in 2012 has made access much easier. The issue, though, is to get enough snow.
So when the snow finally arrived during the week, a plan was made to give it a go. Being our first skiing for the season, and the forecast not looking that wonderful, we decided to ski Turoa on the Saturday. The day turned out brilliantly with fantastic snow and we joined the huge queues to enjoy a couple of runs down the Mangaehuehu Glacier and out wide to the west.
We left Taihape early in the morning on the Sunday and were pleased to see snow on the ground at the car park at the end of Renfrew Road. It was a steady climb through the snow covered bush for a couple of hours to reach Rangiwahia Hut. We were lucky that a group of day walkers had plugged steps up the previous day, making travel much easier, as the snow was mid thigh deep towards the bush edge.
After having an early lunch we put our skins on our skis and enjoyed skimming over the snow on the gentle ridge above the hut. We headed up towards Mangahuia with Stephen continuing for a further 30 mins and reaching the top. Ray and I enjoyed a slower pace and the solitude of the Ruahines, looking at the views of Ruapehu in the distance. Stephen got the best skiing from the top - it was much better than expected. It was an easy ski back to the hut and then the walk back down to the car. A wonderful day far from the maddening crowds!
- Party members
- Carol, Ray & Stephen Molineux