Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby mtb obsessed on Tue 12/Jul/16 10:25pm

Hi all,

I'm planning an overnight tramp to Mt Pirongia, staying at Pahautea Hut. I am considering one of two routes - either doing a loop with the Bell Track and Tahuanui Track, or the Mahuakura Track and the Tirohanga Track. I'm thinking of doing the Bell-Tahuanui route if it's dry and the Mahuakura-Tirohanga route if it's wet because I'd rather take the shorter route in bad weather.

Does anyone know which route would be more interesting and enjoyable to take?

Cheers
mtb obsessed
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby matnz on Wed 13/Jul/16 8:27am

Can't help about what its like today - but brings back memories from 20 years ago.... rain, mud, rain, cold, 12 people in a 6 bed hut, more rain - 100mm of water on the ground, mud mostly ankle deep, sometimes knee deep - and that was on the track. One group of guys did it the hard way - cast iron fry pan and cast iron gas cooker from warehouse with a 2 kg refillable bottle, canned food - We wondered of they were tougher or dumber than us, but as someone pointed out, given the weather, dumber was not possible....

It should have been miserable, somehow it was magical.
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby jo on Wed 13/Jul/16 12:13pm

I did via bell track about 10 years ago. Bear in mind when it's dry it's also still very muddy. :crazy:
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby Rik on Wed 13/Jul/16 12:53pm

I'm seeing a theme here.
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby mtb obsessed on Wed 13/Jul/16 4:40pm

Yep, I've read a few blog posts on this tramp and it sounds like cold, wet, and muddy are the trends that pop out when people discuss these tracks. However, as matnz said, sometimes that can be the exact thing that makes the tramp such an adventure.

It'd be perfect if there were someone here who has done both loops and can compare, but by the sounds of it, once you've climbed that hill once, you'll never want to climb it again! :lol:
mtb obsessed
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby jo on Wed 13/Jul/16 4:45pm

:D Its not that bad.

I dont recall it being overly long to get up to the hut. But it is straight up, in the trees. You do get abit of a view at the top. But the top can be wet/windy/haily/cold, even in summer. Its just abit of a slog. Which is fun, in its own way.
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby slidecontrol on Wed 13/Jul/16 7:31pm

flash new hut up there these days :)
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby stephenz on Wed 13/Jul/16 10:12pm

You've pretty much got it sorted. The Bell track will be quite muddy after this weeks rain, and is generally wet. The Tahanui section is steep and muddy in places, but quite fast. The hut doesn't have a wood burner but is insulated and double glazed. Good views from a number of places and worth the trip.
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby Velocipedestrian on Thu 14/Jul/16 7:40am

And it makes the news.
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby swtchbckr on Thu 14/Jul/16 8:53am

Velocipedestrian wrote:And it makes the news.

when i heard that on the radio this morning, i thought "Hmmm, hope that's not mtb obsessed" :lol:
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby mtb obsessed on Thu 14/Jul/16 11:47am

Nope, that wasn't me - but that article serves as a timely reminder to come prepared for every scenario. Also that it's surprisingly easy to get yourself in a sticky situation. Glad to hear that the family got out safe!
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby mtb obsessed on Tue 19/Jul/16 9:25pm



We did the tramp last weekend - went up the Tahuanui track and then stayed the night at the hut. The Tahuanui track was muddy but not boggy, so it took us about 5 hours to get up. The next day we did the start of the Bell Track. The first 500m of the 18.5km Bell track took us over 45 minutes because it was a knee deep swamp. Concerned that we wouldn't make it back by nightfall, we turned back and went back down the Tahuanui track. It was a shame that we didn't get to see the tree, but we did make a trip to see the Kaniwhaniwha caves at the bottom. Maybe it's a trip better done in summer!
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Re: Mt Pirongia Tramping Route

Postby jo on Wed 20/Jul/16 9:28am

:D Sounds like fun. :)
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