A trip to Hawkes Bay training, left me with an extra day for a new summit. I had been eyeing this one up for sometime and figured it was a good time to give it a crack. I reached the first sign and it said 4 wheel drive vehicles were allowed to proceed – so I figured I was in a four wheel drive and less walking was good. I ended up at the side of the river and after a walk around I scouted a good spot to take the land rover through the river – nice I’ll save getting my feet wet – or so I thought. The river crossing was good but to be fair that’s about as far as you can drive. Its walking from there. However to get from the shingle bed to the start of the track requires walking through a swamp. So much for dry feet. From there you ascend onto the forestry road. This track up is washed out in one part – which is why its pointless taking your vehicle further than the riverbed. Onto the forestry road – about 5km of long forestry road. Once you reach the end of Leatherwood Road there is a sign to mark the track start. The track dives straight down into a stream and straight back up almost rock climbing to get up onto a spur. From there it is a steady climb to the summit. The track is not well used and you do need to check in a few spots you are on the right track. The orange triangles are sparse so a good GPS / map is handy here. Lots of signs of pigs up this hill too – although I didn’t see any.
At the top I set up and made my calls. ZL2WR was in quick on VHF to Waipawa. The rest was 5 MHz and 14 MHz. Unfortunately the solar chargers for the site radio gear (forestry and DoC) made the noise floor fairly bad. However the antenna pole made for a good HF support. 2 summit to summit contacts from here – 1 with John ZL1BYZ from Clevedon ZL1/AK-018 on 5 MHz and one with Gerard VK2IO from VK2/IL-001. Always nice to get S2S contacts in the log. All in all 13 contacts made over 45 minutes. The walk out was quicker than the walk in. About 3:30 hours up (signposted 2 – 3 hours – yea right) and about 2:45 down. That’s with plenty of stops to get some photography haha.
ZL2AJ Unique summit #114
Summit – Poutaki ZL1/HB-052
Height – 1020 m ASL (about 540 m height gain)
Access – via farm at the end of Wakarara Road
Coverage – Spark and 670 good coverage from the top. No coverage ascending.
Summit Marker – Trig + radio huts.
Land Access Permission – Not required however farmland / river or forestry may limit access.
NB: Photos are not for use elsewhere, without prior approval.