Wairere Stream & Whakapapa Ridge

The Desert Road was closed so plans were changed and we headed for Whakapapa as the weather was just too good not to go up the mountain a bit.

By: Austin Hutcheon

We tramped outwards on the Tama Lakes track then turned off to the south-east and followed the Wairere Stream towards Mount Ruapehu for a few kilometres.

Whakapapa in Summer

The Wairere was then crossed - no wet feet and all the iced up rocks safely avoided - and a bit of a grunt uphill had the group on the top of Whakapapa Ridge where lunch was had sitting in the sun. The snowy views were spectacular.

The route then headed for the Chateau down the Whakapapa ridge and the weather took a downward turn as the wind from the south picked up to express train speed and was soon an icy blast – this added quite a challenge for a few as it was bitterly cold and “light-weights” were almost blown off their feet.

However, nice crisp snow walking made the tramp relatively easy and soon all came down the muddy track at the end which offered great views of the Chateau and a picnic-table snowman. 

Generally this is a summer tramp but when the conditions are right who can resist.

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