Date: 28 January 2017
Distance: 13km + 2.5km (approx)
Time: 5:20 + 25 min
Reference: Wilderness Magazine (online).
The obligatory pre-event selfie. Happy to finally have made it out to this track.
Slips caused damage to the track.
Taking a breather after starting the track with a fairly steady climb.
Lots of gorse in some areas lower down.
A random out-house out in the sticks. 🙂
We saw and heard quite a few mountain goats.
The views from the viewpoint was well worth the short detour.
One for Palmy Rocks!
The original river bed of hundreds of years ago with Puketapu hill to the right.
Safety signage where damage was caused to the track.
Kanuka trees like I’ve never seen before.
Kanukas a few times my circumference.
Walking in the shade of the trees most of the way.
A fallen tree and other debris on the track, especially after strong winds this past week.
Sheer drop-offs – difficult to show on a photograph.
Bluffs along the way, makes for some scary walking in places.
A stick-figure decided to hitch a ride.
The campsite in a clearing at about the halfway point.
Lots of ferns along the way.
A little jog. That didn’t last long.
At Taumata trig, the highest point on the track at 572m (DOC) or 563m (nzwalksinfo.co.nz).
Kanuka threatening to completely overgrow the path.
Suffering from acrophobia? Don’t look down!
On the narrow ridge, all the way around.
Framed! Gerry trying to find Strava on his phone.
Even though you’re surrounded by bush, there’s lovely views all around.
Trying to figure out what tree this giant is.
The constant ups and downs along the ridge can be quite tiring.
Whanganui River in the distance down below.
More fallen trees blocking the path.
Hundreds of stairs as you make your way back down to the road level. The gradient is a lot steeper towards the southern end of the track, which would make a reverse trip very challenging.
Steps to nowhere.
At the southern end of the track, but still about 2.5km from the car.
Hard to believe such a short walk can take so long.
For our weekend “long-run” we decided to fast-pack the Atene Skyline Track. It’s been on our to-do list for quite a while now, but with work, other commitments and not the best season so far weather wise, we haven’t got around to it. The intention was to run-bits-walk-bits, but with the changeable weather we thought it best to carry at least a day pack, with some wet and cold weather clothing. Still light enough to jog with, but totally unnecessary as the one good day of the summer so far was bestowed upon us for the walk. Sunny, no wind and warm enough, it was perfect conditions for a walk in the forest. Which is exactly what we ended up doing. So apart from about twenty metres of jogging, we walked the whole way just enjoying the outing and life in general. Continue reading
Instead of going under the knife, I’m trying this colourful collection first. 🙂
In the early evening of 12 December 2016, I got up from the couch to have a look at the jam I was cooking, when suddenly I had excruciating pain in my right hip area. Hunched over holding on to the couch, I knew that something was badly wrong. Even just breathing had me in agony, and with gasps and involuntary tears in my eyes, I found my way back to the couch. Several hours later and with the help of a handful of pain pills and Voltaren, I could manage to get myself into bed where I promptly faded into a deep sleep hoping that everything will be better in the morning. Continue reading
*Thanks for the title Graeme!
Date: 14 January 2017
Some members of the Manawatu Trail Runners FB group: Suzanne, Nikki, Amanda, Brett, Wouna, Gerry and Michael.
At the event base.
Des and Henriette.
Nervously happy to be out there.
With 540 participants all starting together, you better get yourself to the front if you hope to pose a good time. Luckily not something we had to worry about!
A gradual incline shortly after the start, helping to spread out the field before the first single-track section.
Any uphill was a good excuse for a walk-break.
Alternating sections of gravel road and single track meant that we didn’t have any problems with bottle-necks.
Jogging through a lush green section.
Had to do a few takes to get this pic with Mt Taranaki in the background.
Back into the forest.
Not sure why I thought that acting like a baboon would prove my steel.
So glad it wasn’t raining or wet going up and down these bare soil stretches.
Enjoying a beautiful morning out on the trails.
Heading back out into an open patch.
A downhill trot…
…followed by an uphill slog.
No getting lost with course markings in abundance.
Luckily we could side-step all the muddy patches.
A mix of sun and shade meant it was never too hot or too cold.
I guess the more competitive runners probably went straight through.
A very scenic stretch, with Lake Mangamahoe in the foreground and Mt Taranaki in the distance.
Running along the banks of Lake Mangamahoe.
Gerry on the first of the two swing bridges.
Still having fun.
The second swing bridge on the half marathon course.
Graeme having a blast on the swing bridge.
Some tree roots to negotiate.
A short stretch run in both directions. But this lot had done a few kilometres in-between and were well ahead of us.
A very curvy section where you really feel like you are going in circles.
A long incline after passing the event base the second time.
Gerry making his way through the young pine forest with Mt Taranaki up ahead.
Gerry photographing the photographer photograping me. 😛
Up and up we went. Just as well, as I had to walk lots anyway.
The Rocky Road stretch. Apart from roots, the only other semi-technical terrain.
Lots of steps, giving our heart and lungs a good workout.
These smiles must have been thanks to the fact that the end was just around the corner.
Very happy to have made it. And getting some medals to boot.
Running a doodle.
On all accounts, I should not have done this event. Apart from doing two half marathons, one in September and one in October, we haven’t been running for about five months, except for maybe the odd 3 or 4km slow trot-walk-run once every few weeks which is not even worth mentioning. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you don’t go running races unprepared. Mind you, I’ve never “run a race”. Rather, I participate in events – there’s a huge difference. Continue reading
24 December 2016 – Christmas Eve
Clean and fresh in the carpark at Whakapapa Village.
Gerry crossing the Golden rapids – yellow coloured due to the high iron content in the stream.
Some good sturdy bridges to cross some streams dry-footed.
Just a nice walk in the forest.
The undulations already started in the first couple of hours.
Due to the rain of the previous night, the track was quite wet.
Luckily we didn’t fall down the chute!
The eroded path resulted in some muddy patches.
In stark contrast, some other areas of the track were very well developed.
An early taste of the tough terrain to come.
A bridge built in memory of another life lost in the deceivingly dangerous mountain streams.
Fresh dumping of snow on the mountain.
Icy cold streams, too deep to cross with dry footed.
Contemplating the prospect of wet feet for the rest of the day.
Just beautiful views of the mountain whenever you look up.
A final small stream before reaching the hut.
Late lunch on the porch of Whakapapaiti Hut, before continuing on to make up a bit of distance before settling in for the night.
More stream crossings – some rock-hopping, others knee deep.
Clearly not impressed by having to pour water from my waterproof boots!
A final cold, wet stream crossing before calling it a day.
With camp all set up, we were having coffee and cooking dinner with the sun starting to set.
Lying in the tent with our festive Christmas lights, we couldn’t have hoped for a better scene.
The beautiful Mt Ruapehu glowing pink in the evening light.
What was meant to be an early night, early start, drive to Whakapapa Village and start walking early, turned into a very late night (1am), getting up four hours later, load everything in the car, drive the two and half hours, sign in, get sorted and only start walking at 11:11am. (Looking back at our previous trip, it would seem that old habits die hard.) Continue reading