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Gillespie's Pass Return, Otago

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Gillespie's Pass ReturnIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Martin Trvaj

Info Info

Trail Information

48.00km

1750m

1750m

 

Otago

Makarora

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Riverside
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

Not Suitable (Slow)
13:00 (Moderate)
8:00 (Fast)

-7.9%

+7.9%

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Description

Cross the stile and follow the orange poles to the junction of the Young and Makarora rivers.

Crossing Makarora River is challenging. You need to be 100 percent confident or you can use a commercial jetboat or start at Blue Pools (extra 14km - Check DOC brochure).

First approx. 5 km is relatively easy to run in beech forest, later track goes up and down with a lot of roots and muddy spots. Sometimes is hard to run. Once you reach the hut, take rest and have a snack, because it is gonna be big later. Approx. 1 km from the hut you reach a wide-open area (valley). You follow (orange poles) the track until you reach the head of the valley. Get enough water from the creek before you start climbing up to Gillespie pass. It is really hard and steep. Once you reach the pass enjoy the beautiful view and then go the same way back.


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Features of interest

Great view from pass and beautiful valley. Beech forest.


Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 78%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 2%


Route Data

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  • Access

    DOC sign at Car Park. Cross the stile and follow the orange poles to the junction of the Young and Makarora rivers.

    Car Park is signposted (green DOC sign) on the left, 3 km north of the Makarora Tourist Centre.

    3 km

    5 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

    Non-existent.

    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, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.

    You can get it from the hut, but there are numerous small creeks. Get enough water for climbing to the Pass.

    The alpine section between Young hut and Gillespie pass is avalanche terrain between May and November.

    The river crossing (Makarora River) is very challenging, even when the river is low.
    The alpine section between Young hut and Gillespie pass is avalanche terrain between May and November.
    Avoid Young valley during heavy rain.

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