Rock and Pillars VKIntermediate
Submitted by Kev Knowles
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Open farmlandsOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Check the DOC site for updated information. Generally this track is open all year round.
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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This route is part of the Scott Gnarly Collection
There pretty much isn't a flat section in the route. Starts off uphill and then gets steeper, relenting near the top. The route is poled as far as Big Hut. You will cross into sub-alpine vegetation and you will pass Big Hut near to the top. Best route from the hut to Summit Rock is to follow the 4WD track and then turn left along a fence line to the summit. There is a trig [base] at the high point of the range.
Retrace you route ALL the way back down to your starting point. It's only an 1100m climb! It is possible to traverse either NE or SW from the top and put in a mega day on the tops. In poor weather/visibility good equipment and navigation skills are essential.
Features of interest
Classic Otago schist country. Extensive views from the top, all the way to Mt Aspiring. Alpine flora and fauna on the tops [wetas included]
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 60%
Moderate Single Track: 40%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
The Glencreag Track in DOC's "Tracks in the Rock and Pillar Conservation Area" brochure
Drive 6km North of Middlemarch and turn left onto a farm track beside a DOC sign. A couple of kms brings you to a some farm buildings and the starting point.
See the DOC brochure.
The DOC track markers only go up to Big Hut, from there you need to be able to navigate to the summit. Easy in good visibility but potentially dangerous in cloud/fog.
Lightweight fleece 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, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).
Stream near top before Big Hut, water tank at hut. May be frozen in winter.
It's alpine in winter!
Post run indulgence
Strath Taieri Hotel
Good country food, beer on tap. What more do you need?
Kissing Gate Cafe
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