Author Topic: Black Hill by GuanoGerbil  (Read 2948 times)

Black Hill by GuanoGerbil
« on: December 02, 2012, 03:53:33 PM »
After a quick look at the start of the 4 wheel drive access, I thought it probably only gets worse. I kicked myself all the way after that - it quickly turned into a nice graveled farm track just around the corner, which continued that way right up to the first river crossing 5.5km later. Could have easily saved an hour each way without having to resort to high ground clearance (definately needed to get across the river though!). Was a long monotonous flat plod. When my GPS indicated I was at the hut, sure enough, the road stopped at the next river crossing just as I expected (no hut, but...). I could see a track on the other side, so I followed that. Don't! It was a boggy mudfest full of cows wandering around. I went up higher to drier ground and followed animal tracks through the scrub before realising I was on the wrong side of the river! There is a track marked here, but obviously doesn't exist anymore. I could see the 4 wheel drive actually continued on over the other side to where the right hut was supposed to be. A quick bush-bash down and river crossing had me back on course. No hut there at the roadend either that I could see, but was relieved to find a decent walking track through the bush from here on.

The head felt much happier once the track quickly started going upwards quite steeply - at last, after 9km of flat. A steady climb up eventually brought me up to fairyland just before Black Hill hut - lots of white moss hanging off everything. The hut looks quite a nice cosy place to stay and is just below the tops. The tops travel is only very short, but the view from the summit is fantastic and certainly made up for the frustration earlier. It's easy to keep following the markers around below the summit and miss it entirely - make sure you turn left up the last few metres of tussock to the top - that's where the views are.

Coming back down I liked the look of the swing bridge as the Emergency Route back. Yes, it looked further and hillier on the map, but I couldn't bear the thought of the same plod back along the road. And I could do with the exercise. It was certainly hillier, and the bush was pretty overgrown. Even bordering on unpleasant. But then coming back down, the pole markers just seemed to stop. I gave up looking and bush bashed my way back down. Some pretty steep and dodgy terrain encountered on the way. Not recommended. Now I understand why it's called an emergengy route - I nearly had one of my own trying to follow it!

It took me 3.5 hours up, including 'exploring alternative destinations'. Coming back down 'the scenic route' took a bit longer again. All up an 8 hour day including lunch at the top. A total of 32km and 1550m ascent round trip.

The views really are impressive, but a ride in to the bush start would make it so much more enjoyable and worthwhile.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 11:38:11 AM by GuanoGerbil »
'There is always a risk in being alive, and if you are more alive, there is more risk' -Ibsen