Lewis TopsVery Experienced
Submitted by Nelson Pearson
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Front country - easily accessible
Point to Point (one way)
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Not Suitable (Slow)
Fastest Known Times (FKTs)
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Start by taking the Rough Creek Track up to the saddle. It is well marked, although rough in places to the bush line, then a poled route beyond. Once on the saddle, divert from the marked route to continue NE along the ridge top to pt 1482, then SE along the ridge to pt 1390. The spur from pt 1390 to pt 1674 has some bluffs on the N aspect that can be avoided by traversing S at 1560m before regaining the ridgeline via a scree gully.
Continue E along the ridgeline until it starts dropping steeply to Brass Monkey Biv. Take the NE scree slope off the ridge to avoid the bluffs. After Brass Monkey Biv, the ridgeline generally opens up, making route finding a travel more straightforward.
Continue along the ridgeline via pt 1602, pt 1605, Lucretia & The Apprentice. There appears to be a Goat Track on the S aspect of Lucretia that bypasses the rockier sections. The route continues from the Apprentice into a wide basin then back onto an open ridgeline towards the Lewis Tops Track which takes you down to the finish at Lewis Pass.
Features of interest
Brass Monkey Biv is a stunning setting. The open ridgelines & tarns are best enjoyed on a clear day.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 70%
Technical Single Track: 25%
Moderate Single Track: 5%
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The trail starts off the South side of SH7, on the East side of the Rough Creek road bridge. Look for the DOC signs.
Start - There is a parking area on the North side of SH7, across the Rough Creek road bridge from the trail start.
Finish - There is a parking lot across the road from the trail finish for the St James Walkway. Recommend leaving a bike here for a downhill car shuttle.
Watch out for the diverging spurs & ridgelines that could take you off the route. Although there are sections of this route near bluffs, it never requires ascending or descending one. If you find yourself starting to climb, you've likely taken a wrong turn.
Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).
Many tarns throughout. In addition, snow patches can be found through mid-summer.
In winter, the ridgeline will be snow covered.
Weather - this route is best done in clear conditions. In addition, it is very exposed to a Nor'wester.
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