Friday, November 20, 2009

Tramping in the Tararuas

The other weekend I was fortunate enough to spend three days tramping in the Tararuas, to the north of Wellington, with my friend Noam and his fiancee Rachel. We did the "Jumbo circuit", which starts near Masterton, following a loop from the valley floor up to the summit of Mt Holdsworth and back down again through the bush. It's actually possible to do the whole circuit in one exhausting day, but we did it in a relaxed fashion over three days, spending most of the time wandering up along the ridges.

Here are some photos. Most are courtesy of Noam, and are superior in both technique and technology to the couple from my camera. Click to enlarge to full size.

Patches of snow still lingered on some of the ridges amidst the wind battered tussock.

The green folds of the Wairarapa plain look idyllic in the later afternoon haze when viewed from above. Great photography from Noam.

This is a kind of lookout point at around 1,350 metres above sea level, about halfway between Powell Hut and the summit of Mt Holdsworth.
Noam arrives at the lookout point, with the south Wairarapa plains in the background.
The action and effects of the wind can be seen in this photo of Noam's.

Mountain tarns on the ridgeline on the way out to Angle Knob, from where we could see both the Pacific and the Tasman.

These mountain flowers (native daisies?) have an amazing plastic-like appearance that makes them appear almost artificial.

In the centre of the photo, people walking along the ridgeline down from the summit of Mt Holdsworth give an idea of the scale of the landscape.

Reaching the summit of Mt Holdsworth at 1,470 metres with the lower hills and the Wairarapa plain spread out behind.

Serried ranges of hills unfold westward towards the sun in this view from Angle Knob, around an hour's walk along the ridgeline from Jumbo Crossing. The faintest hill in the distance is Kapiti Island, and the adjoining blue is the sea.

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