Today I explored Whariti Road. It is just through the Manawatu Gorge and then first turn left and in for a couple of kms. The road turns to the right but ahead is a metal road. This is where you park your car and start to run along the start of Whariti Road.
It is 10kms up to the top. My GPS came along today and the elevation read 115 metres as I began. It was very cold out and I was wearing my tights, two polyprops, my merino top and put my jacket on near the top. I had my gloves as well.
A gentle 200 metres of flat to begin then it climbs away only flattening briefly twice for the next 10kms. I thought this could be a great half marathon course as I began climbing up to the top. And when I had to put my jacket on because of the hail I stopped thinking that! And then with about three kms to go there were some snow flurries. I was quite warm but debated with myself about going on. I reasoned that I was on a metal road only a few kms away from the car so pushed on to the top. The bush gave some shelter from the wind and an hour and 14 minutes after starting I was at the top. Didn’t stay long – had a couple of biscuits and headed down for warmer climes. I don’t remember the rain stopping as such but sometime soon after leaving the top the sun peaked through and although cold I was not being rained on any longer. Off came the saturated polyprop gloves as my hands were freezing and they soon warmed up. Running down and down without any up is always a challenge!
My downhill skills were being tested and about three kms from the bottom my left calf sang out to stop because it had had enough. I nursed it back to the car and have given it some TLC since. The soreness should only last a day or two.
It is 920 metres (3017 feet) at the top and the GPS was very accurate although it had trouble with interference from the television and other transmitters up there. The view on a clear day would be amazing and I got glimpses of the turbines below me. The land is truly beautiful. I think it is one of highest points around these parts.
And here is a photo showing the start of the road and the top of the peak.