A Full ChaliceBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Back country - remote
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestRiversideLakesideOpen tussock/grasslands
Beginner - Intermediate
From the carpark it is well signed. Head on to the trail and start your downhill. You will drop a little over 400m in 2.5km roughly so enjoy, because coming back up is less fun.
When you get to the bottom, check in at the hut, fill out the book with your intentions and head off clockwise around the lake. The trail around the lake is well formed for the most part, though there are a few technical sections. A couple of trails intersect as you go, but the round the lake route is clearly marked.
Once you have completed the loop, got some good pics. Fill your drink bottle at the waterfall at the bottom of the climb out, then you slog your way back to the car.
There are currently no members to show for this trail.
Features of interest
Cool High Country lake and probably the largest downhill you have started a run with.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 50%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
Heading on State Highway 6 from Blenheim towards Nelson, just over the Wairau River, turn left into Northbank Road and drive for about 33km until you see the sign for Lake Chalice. Turn right here and follow the signs... you will eventually get on to Staircase Road... the name says it all. It is 22km from the turn but it will seem a lot longer.
This is best in a 4WD if it is anything but summer conditions.
Eventually you will reach the saddle at the top and just after that you will see Lake Chalice to your right and way way below.
Plenty of room to park.
Just read the signs
Waterproof leggings, 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.
A whole lake at the bottom, lots of feeder streams as you go around and several streamlets on the way back up the hill when you really need them!
This is very high up, I would imagine it gets snow and very cold in winter. You wouldn't take the road in without a 4wd and chains and lots of experience in winter.
A few scree and technical areas around the lake that require a bit of care.
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See other runs nearby:
Wairau Lagoons Loop
Tokomaru, Mt Robertson Circuit
Wairau Lagoons Loop v2
King and Queen of the Withers
Mt Sunday - Mt Riley Loop
Mt Vernon Grand Traverse
Quest for Mt Richmond
Northbank to Nelson Traverse
Havelock to Picton Link Pathway
Patriarch Road and Goulter Valley