Mt St Bathans LoopIntermediate
Submitted by Isaac Walker
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
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The road to Homestead Conservation Campsite has 1 main ford to cross (sometimes more depending on weather). The ford is usually just under knee deep so most 4wd vehicles will pass with no trouble. Worst case scenario you can park up and run from the ford as it is only and extra couple of kms. From the campsite run back down the road about 1 km to the DOC Oteake Conservation Area sign and follow the 4wd track up to the right. Here it is simple follow the 4wd track until it disappears. From there follow the ridgelines up to the main St Bathans Range ridge and turn right, follow the main ridge up the the little weather station hut which marks the summit of Mt St Bathans. From here you turn right again and head back down the ridge towards the West Manuherikia Valley. You should be able to pickup rocky 4wd track pretty easily - this is what you follow most of the way down. There are different 4wd tracks heading down but they all end up meeting up and heading he same direction. Once at the bottom turn right down the valley and you should see Boundary Creek Hut - great spot for a break. Ahead of you lies 12 river crossings (very cold feet after snow melt) over around a distance of 8km. It is a gorgeous valley run as it hugs and crosses the river on 4wd tracks. After 7-8km you should see a sign for the Homestead Track - take this to the right and 1.5km later you will back at Homestead Campsite!
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Features of interest
Views, views views!!!! Boundary Creek Hut (historic), 12 river crossings, rare alpine flowers (alpine tulip), moonscape type terrain
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 39%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 60%
Gravel Road: 1%
Sealed Road: 0%
Homestead Conservation Campsite
Plenty of parking at the campsite
Check out maps prior to this run as there is some navigation required - more so following the correct rideglines. As long as you don't take a major left turn anywhere then you will be fine! Unless you are doing a reverse loop.
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, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).
No water until the 24th km.
Access road will be very muddy and sometimes impassable after heavy rain. In heavy snow conditions route will be also impassable.
Be careful of the 12 river crossings in higher river levels.
Post run indulgence
The Vulcan Hotel
Ghostly good grub! And beer!
Open only during warmer months this is a brilliant place to get a great coffee, meal and good old fashioned hospitality.
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