Mt Pisa via Tinwald Burn RidgeIntermediate
Submitted by Deo Encarnacion
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Open farmlandsOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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It's a slow grind to the top on the Tinwald Burn Ridge Track - 10kms and 1500m elevation gain. Once you hit the main ridge turn right and enjoy the more gentle gradient to the summit of Pisa itself. Enjoy the scramble up the summit rocks, drink in the amazing views, then re-trace your route back down.
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Features of interest
Stunning & expansive views. On a clear day, you'll see Lake Dunstan and Lake Wanaka.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 25%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 55%
From Cromwell, drive towards Wanaka, on Luggate - Cromwell Road (State Hwy 6). Turn left on Mt Pisa Road, and approximately 400m, you'll see a sign to Mt Pisa Station. Turn right on the gravel road, and follow the DOC signs to the car park. Do NOT use the private no-access road even though this looks like the obvious route on the map.
Once you start following the DoC signs you're on farm tracks. These will be possible in a 2WD in dry conditions but in wet conditions you'll want a 4WD to be sure.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the RunHunters app on your phone. View on RunHunters .
On your descent watch out for the turn back on to the Tinwald Burn Ridge Track off the main ridge as it's not signposted. There is a DoC sign that says "Mt Pisa Station Car Park 7km" (which is rubbish - it's 10.5k!) and about 400 metres past this you'll hit the junction down to the car park (the same way you came up.) It could be easily missed, especially in low visibility.
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 blanket, Cellphone, Map.
There are a few flowing streams that cross the track near the plateau (approx 7 - 8 kms from start). Make sure you're in the Pisa Conservation Area to avoid water being contaminated by farm animals. Best bet is to carry your own as these sources can't be relied on all year round.
Always plan ahead and prepare for changes in weather. Visibility may be a concern at any time the year. Exposed to the elements, meaning it can be anything from brutally hot to brutally cold - go prepared!
Sudden changes in the weather.
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