Pinchgut HutBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Isobel Stout
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Beginner - Intermediate
DOC track, check their website for latest updates
From the trailhead it's a few meters down the river bank and you have to cross the Okuku RIver. From the other side pick up the orange triangles and/or poles that mark the entire way. The trail starts pretty gently and is a great warmup, even a brief bit of old 4wd road but gradually gets more technical and undulating until you pop out on the river bed and it's boulders baby!
Spot the big orange triangle up river and head for it anyway you like. You can stay dry by boulder-hopping or hugging the left bank but that has the added sensational delight of gorse. Once back on the track proper it switchbacks steeply away from the river and over the ridge to the Pinchgut Creek and down to the Pinchgut Hut.
Return by retracing your steps and spotting the big orange triangle downriver before heading into the boulders.
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Features of interest
Birds, waterfalls, native bush
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 2%
Technical Single Track: 8%
Moderate Single Track: 50%
Easy Single Track: 40%
Follow Taaffes Glen Rd until you can go no further. There are a couple of fords and sometimes gates to open and close. A 4WD is nice to have but not absolutely essential unless you fear for your car! There are numerous spots you can pull over and walk from but not a lot of room at the end.
Car pooling is ideal as there isn't a lot of room to park at the end, 5-6 vehicles is probably the maximum.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
The track is well marked with orange triangles, you should always be able to see the next one whilst beside one.
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, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
The Okuku River and Pinchgut Creek plus side streams mean you only need to carry a bottle or cup.
The foothills throughout Canterbury can be plagued with wasps in summer. The DOC website has some advice about these invaders and how to reduce the likelihood of getting stung.
Don't take the Okuku River crossing lightly at any time of year, even low flows are knee to thigh high. If there is rain forecast or it's already raining it's best not to start in case you can't cross back. Clearly don't attempt to cross in flood or if you can't see the bottom.
Post run indulgence
Oxford Main Rd
93 Victoria St, Rangiora
loads of calorific, caffeinated goodies
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