We all met at Platform 9 at 8.00am on Saturday, a delayed start from Friday night due to a running race being held on the Holdsworth Track. We also changed our route plan, missing Jumbo Hut, so as to avoid the ridge on Sunday.
The weather looked good as we headed to the Wairarapa onto State highway 2. Taking the turnoff at Norfolk Road, 2 kms south of Masterton.
We started walking the track at about 11.00am, a gradual uphill towards Atiwhakatu Hut, until we reached the East Holdsworth Track. After crossing the Atiwhakatu Stream we started the rather steep incline through lovely Beech forests. Lunch spots were a little hard to come by but we managed to find a sunlight spot on the way up.
Luckily, the weather remained good on our way up, and no wind! The Last stage of the walk from about 800 to 1475 meters was hard going but well worth the magnificent 360 degree views from the ridge. We could clearly see Mana Island, The Wairapapa and an expansive view of the Tararuas.
After taking a well deserved rest on the ridge and soaking up the expansive views, we pressed on to Mount Holdsworth for some more time absorbing the views before we made our decent to Powell Hut where we were staying for the night. I must say the roof of Powell Hut was a very welcome sight. We arrived at 6.00pm in time to start dinner preparations.
Dinner was Chilli Tuna Noodle dish … yummy!
The next day we began our decent to the carpark. By this stage the wind had picked up significantly ,to the point where we were being blown over. There was no way we could have climbed Mount Holdsworth in this weather (good call Richard). Along the way we passed Mountain House shelter (dates back to 1870’s) and we also stopped off at the Gentle Annie lookout.
We reached the carpark at about midday which timed nicely for a coffee/lunch stop at The Wild Oats Bakery at Carterton.
Another great tramp, excellent organisation by Garth, superb leadership by Richard and communal cooking by all.
I definitely felt I had I had been on a walk as I had aching thighs for about three days!
Start Holdsworth Road End: 1100 hrs
East Holdsworth track(390m): 1200 hrs
Above the bushline (1200m): 1545hrs
Ridge track (1420m): 1655hrs
Mt Holdsworth (1460m): 1730hrs
Powell Hut (1220m): 1845hrs
Distance covered: 13km
Height climbed: 1160m
Time: 7:45 hours
Average speed: 1.7 kph
Start Powell Hut: 0830hrs
End Holdsworth car park: 1200hrs
Distance covered: 8.5km
Time 3:30 hours
Average speed: 2.4 kph