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Keep an eye on the Tararua hut books

Don’t be too surprised if you get pushed over from behind by a few hut-baggers racing through the Tararuas during the next couple of months. Lower North Island LandSAR is running a Tararua hut-bagging contest for its members [1]. (Specifically with entry being open to lower North Island LandSAR, the Police SAR Squad, and Airforce BCF.) Until 7th December 2011, entered teams will be allowed three 48 hour “trips” to clock up as many points as possible. This will probably encourage some non-stop no-sleep rogaining techniques by the more committed teams.

The competition’s only open to people associated with LandSAR, but the rules and points table are amusing to read all the same. As well as bagging huts and points of interest, points are being awarded for providing GPS tracks, and for logging in Mountain Radio Skeds. There seems to be nothing in the rules to prevent a team from calling into all three of the Wellington, Central North Island and Hawkes Bay skeds in an evening, but I guess they might also need to decide if it’s worth another 10 points to stop moving for another 30 minutes, given how long it can take to properly get a mountain radio aerial up and down.

The most valuable listed huts are Carkeek (100 points), followed by Arete Forks, Burn, North Mangahao, Dorset Ridge and Dracophyllum, Arete, Dundas, Kapakapanui, Mungahuka, Mid-King, Nichols and the Oriwa Ridge water tank, although it’s probably worth noting that points are evidently also being structured on how easily a hut fits into a 48 hour point-hungry trip as much as how difficult they are to reach. (Burn Hut isn’t far from a road, but it’s ages from anywhere else.)

I still think these competitions should award bonus points (or double points) for arbitrary challenges that add another dimension of planning, like only visiting huts in alphabetical order, but maybe few people agree with me.

4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "Keep an eye on the Tararua hut books"

#1 Comment By Amelia On 8 October, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

I was going to wonder if there was a rule that meant you couldnt pop in to Burn Hut then drive to another road end, but it appears that rule 1.4 covers that…

Looks like fun. We should steal the points system and run it with Tramping Club for the fit trampers to have some fun…

#2 Comment By Amelia On 8 October, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

Although I think its a bit tough that team members must have been registered with LandSAR on 1 January 2011 – it means anyone who has joined this year is out… They might not have completed all their training, but they would likely still make a good team member!

#3 Comment By gazza On 10 October, 2011 @ 10:21 am


So if you get lost in the Tararuas over the next two months chances are high that a SAR team will already be close, however if you get stuck in the Rimutakas you might experience a small wait…

I am just kidding, I would assume they would organise it so they are not going to be flat footed. Would be pretty interesting to see the results, I imagine there are some ultra fit guys in SAR.

#4 Comment By Mike McGavin On 10 October, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

@gazza — Hah. Yeah, maybe, but it might take a while before they hear about your plight. 🙂 From what I know of a couple of people in the teams presently listed, they’re people who’d often spend lots of their time in the hills regardless, and three 48 hour trips in the space of a few months would just become part of what they’d already be up to anyway.

@Amelia, I s’pose they can still tag along with an existing team (just as anyone else can). Right now I’m thinking that the Tararua Hut Bagging concept could make a very amusing boardgame. It has all the right elements to be something like Ticket To Ride but completely different and better, if seeming completely pointless to anyone who doesn’t know what it’s about. 😛