02 March 2009

Ruahine landscape — the Whanahuia

Whanahuia tops

Early December 2007; the northern end of the Whanahuia Range, part of the Ruahine system. We had just reached the top of the Mania Track and were en route to Pourangaki hut, in the valley beyond the sunlit tops. The Oroua Valley's off to the right. This is typical of the Ruahine tops — wonderful travelling in weather like this but when the cloud closes in and visibility reduces to less than a hundred metres or so, it's very easy to wander off down the wrong spur.

All content © 2009 Pete McGregor


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
I have stood in almost this exact spot, but this photo makes me feel as if I am there right now, like I can just reach through the screen and be there! You have shared this moment with your camera well. Isn't it so Ruahine like to have sun shining on that golden tussock, yet in the near back ground the dark clouds begin to gather. That sidle around Mangamahue is always interesting! Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

magic, i need some tips so I can get shots like this one, i havent been up the mania track but have been close....I love walking up the spurs in the west and looking out towards the central plateau and if your lucky taranaki. Is that part of sawtooth in the background?
keep them coming, tom

pohanginapete said...

Robb, you're right — the Mangamahue sidle can be interesting, particularly when the snowgrass is wet and slippery. Some nice places to bivvy there, though.

Tom, yes, I'm pretty sure that'd be Sawtooth Ridge in the background, although I haven't been over it so can't confirm the i.d. As for tips for photos, I think the best advice is simply to be aware of the light and prepared to make the effort to haul the camera out of the pack. Oh, and be careful not to overexpose the brightest areas. Clouds can be deceptively bright compared to the land, and it's easy to end up with blank, 'blown-out' highlights. If in doubt, take several shots, with some under-exposed.

butuki said...

This form of the ridges and spurs reminds me so much of Japan, as does the covering of the tops with green.. just the vegetation is different. Mountains in America and Europe look completely different.

Would love to walk here.

pohanginapete said...

Miguel, I'd love to show you around some of this country.

vegetablej said...

What names you have there - Ruahines and Whanahuia remind me of Gullver's voyages to the Houyhnhnms, and that beautiful yellow rock with the texture and soft colour of a horse's back.

Even mountains have souls.


pohanginapete said...

VJ, mountains have astonishing souls.
Your analogy of a horse's back fits well — 'saddle' is a commonly used term to describe a low, gently sloping pass over a range. Incidentally, the yellow colour is actually snow tussock. In places it can be waist high, although it's mostly lower than that; while it looks soft from a distance, it's often spiked liberally with speargrass and leatherwood. The travelling on the section in the photo is pretty good, though.

Mark Watson said...

Mint shot.

pohanginapete said...

Cheers Mark. And thanks for all that great work of yours with The Climber and NZ Alpine Journal.