Hi everyone, I have just got back from a trip around the 5 Passes. The bridge over the Rock Burn at Theater Flat is damaged.
For those of you who don't know it consists of a wooden swing bridge connected to its wire cables by hooks through wire loops on the bridge part. On the true right side on the down stream facing half a dozen of the hooks are no longer through their loops, The bridge twists to the downstream side on about a 45 degree angle.
I didn't realise this until I was already half way across! I chose to continue and made it across but I would hate to think what would happen if the bridge collapsed here like the one up north a couple of months back with those French tourists on. The Rock Burn here is a gorge.
If you are thinking of doing the 5 Passes, 3 Passes, or even just a trip to Theater Flat and back this summer please check with DOC Queenstown about the bridge (I've just emailed them). If you have contacts else where around NZ who might be thinking of doing these trips then please let them know. Presumably there's a good reason why the track doesn't just exit Theater Flat on the true right, and it would be a hell of a bush bash down the true left to get to a safe crossing point. Happy tramping!
Thanks for the info Yarmoss. Would crossing to the south side of the Rockburn on Theatre Flat then a bush bash down to the track be a possibility? It looks like only a few hundred metres of possible bush bashing on the south side of the Rockburn at Theatre Flat to join the track?
I was thinking of doing the three passes (North Col Routeburn, Lake Nerine, Park Pass, Sugarloaf Pass) or North Col Routeburn then south to Lake Wilson - Valley of Trolls at the beginning of last week, but the weather forecast for Wednesday - Thursday was looking bad so I went with Plan B. (Scott Creek, Kay Creek, McKellar Saddle, Greenstone Saddle then through the Routeburn and back to the motorbike at Scott Creek in two days).
How was the five passes? I was looking up into Emily and Fraser Passes from Lake McKenzie, and into the Valley of Trolls/Lake Wilson area from Lake Harris, there seemed to be a lot of snow around on all the south faces, and I thought I heard a rumble from somewhere up around Lake Wilson.
This post has been edited by the author on 7 December 2015 at 19:11.
I'm not sure if going down the true right is possible. If it was easy then why did they put the track down the true left and then build a bridge? I remember seeing a hill there but don't recall if it was bluffed against the river.
Yeah it rained most of the week with the worst being Wednesday night. I got flooded while camped outside the Olivine biv. That biv leaks like a siv in the rain, Moirs north lies about its dryness.
There was a lot of snow on the south sides of Fohn and Fiery Cols. Fiery would have been very hard to get up but as I was heading anti clockwise around it was an exhilarating glacade down!
Thanks, the contours don't look too close together around that south / true right corner of the Rockburn. Perhaps it was just the best place to put a bridge to allow access to the bigger north side of Theatre Flat? Don't think I will get consecutive days off where I can get away before Christmas, but I might try a day trip up to Theatre flats and beyond if I get away early enough.
This is the satellite view of the area, bridge location is marked by the pin: