Author Topic: Ben Lomand - ex top of skyline gondola's  (Read 4311 times)

Ben Lomand - ex top of skyline gondola's
« on: October 16, 2008, 03:20:00 PM »
The peaks around queenstown can be intimidatingly tall rising steeply from the lake, but this hike ended up being easier than I thought taking just 4 hours return. 

If I did it again I would climb from the lake which would add another 2 - 3 hours to the trip and about another 400 vertical metres through pine forest.  There are several starting points from the lake and it can get confusing even with a map. One starting point sets off at the bottom of the gondola (at the top left of the lower gondola complex) We hiked this on a subsequent day and it slogs steeply (very very steeply in places) up a track to a forrest road which zig zags steeply up to the top of the gondola. Not far before you get to the gondola a track exits the road to ben lomand and is clearly marked

However I was a little unsure when first planning the climb so opted to take the gondola up the first step. Climbed in late April it was only a week before the first major snows, so we were pushing the envelope a bit. It was bitterly cold in the wind

From the gondola the track is well marked, a little rough and very interesting rising up a ridge behind the skyline complex breaking out of the pine forrest to a open track up to a saddle between bowen peak and ben lomand.  I made good progress to the saddle.  Then the track swings to the left up the ridge to the summit dropping off the ridge a little onto the nor western face of ben lomand. parts of this track are steep and were certainly hard work on the ticker but the view is astounding so the odd break to catch your breath wont destroy you.

Near the top the track swings to the south and suddnely it became very very cold....take good clothes. I had a ski jacket and was frozen!

From the top super views of double cone, cecil peak, mt ernslaw, mt aspiring etc

4 hours return made for a good hike.  brilliant.  dont miss it
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 03:16:13 PM by vinodrinker »

Re: Ben Lomand - ex top of skyline gondola's
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 03:08:51 PM »
Also 'bagged' Ben Lomond a few weeks ago on my first visist to the South Island, coming off a wet Routeburn and then Caples trek.  Thankfully the weather was much improved for Ben Lomond and similar to the weather I recall experiencing walking up Ben Lomond in Scotland over 12 yrs ago and on one of first munros.

We started from Ben Lomond crescent, taking the forest road initially and then heading off on the signposted path which was easy to follow.  In good weather it's a fairly easy climb, and it took 2hrs 20mins to the summit. 

Just 5mins shy of the summit, the cloud started to come in and I thought we'd missed the views, but we hung around long enough there for it clear again for some stunning views.  Nice to have the others mountains marked out on the summit plaque.

Re: Ben Lomand - ex top of skyline gondola's
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2009, 01:39:02 PM »
Did this one myself about a decade ago with a few mates, from the bottom of the hill via the route you mentioned. Gave it another go a couple of years back when on holiday with the missus but turned back at the saddle when the weather closed in. A great climb and well reccomended.