A good first off-track tramp?
Hi everyone, I've been tramping for a few years and am getting more and more interested in going off track. Would you have any suggestions as to what could be some good routes for a first off-track tramp? I'm looking for something that would be reasonably easy to navigate and is OK for a tramper (I don't have any mountaineering skills). Suggestions in the Wanaka area would be most appreciated as this is where I'm currently based :)
Lots of good country off track or on lesser traveled tracks around the Routeburn. Lake Wilson is easy to get to. Scott Creek, Kay Creek and Fraser Creek are all seldom visited and have easy/medium off track saddles out of their valley heads (the Fraser connects to Emily Creek which is steep but not a difficult route if you research it first. Emily Pass requires some experience). Death Valley is worth a visit. Sleepy Hollow from the Caples is supposed to be quite straight forward, haven't been there myself though. Then of coarse there's the (Otago) 3 Passes route and the longer 5 Passes route, both classics. North Route Burn to Fohn Saddle is magical country. The tops from McKellar Saddle can be traversed northwards easily to north of Pass Burn from where it's a short sharp bash down to connect to the Routeburn. Sunny Creek's upper hanging valley is gorgeous and easy to get to. The Livingstone Range is a fantastic walk from Key Summit all the way to the Mavora Lakes via its western face. The tops to the east of the Mavora Lakes look like they have a lot of potential but I haven't been there yet. Up by Makarora most of the valleys there have seldom visited tracks in them although the country off track (usually out of the valley heads) is pretty steep and gnarly. I would leave them until your confidence and experience is up.
@Yarmoss: "The tops from McKellar Saddle can be traversed northwards easily to north of Pass Burn from where it's a short sharp bash down to connect to the Routeburn." Thanks for pointing that one out. I take it the route is more of a sidle at about the 1100 - 1200 m contour from pt 1449 to 1197 followed by dropping down to the Routeburn track before Earland falls, or is it possible to stay on the ridge over pt 1695 ? http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-44.817967,168.16935&z=14&pin=1
i cant find Pass Burn marked on the map
"i cant find Pass Burn marked on the map" I presume the top of what is marked on the map as Pass Creek: http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-44.814192,168.153085&z=14&pin=1
Does anyone know if the Ailsa ridge south of Emily Peak is traversable? If it wasn't too bad getting onto pt 1685 and then off pt 1821 you could get from Emily Pass to that snowfield south of pt 1902 and then exit down sunny creek? http://www.topomap.co.nz/NZTopoMap?v=2&ll=-44.764852,168.191709&z=14&pin=1
south of emily peak http://www.southernalpsphotography.com/Tramping/Fiordland/Sunny-Creek-to-Lake-MacKenzie http://www.southernalpsphotography.com/Tramping/Fiordland/Lake-Roberts/
Hi @Ian_H and @waynowski "Thanks for pointing that one out. I take it the route is more of a sidle at about the 1100 - 1200 m contour from pt 1449 to 1197 followed by dropping down to the Routeburn track before Earland falls, or is it possible to stay on the ridge over pt 1695 ?" Peak 1449 is un-climbable from the south without mountaineering gear, due to large bluff bands. At least that's how it looks to me. But yes, from McKellar Saddle you climb to 1100m then sidle north past it's western side to 1200m on it's northwest spur. From there it's easy, beautiful tops to just north of pt 1197. The tarns at pt 1085 are spectacular. I typed up a route guide on Madpom's site here: http://www.routeguides.co.nz/routes/1215 Danilo Hegg has certainly been over to Lake Roberts. I was tempted to, and studied the route while camped at pt 1085, but I ran out of time. Danilo has traversed the tops from Sunny Creek to Emily Peak. I'm not sure if its possible to get from Lake Roberts northwards. I had hoped the couloir above Sunny Creek between Peak 1727 and 1945 would be a route but nope! Sorry, yes I meant Pass Creek. As I mention in the route guide the head of it is deeply gulched. Best to travel above the true right if your passing by on the tops.
theres an awful lot of vertical terrain between lake roberts and sunny creek... you need good visibility around there or you'll just get bluffed in or walk off one... danilo's photos are deceptive, looking up from down below there are a lot of massive bluffs along that range, theres not much margin for error...
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