Mt Melina from the Ahuriri Valley

Mt Melina is in the Hawea Conservation Park. We accessed it from the Ahuriri Valley using mountain bikes. I must admit that I am a bit soft and usually walk my bike up anything that resembles a hill, however the trail/road in is graded by DOC as an easy grade 2, and so even I managed it.

We strapped our skis either onto our packs or onto the bikes, and rode 5-6 km to the hut. This took about an hour (we are slow). The hut is basic but functional and is part of the Te Araroa trail network (walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff). It could be used to sleep a night  and ski both Mt Melina and Mt Martha from if someone wanted to do an over night trip. (the hut has old Kapok mattresses and a wood burner)

From the hut we headed west straight up the the other side of the valley for a hundred metres to the snow line, put on skis and began an upward  traverse to the ridge, before descending into the Mt Melina drainage (see map). This descent went well for us, however in low snow years might be too rocky to ski. From here we took a direct line to the summit of Mt Melina via the east face to the North Ridge of Melina.

View Larger Interactive Map

There are great views into the Dingle Burn, Timaru Creek and further to the Hunter Valley. Mt Martha sits a short way away and has some enticing looking steepish southern couloirs, which would make for good backcountry skiing.

The ski descent was lovely with slopes to 30 or 35 degrees. There was the usual accompanying variable snow conditions . We skied pretty much all the way back to the bikes. Back on the wheels and half an hours downhill and we were back at the car. The journey from car to summit to car- 8 hours round trip. This was a good fun moderate ski tour with lots of scope for other worthwhile routes and peaks to be skied.