Te Araroa Trail Day 133. Arthur’s Pass – Avalanche peak – off trail

Te Araroa Trail Day 133 - Avalanche Peak

Whilst Phil was slogging it out on the Goat Pass route, Mike and I had a leisurely morning. I got up at 8.30am, then we went for breakfast in the Arthur’s Pass cafe. We were pretty excited about the brekkie, and although tasty, it was disappointingly small. After breakfast we went to the DOC office and then we picked up my resupply box from the YHA.

Te Araroa Trail Day 134 - Avalanche Peak track
Te Araroa Trail Day 134 – Avalanche Peak track

We’d spoken to DOC about the Avalanche Peak track, and at 11am we started up the track from the Avalanche peak side, up and over the 1833m peak then down via Scotts track. The track started close the DOC centre. It went up very steeply, sometimes over rock which involved some cool climbing stretches.

We were slackpacking today, and were only carrying the basics with us in day packs – lunch, water, camera, PLB, warm clothes etc. Once out of the bush the trail climbed further into tussock and we saw a sprinkle of snow way up on our peak and all those around us!

The views were incredible, and got better the higher we climbed. There were switchbacks, rock climbs, sharp drop-offs, and eventually we got onto the rocky ridge line to the peak at around 1pm.

Te Araroa Trail Day 134 - An amazing hike up to Avalanche Peak
Te Araroa Trail Day 134 – An amazing hike up to Avalanche Peak

There were around 20 others up on the peak too… It was a perfectly sunny day with little wind. We saw about 6 kea (NZ alpine parrot) around the peak, noisily flying around or investigating things in the rocks.

Te Araroa Trail Day 134 - On Avalanche Peak
Te Araroa Trail Day 134 – On Avalanche Peak

 

There were spectacular views down the river valley to Bealey, and across the Southern Alps in all directions, to the Jellicoe ridge to the West, the Crow glacier to the North and the Devil’s Punchbowl waterfall to the East.

Te Araroa Trail Day 134 - The road through Arthurs Pass from Avalanche Peak
Te Araroa Trail Day 134 – The road through Arthurs Pass from Avalanche Peak

Even though we weren’t on trail, it was one of my favourite parts of the journey so far!

Te Araroa Trail Day 134 - The Devils Punchbowl waterfall opposite Avalanche Peak
Te Araroa Trail Day 134 – The Devils Punchbowl waterfall opposite Avalanche Peak

I’d love to come back here one day. We stayed on the top for about half an hour then descended via the Scotts track. Once down we popped over to see the waterfalls.
In the evening we did some washing then went out to have the same fish & chips for dinner as last night.

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