On an unsuspecting Sunday we arranged to go up Hikurangi to catch some sights and play a little radio. This hill also houses the local amateur repeater 715. We made arrangements with the friendly land owners and set out….early because we had word there were prospects of a few summit to summit points up for grabs and who wants to miss those right!?!
The morning was crisp and sunny but as the sun got up it got a little warm walking up this hill. The track is across farmland for most of the way and is fairly steep. However the views are spectacular so it is worth stopping regularly to catch your breath and take in the outlook to Ruapehu, North Island’s tallest mountain. When we say, fairly steep, step it up a notch. It is manageable, but you do need a reasonable amount of fitness, or plenty of time on your hands for plenty of breaks.
About 3/4 of the way up Myah was getting a headache and Emma was finding the steepness a challenge. They turned down whilst myself and Wyatt pushed on to the top. The track got easier once we got into the bush. Maybe it was the shade, or the inability to see a steep hill in front of you – I’m not sure. Following the blue dots through the trees was easy and Wyatt made a game out of it.
Once at the top we worked ZL1UTH on VHF. Trevor is the repeater trustee and helped us make contact with the farmers to gain access. 7 MHz was no good today so I moved up to 14 MHz where we made contact with Steve VK7CW, Gerrard for a summit to summit VK2IO and John at Kohukohunui for another summit to summit. Finally I caught ZL1RKW after packing up on the handheld for a 5th contact. I heard Wade but sadly he couldn’t hear me calling him. Just a quick activation but a successful one all the same. The walk down was much more pleasant and taking our shoes off at the car was extremely satisfying.
Summit – ZL1/MW-105 Hikurangi
Height –771 m
Access – At the end of Piaua turn left into number 189. Park up. Walk up the drive way to the last house (keep right when the drive splits to the house). Under the arch and through the gate follow this fence line up to the top of the farm and into the bush. From there follow the blue spray painted marks to the summit.
Nominal time to summit – 3 hour walk to summit.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – 3G on Vodafone though it has holes.
Summit Marker – Trig, radio masts.
Land Access Permission – Required – phone ahead. Details here http://www.taumarunui.co.nz/walks/mount-hikurangi/