Doubtful Lake Man with HopeIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Brad Spiers
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Back country - remote
Native bushRiversideLakesideOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
Not Suitable (Slow)
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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Start at Windy Point and cross the swing-bridge continuing to the Tui Track junction. Follow the Tui Track for 5km to the Doubtful River. Continue up the Doubtful River past Doubtful Hut to the Kedron River and Lake Man Biv Route.
Climb up to the Biv on a technical rooty track. Lake Man: to get to Lake Man, leave the Biv heading up valley, from the tussock clearing just above the Biv tend toward the River and follow the occasional cairn. Aim to reach the Bowl at the head of the valley keeping slightly true right of the main stream. This is all just bush bashing. Once in the Bowl, you will see a small ramp on the true left that leads to just below the waterfall draining Lake Man. Follow this and cross below the waterfall and scramble up to the Lake.
Once returned to the Biv, take the track to the tops, following snow poles over the tussock. The poles veer SW along and down the ridge until you reach the descent track with a larger orange triangle. This is a very steep and rugged descent into Pussy Stream. Once at the stream stay in the river bed following the occasional cairn, and crossing every 100 - 200m. Ignore any hint of a faint track through the bush, these are traps. Once you reach the Hope River flats cross the Hope River, and join the Hope Pass Track heading past St Jacob's Hut to a junction. Take the track over the swing-bridge and down the Hope Valley via Hope Hallway Hut back to Windy Point.
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Features of interest
Lake Man, The upper Hope Valley.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 30%
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Gravel Road: 5%
Windy Point, off SH 7, approximately 35 km after the turn-off to Hanmer Springs and 10 km before Boyle village. Windy Point has an off-road car park (leave vehicles at your own risk) and a swingbridge over the Boyle River.
East West Coach Services run daily between Christchurch and Westport – 0800 142 622. Atomic Shuttles run Christchurch to Nelson and Nelson to Christchurch daily. Ph +64 3 3 349 0697; freephone 0508 108 359 - see the timetable here
The route up to Lake Man from the Biv could be tricky, the tops are poled, and Pussy Stream follows occasional cairns.
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters.
Plenty of water. In the lower Hope drink only from the side streams as there are cows in the valley.
This is very exposed to winds any time of the year. The tops would be covered in snow in winter. Mid- summer for the longer daylight and better (warmer) weather is the ideal time. You would need good visibility over the tops and up to Lake Man.
Not a lot of this is runnable between the Kedron River and the Hope River flats - so adjust accordingly (i.e start earlier).
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Mt Isobel Long Loop
Hanmer 10km loop
Hope Kiwi Half
Izzy Stradlin CCW
Easy Rider & Conical Hill
Hanmer Old Forest Loop
St James Walkway
A Tale of Two Peters
Nina Valley SH7 to Swingbridge
Doubting the Devil
Maling Fowler Pass Loop