Triangle Spur and Dome, but not Notdome.
Leaving the car at the Mangahao No. 1 Dam, we followed the track to an empty Mangahao Flats Hut for the night. Part of this track has been described as ‘almost certainly the worst aligned of any in the Tararua’ (see Tararua Tramper’s Guide). It does go up and down a bit.
In the morning we continued up the valley to Avalanche Flats, where there used to be a hut, and headed up Triangle Spur. The old track up this spur is no longer maintained, but still has good travel, with even some markers in its lower reaches. Getting through the scrub belt was no problem. Before the Dora Track over Pukematawai was created, the route to the main Tararua Range crest in this area used to go up this spur, after coming up the Ohau and over Deception Spur.
Over Triangle Knob and up to Dundas. No views due to clag, but we had been asked to get a photo of ‘Brockett Rocks’ just below Dundas. Fred and Margaret Brockett from the Masterton Tramping Club had sheltered there in 1925 after a gale had shredded their tent. There are quite a few rocks there but we didn’t find any great rock shelters.
On over Logan and down to Dundas Hut, still in the clag. I had been keen to visit pt 1420 – an un-named eastern outlier off Logan. On the map it looks similar to Dome (pt 1410) which is a parallel eastern outlier off Pukemoremore just to the north. Maybe pt 1420 could be called ‘Notdome’? However, with poor visibility there seemed little point in visiting it. Later in the afternoon the cloud lifted partly and, from the hut, we got views of Dome and out over the upper Ruamahanga to Cattle Ridge.
In the morning the clag had returned. We continued north over Pukemoremore, from where we did a side trip out to Dome. Hoped-for views did not emerge, and we trudged back to Pukemoremore.
Northwards over Walker we reached West Peak. From here we wanted to return down the NW spur to the Harris Creek- Mangahao confluence. The upper part of the spur was good going, but this spur has a long scrub belt. The first part of the scrub belt before pt 1090 had a surprisingly good footpad, heavily used by deer, to judge by the many prints. Further down the scrub was quite a bit thicker in places though the footpad was still mostly visible and many old cut branches showed people have used it, though there were no other markers.
We did emerge from under the cloud ceiling and the travel improved after we reached the bush, past pt 832. The GPS was useful to help stay on the right spur. It took us three hours from West Peak down to the Mangahao. If Harris Creek Hut still existed, and the route was cleared through the scrub, this would be a great way to approach Dundas Hut.
After lunch we followed the track back to the dam to return home.
- Party members
- Franz Hubmann (scribe) and Paul McCredie