Brow Peak Mini MissionIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Mat Tyrrell
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Front country - easily accessible
Open tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
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Starting from Arrowtown you actually have a choice of clockwise or anticlockwise around the Sawpit Gully track - anti is steep but shorter, clockwise is still reasonably steep but some undulating track too, a bit longer, more varied views if you're not local. You are heading to the turnoff for Big Hill (is signposted off the Sawpit Gully trail).
From here follow the obvious trail and head up a steepish short (15m) climb - from here the Big Hill (obvious trail) heads right, you want to head left along a less distinct track. This quickly points up and you follow the goat track roughly heading towards an obvious big rock. Take plenty of chances to catch your breath and catch the view behind you! This is a technicalish and steep climb of around 4km and 800m elevation. You are heading towards an obvious ridgeline - once there the view north opens up to amazing backcountry.
From here you are following the undulating ridgeline west for around 6km, there isn't much of a distinct trail to follow but there is the odd cairn and warratah. Be careful around some of the small bluffs, if unsure take the north side as it is generally less exposed than the south. This is a time consuming part of the run as navigating the tussocks can take a while, and there are some serious climbs left especially as you near Coronet Peak ski area.
Once Coronet Peak ski area becomes visible (from the top of the last climb), you will see the ski boundary fence below you and a clear trail (Corrotown MTB trail/Slip Saddle) - you should be able to follow a ridgeline around to it.
Once there, the trail is clearly visible as it is a well used bike trail - please give way to any bikes heading down there as it is STEEP and many riders would not be able to stop or give way to you through no fault of their own. It is very slippy if wet or frosts have been evident - you will not stay upright on the first 100m or so - be warned! It is however not exposed so the worst you get is a muddy bum :)
This trail ends at a viewpoint looking out to the East, with the well trodden Bush Creek trail heading back to Arrowtown to the West, There are numerous small creek crossings here but is is mostly downhill and an easy 6km back to Arrowtown through some amazing valley terrain.
Route can be done in reverse, and Slip Saddle/Corrotown is probably easier done up rather than down!
Not advised in strong wind, low visibility or snow due to exposure on the ridgeline.
Features of interest
The view of the Wakatipu!
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 75%
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 15%
Start at the Chinese Village in Arrowtown, there is a small bridge over a stream near the toilet block - head over that and turn right.
Heaps of free parking here or in the main (also free) Arrowtown tourist parks. All safe, it's Arrowtown!
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .
As noted in the description, just near Coronet Peak but that was just me trying to find an easy way across.
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.
None for the initial 15km or so, but Bush Creek is fast flowing and not farmland (as far as I know!).
Slip Saddle is pretty tricky when wet or there has been frosts (is South facing so does not get sun for a good portion of the year).
Bush Creek never gets dangerous to cross so should be fine.
Would not recommend route in snow or strong winds due to exposure.
Exposure on the south side of the ridgeline, but common sense really.
Post run indulgence
1 Buckingham St (the main street)
Pies. Pies. Pies. And pastries if that's your thing. But pies.
The Fork & Tap
51 Buckingham Street
Beer. Great choice of local breweries.
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Big Hill Circuit
Sawpit Gully - German Hill
Mt Rosa Loop
Queenstown Trail Anticlockwise
Bush Creek Banger
New Chums Loop
Crown Peak Traverse
Glenroy Water Race Track
Mt Sale via Crown Peak and Mt Scott
Advance Peak (via Big Hill inbound and Macetown Road outbound)