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The Queens Drive and Wye Dome., Otago

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The Queens Drive and Wye Dome.Experienced

Submitted by James Harcombe

Info Info

Trail Information

11.70km

850m

850m

 

Otago

Queenstown

Back country - remote

Loop

Mountainous

Open ridges/tops

Experienced

4:00 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:45 (Fast)

-17.1%

+17.6%

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Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

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Description

Looking up the ski field from the car park, you will need to be heading for the track that leads up, under the right hand lift (Shadow Basin Chair Lift). Follow the obvious track to the top of the chair. From here, you will need to join the single track that leads to the Lookout (this point is marked on the ski field map). At the obvious Col, turn left up the scree slope, aiming for the cairns on the ridge. Once at the top of the short scramble, the path is fairly obvious across the front face of the Remarkables. If there is any snow on, or above the track, DO NOT PROCEED!! This is a very dangerous route in winter conditions, and should NOT be attempted as a run except in clear snowless conditions. Many experienced mountaineers have come to grief on this section during Winter.
At the end of the track, you will enter a large boulder field. Traverse this section under the front face of Single Cone. Unless you are a very sure footed Mountain Goat, this section will be slow! Continue around, until you come to a spur that leads down from the summit - you will see a series of Lakes below you. Follow this spur down to the outlet of the lake. Cross the outlet, then start heading North towards Wye Dome. The running at this point is across cushion moss and light bog - it's a welcome relief after all the boulder hopping. Wye Dome is the hill sandwiched between two cols. Once at the top, head down to Lake Alta (the large Alpine Lake sitting below Double and Single Cone). From the outlet of Lake Alta, there is a marked track that heads back to the car park.


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Features of interest

High Alpine flora and fauna a short drive from Queenstown, in a spectacular setting.


Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 50%

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 20%


Route Data

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Car Park of Remarkables Ski Field

    Plenty of parking at the ski field in Summer! No public transport outside of the ski season.

    24 km

    36 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Very hard.

    The route across the boulder field at the end of 'the Drive' is not marked. Staying high is often the best option - just be aware of possible rockfall from Single Cone.

    Very patchy.

    Waterproof leggings, 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, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).

    Once across the front face, there are many alpine streams and tarns.

    As mentioned, this is most DEFINITELY a Summer/ early Autumn route only. Even then it can be affected by ice and snow. If you can see snow on the front face of the Remarkables from town, then choose another option for the day!

    Loose scree and large cliffs make this a route for experienced runners who have a head for heights! Rockfall and avalanches are a real danger for much of the year.

  • Post run indulgence

    Smiths Brewery
    Shotover Street
    http://www.smithscraftbeer.co.nz
    The best selection of beer in town!

    Vudu Cafe and Larder
    Beach Street
    http://www.vudu.co.nz
    Great coffee!

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