Salisbury over ArthurIntermediate
Submitted by Mike Steel
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Back country - remote
Native bushRiversideOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/topsOther
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This circuit from Flora Saddle car park is a variation on "Arthur and Gordons". It follows the main track over Flora Saddle, which then leads gently downstream beside Flora Stream past the upper Gridiron Hut and Rock Shelters, then swings south-west and climbs gently up beside Balloon Creek, passing the Growler Rock Shelter, and heading towards Salisbury Hut.
Just before the hut, take the sign-posted turn off left which leads up the Gordon's pyramid route along towards Mt Arthur (if you need water - carry on to Salisbury hut, in which case you have the option of heading up onto the Gordon's pyramid route via the Sphinx Valley Cave as marked on the map). As you approach Mt Arthur, leave the trail and strike out directly up the delightful north-east ridge. Watch for hidden potholes! The route up the ride is fairly straightforward, with one short steepish section half-way up. The ridge narrows with a big drop on one side nearer to the top and running up this section is quite exciting. From the summit, it's then an exhilarating downhill run all the way back to the start (via Mt Arthur Hut and Flora Saddle) on the well-marked and popular alpine trail. As a run, this particular circuit works better in the direction described here than in reverse.
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Features of interest
Interesting karst landscape up high. Also very cute rock shelters passed on the way in. Wonderful views over the 'tablelands' and out to the coast.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 25%
Technical Single Track: 25%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 30%
Flora Car Park, which is at the end of the Graham Valley (South Branch) road, off the Motueka River (West Bank) road.
A surprisingly big car park at the end of this steep twisting gravel road.
Carry a compass and map in case cloud comes in. Start early (if thick cloud comes in on the Gordons Pyramid Route it may be best to stay on the track all the way to the main Mt Arthur trail).
Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map.
Water from streams on the way in and at Salisbury Hut (and Mt Arthur Hut on the way down)
Will be in snow in winter! Best as a spring/summer/autumn run.
Watch for hidden potholes.
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