Mount Aurum - SkippersVery Experienced
Submitted by Martin Trvaj
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Back country - remote
Undulating, some big hills
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/topsOther
Not Suitable (Slow)
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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Before you go, make sure, you downloaded or purchased DOC brochure Skippers and recorded this track to your GPS (Smartphone).
The 'run' (some parts are not runnable - approx. 40% of the trail) starts in Skippers Township. Follow the DOC sign (Dynamo Hut). After 1.5 km you will reach Skippers Creek. Cross it, do not try to avoid that. Follow this creek, that includes numerous river crossings (some parts are untracked but easy). Turn left to Dynamo hut Track. Follow the Skippers Creek Left Branch (heaps of river crossings) until you reach Dynamo Hut. Have a snack and continue.
After 1,5 km track turns left and goes to north following Aurum Creek. 6 km from Dynamo Hut is a steep way up (scree). Aim to the point 1872 a.s.l. (check topo map). You can take rest and consider if you are experienced enough to scramble Mt. Aurum. If you do not feel confident enough, do not do it!!! This one is pretty slippery, challenging and dangerous. Rock is pretty solid and you can use grass and tussocks too. Try to reach the ridgeline and from there it is a pretty easy way to top. Enjoy the great view and be careful on the way down.
From point 1872 continue down to Dandys Saddle and then continue down until you reach Skippers Creek Right Branch. After a few kilometers, you will reach Bullendale hut. From the hut, it is approx. 10km to carpark following the Skippers Creek (numerous river crossings again)
Features of interest
Historic Skippers suspension bridge, Skippers Township, remains of Goldrush, remote area, Mt. Aurum, Cozy DOC huts
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 55%
Technical Single Track: 20%
Moderate Single Track: 0%
Easy Single Track: 0%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 25%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 0%
From Queenstown, travel to Arthur’s Point and turn off to Coronet Peak ski field. After a few km turn left onto the unsealed road signposted to Skippers. From Skippers Saddle, continue on the narrow 13 km Gorge Road to Skippers. Only experienced drivers should attempt this journey (4WD car is highly recommended).
Before you go always make sure that the road is open.
Carpark and DOC camp at the start
Use GPS (smartphone) - import GPX and follow it.
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 blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.
The DOC huts have water tanks and creeks, these spring just under Mt Aurum.
Heavy metals continue to leach from the old mine workings here – DO NOT drink water from the creeks
Do not attempt in winter or after heavy rain. You will cross at least 50 times the river (first 9 km and the last 8 km)
Plenty of river crossing, running through tussock land, experience with route finding and some climbing experience are essential.
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