Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Experienced

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I've done it Done

Ridging Ross Spur

Kingston, Otago

Submitted by Zak Brown

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 103 ?

Gnarl Factor: 79 ?

36.2km

2960m

2780m

1810m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Very hilly

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup

5%
25%
70%

Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +16.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.2%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable

Slow

8:00

Moderate

5:00

Fast

From the drop off point head up the forest track for a couple hundred meters before turning left through the gate to start the incline up Ross Spur. The track meanders through pine forest, eventually opening up and ending at around 1180m at the remnants of a fence line. That's the last of a track or marker you'll see until the end of the decline to Kingston.

Keep heading up towards the 1400m contour in the general direction of the peaks at Pt1672. At around 1400m you can either continue up and climb through the crags and sidle the NE flank at around 1600m or begin to sidle immediately at around the 1400m contour joining up again directly north of pt 1672 at the creek. If you've gone the higher more technical route, you will descend on the NW side of the outcrop underneath the massive southern face of Symmetry Peaks.

Head NE from here towards Pt1640, either hugging the rocky terrain higher up or descending and ascending down by the creek and skirting the wee cliff up to the Pt. From here you pretty much follow the ridge all the way around to Mt Dick. Don't expect to be going too quick though, there is a lot of undulation and the terrain is pretty tough going. There are also those tricky rock scrambles.

Once at Mt Dick keep following the ridge to the trigs then duck onto to the 4wd track which will take you down to the Glen Allen Track and eventually Kingston. If your nerves haven't already been shaken enough then you can take the alternative descent home from around the 1400m contour linking up with the Shirt Tail track. This is hard to navigate on a descent though so I would leave that for the ascent if you're doing this route in the opposite direction.

This trail includes the peak Mount Dick.

Get someone to drop you off and meet you at the other end. This one is great for keeping your designated driver occupied as there is good out and back running either end around Ross Spur or Kingston to keep them busy.

27 km

45 minutes

Unknown

No

Hard.

There are no markers or tracks for the majority of this route. Study the GPX and the topo maps and know your ability.

Patchy.

Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof 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, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters

Running water at the creek just north of pt 1672. That's it. Take as much as you can.

Not for winter. Exposed to cold winds on tops at any time of year. Could be icey on cusp seasons. Summer recommended. Creek could be dry in Summer.

There is some significant rock scrambling requiring - all 4s and a lot of concentration, both near the start (Pt 1672) and at the furthest point in the route (Pts 1715, 1682 and 1636) so if you haven't got the experience to get through these areas DO NOT attempt this at all as there are no alternative ways through these points (other than the first one as described).

Kingston Flyer Cafe and Bar
221 Kent Street, Kingston 9373
Had some good hearty meals here post runs. Very friendly staff and nice comfortable dining area.

You and Ridging Ross Spur

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Trail Reviews

Fantastic route! Did it as a two day fast pack. Ross spur road is technically a private forestry road, with a large no access sign posted on the gate. Alternative access to the basin below Symmetry peaks can be gained by following the Ross Creek to the Ross Hut (if you can find it there is a good track marked) before a tussock bash (mind for hidden spainards) into the gut below point 1672. Not much water on the route, so make sure you bring plenty with you, or streams can be found about 100m from the ridge crest between points 1715 and 1540 (southern creek seemed to have more water).

Jo Steven

January 16, 2022

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