Dumb-bell Lake LoopIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Tom Torok
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
From Parsons Creek car park take trail to A2O, follow this for a few kms to Freehold Creek, take signed trail up creek which is part of Te Araroa trail and is beautiful.
Once above tree line, a well cairned route that veers right (dont follow Te Araroa) will show way to the ridge. From here take a path of least resistance over a couple rolling basins and tarns until you are above Dumb-bell Lake. I dropped down to the lake for a drink (you could also stay on the ridge), pass on western side and continue up into steep basin behind Mt.Sutton.
Climb scree slope that looks friendliest and cross the wide saddle that separates you from Ohau skifield. Drop into skifield using whatever slope looks best heading for base station. From here I take the old ski field road which is a bit eroded but more fun and is a more direct line in the gut of the valley. Once out the bottom take A2O back to Parsons Creek car park or more interestingly follow vague trails across Ohau "front country" till you get to Parsons. Job done
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Features of interest
Running up Freehold stream, taking ridge line and descending onto pristine Dumb-bell lake, climbing out of climbing cirque behind Mt.Sutton, sidling it and dropping into Ohau skifield. Utilising A2O once down at lake level.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 50%
Technical Single Track: 25%
Easy Single Track: 15%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
Parsons Creek car park
Above freehold tree line, take cairned route to right, don't follow Te Araroa
Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
Freehold creek, tarns up top, Dumb bell lake, stream below Mt. Sutton, I wouldn't drink below skifield
Snow in winter, issues with avalanche, navigation on ridge in white out
Large boulders sometimes unstable
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