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A Full Chalice, Marlborough

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A Full ChaliceBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open tussock/grasslands

Beginner - Intermediate

3:20 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:50 (Fast)



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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.

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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%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    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.

    64 km

    75 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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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