Avalanche Peak ice & snow conditions
Avalanche Peak is now in winter condition. Ice-axe and crampons should be taken. Good alpine experience is necessary to determine safe ice, snow and avalanche conditions. Please enquire at the Arthur’s Pass Visitor Centre about current conditions before departure
Scott's Track (Avalanche Peak)
TRACK GRADE: Tramping Track & Marked Route
WALKING TIME: 6 - 8 hours return
FEATURES: Great views of waterfalls, Arthur's Pass, Mt Rolleston.
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.
- If you become lost, retrace your steps if possible to refind the correct route (orange or yellow 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 "new" start to this track is signposted at the beginning of the very first bridge on the Punchbowl track, this takes you up across the highway and onto the original Scott's Track. Do not walk up the highway as there is no longer a formed foot-path!
MAP: Click Here to open PDF File (660Kb).
DESCRIPTION: Scotts track is the best local track for views of village, Punchbowl falls and surrounding mountains.
The track climbs on an even grade up to boggy terraces which are reached in 1 hour and are a good place for views.
The track continues onto the bushline (1.5 hours). If visibility is poor at this point, STOP, hold your ground and wait for a possible improvement, if visibility remains poor TURN BACK! The best views commence about 20 - 30 minutes outside tree-line at an old metal survey station beside the track. It then climbs steeply following a route marked with orange tipped poles along a rocky ridge. Avalanche Peak is reached after 3 - 4 hours from the valley floor.
Scotts Track connects up with the Avalanche Peak track (yellow markers) just below 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. The round trip is possible, but only in fine weather and good track conditions.
For the round trip it is recommended to go up Avalanche Peak track and down Scotts track as Scotts is a more gradual descent and easier on the knee joints.
So you have an enjoyable and safe time during your visit to Arthur's Pass National Park follow these 5 simple rules...
1. PLAN YOUR TRIP
Seek local knowledge and plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take.
2. TELL SOMEONE
Tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. Visit the AdventureSmart Website to file an intentions form with someone you trust!
3. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER
New Zealand's weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the forecast and expect weather changes. Check out the Arthur's Pass Weather Forecast here.
4. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.
5. TAKE SUFFICIENT SUPPLIES
Make sure you have enough food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario. Take an appropriate means of communication.
For more information, visit www.adventuresmart.org.nz/land-adventures