Classic Corner Peak Intermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Isaac Walker
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
This route is part of the Scott Gnarly Collection.
From the Timaru River carpark (don't stand around too long otherwise you will be dinner for the sandflies) head across the bridge up the hill and within 100m there will be the start of the trail on the right hand side. A good warm up through some native bush will lead you on a poled route onto a 4wd track. 1.5km from the start you will see a DOC Corner Peak sign detailing how only really cool people can go on past that point and that Wild Things attire is recommended (beanie, buff, top etc).
Now the fun begins. Up, up, up you go. In low light/darkness keep a good eye on the orange poles as they are easy to lose. The route now is pretty straight forward. Some sections you will have multiple options to choose from - pick the one your gut chooses and you will most likely end up on the path again. just don't lose those orange poles. There are some amazing single track sections enroute - and some pretty hairy sections as well so keep your wits about you.
When you hop the last fence around 3/4 into the run and see Hawea Conservation Park sign (detailing that the poled route ends there) - TURN RIGHT. DO NOT go up the ridge as you will only get yourself into trouble. So follow the faint foot/goat track around the right. This track will sidle under a dodgy ridge that you don't want to climb over. If you lose the track at times aim a little higher and you should either see the track again pretty easily below you or you will come across it as it climbs slowly. You will then start heading up to the saddle just below Corner Peak. From the saddle it is pretty much a straight shot up to the summit! Enjoy!
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Features of interest
Gorgeous views back down Timaru River towards Lake Hawea. 360 views once at summit.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 20%
Technical Single Track: 40%
Moderate Single Track: 25%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Timaru River Carpark.
Timaru River Carpark. Plenty of parking. Add some more kms and run/ride from Hawea!
Upon reaching the end of the poled route (Hawea Conservation Park sign just across fence) turn right and follow the faint foot/goat track around to the right. DO NOT go up the ridge, you will only get yourself into trouble up here. The track will sidle around the large ridge.
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 blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.
Zero water sources, take all water.
Definitely not recommended during winter or when there is snow and ice on the peaks/ridges (unless you have solid mountaineering experience). Snow grass/tussock can get very slippery in spots and track can be muddy/slippery after substantial rain.
There are some sketchy sections on the trail that change with conditions (slips, small rock slides etc) so be careful and watch your footing. Stick to the track at all times and don't go ridge running/climbing (like I did).
Post run indulgence
Big home cooked meals and great coffee.
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