Wild Things - NZ Trail Running Club
NZ Trail Running Club

Login



don't have an account?

Gobsmacking Gertrude, Southland

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Gobsmacking GertrudeVery Experienced

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info

Trail Information

8.90km

640m

640m

 

Southland

Te Anau

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Mountainous

Native bush
Riverside
Lakeside
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Very Experienced

Not Suitable (Slow)
5:00 (Moderate)
3:30 (Fast)

-15.1%

+15.1%

IMPORTANT NOTE: Gertrude Saddle includes rocky alpine terrain and should only be attempted by experienced people and in good summer weather. Wet weather, snow or ice create treacherous conditions in any season

Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Men

There are currently no male FKTs for Gobsmacking Gertrude.

Women

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now

Description

This route is not for the faint of heart and is a true alpine run/ scramble, and should be approached with the requisite experience, confidence, and only undertaken in favourable summer weather patterns. There have been fatalities by inexperienced people who underestimate Fiordland terrain and weather conditions. Pack and plan accordingly! Do not run an attempt in winter or autumn/spring-like snow conditions! Having said all that, in good weather most experienced Wild Things will have a ball here.

The route heads out from the Homer Hut area from the signposted entrance beside the highway, and hops up through alpine scrub, herbfields and large boulders. Reasonably runnable in here for the nimble of feet. As the valley closes in it steepens rapidly. Make sure you are following the fairly heavily marked route (poles, orange markers and cairns). Once clear of the vegetation zone the real fun starts. Steep terrain follows - rocky slabs, tiptoeing around bluffs and waterfalls, permanent steel ropes to assist (nothing technical, just to help) and more steep ascending will eventually head up to Gertrude Saddle, where you will gape at the views (which you will have because you only attempted this in good weather!) Some say this is the best daytrip view in NZ, it certainly has to be a contender).

The crux of this route is going the right way around the waterfall as you ascend under bluffs below the Black Lake outlet. Do not miss the river crossing under the waterfall, marked with large orange triangles - especially coming back on the downhill. It may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the DOC video on their website about how to pick the correct route. No other route is safe on this section Above the waterfall area sidle scree and rocks and head up the classic Fiordland angled granite rock slabs following cairns and more orange triangles. Take care on any wet areas, it can be slippery. Then you'll reach Black Lake which is a great spot to catch breath and fuel up, before the last few scrambles and rocky bits up to Gertrude Saddle. Here you will find a world of goodness.

A short distance to the right (north) of the saddle there's an easy extra 50m bit of vert where your view of Milford Sound will be even better, but please do not be tempted to go further in either direction from Gertrude Saddle as this is mountaineering / climbing country beyond.


Trail Community

There are currently no members to show for this trail.

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

True Fiordland majesty Breathtaking viewpoint of Milford Sound and surrounds from high


Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 30%

Technical Single Track: 70%


Route Data

Reviews:

You must register or login to view this content.

Photos:

You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    There is only one road in and out and that is the magnificent Milford Highway. It's a fair way to drive and you'll likely stop a lot on the way up to soak up where you are. Make a full day of this, or two by booking accomodation at Homer Hut or Milford Backpackers.

    Park up beside the highway near the NZ Alpine Club Homer Hut and follow the poled route from there

    98 km

    84 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Hard.

    If you are not following cairns, poles and orange markets be sure to back track and find the last one
    It's a well marked route, but please don't rush without spotting where you need to be

    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, Gaiters.

    Fiordland water is good to drink up here

    This trail is only for fine weather summer conditions. Do not attempt in any other conditions, there are plenty of other options off the Milford Road if its not a nice summers day

    Exposed cliffs, know the weather forecast and don't attempt outside summer conditions.
    Use Mountain Safety Council intentions systems, tell someone you are going, and when you are due out
    Have all the gear you'd need for a remote experience.

  • Post run indulgence

    Te Anau. All of it.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:

    Submit

Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can set one up here.

Login Register