Avalanche Peak Track
TRACK GRADE: Tramping Track & Marked Route
WALKING TIME: 3-4 hours to the peak. Allow up to 8 hours for the entire round trip.
FEATURES: Waterfalls, Mountain beech and tussock tops, alpine views, 1100m climb.
HAVE A "PLAN B": If Avalanche Peak is out of condition with poor visibility/rain/wind, consider the Bealey Spur Track as an alternative. The weather can be much finer east of Arthur's Pass.
WARNING: Because of continuing problems (including fatalities) encountered on this route by walkers please take note of the following advise...
- WHEN THERE IS SNOW ON AVALANCHE PEAK IT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS. MOUNTAINEERING AND AVALANCHE ASSESSMENT / RESCUE SKILLS ARE NECESSARY!
- This is a "day walk", leave early to allow for sufficient daylight hours.
- If there is a poor weather forecast do not attempt this route. If there is fog/cloud cover on the mountain turn around.
- TELL SOMEONE YOUR PLANS, and remember to let them know when you return safely.
- Take sufficient clothing, food, water & medical needs to be able to survive a night out in cold wet conditions. Search & Rescue activity should commence the day following your intended "out date".
- Test your cellphone in Arthur's Pass Village, if it works there, take it with you, it should work on all Village side aspects of this mountain, if you get lost or in trouble call 111. Don't waste your phone battery! Phones can be an unreliable way of getting help. Better still take a PLB with you as well (Arthur's Pass Visitor Centre hires them).
- If you become lost, retrace your steps if possible to refind the correct route (orange or yellow marker poles). If you cannot, find shelter (rocks, trees, tussocks), stay where you are.
- DO NOT push into the treeline too far except to seek shelter, there are large hidden cliffs and alternate ways down DO NOT exist. If you are not on the marked bush track (orange triangles) STOP!
- DO NOT follow streams/creeks off the mountain, many of these go over very large waterfalls or contain extensive loose rock.
- If you see searchers (helicopter, ground crews) or other walkers attract attention by moving to open ground, yelling, waving bright clothing. If you are injured leave something bright in clear view near you in case you lose consciousness.
LOCATION:The track starts in the far corner of the Helicopter Landing Pad (green field) beside the Visitor Centre.
MAP: Click Here to open PDF File (660Kb).
DESCRIPTION: The track climbs steeply through Mountain beech forest. In several places the track comes very close to Avalanche Creek and some stunning waterfalls.
The bush line is reached in 1.5 hours. IF VISIBILITY IS POOR, STOP, HOLD YOUR GROUND, IF THERE IS NO IMPROVEMENT TURN BACK!!!!
From here the track is a route, marked with yellow-tipped poles. It follows the ridge up to the peak, joining the Scotts Track about 200m before the summit. The final ridge is a razor-blade with cliffs on either side, only venture out here if confident of heights, and the wind-speeds are low.
Return the via the slightly easier Scotts Track (orange tipped marker poles).
Refer to the Route Guide for more detailed description of the hike.
So you have an enjoyable and safe time for your visit to Arthur's Pass National Park, follow the Land Safety Code:
- Choose the right trip
- Learn about the route and make sure you have the skills for it.
- Understand the weather
- It can change fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.
- Pack warm clothes and extra food
- Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected night out.
- Share your plans and take ways to get help
- Telling a trusted person your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.
- Take care of yourself and each other
- Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group and make decisions together.
For more information, visit www.adventuresmart.nz/land/activities/ or use the Plan My Walk system planmywalk.nz/home