Avalanche Peak is the most famous mountain in Arthur’s Pass National Park, New Zealand. It’s also the mountain that gets often underestimated, especially if you take Scotts Track on the way up because it’s much easier and the rocky exposed tops may come as a surprise. If you take Avalanche Peak Track, scrambly parts start right at the bottom of the track, just a few meters after the sign points to the start of the track, and you may have a better idea about the whole climb.
I took the Avalanche Peak Track on the way up and Scotts Track on the way down. The first part of Avalanche Peak Track is rocky and steep and I’m not surprised that some less experienced tourists/hikers turn away at this stage already. Once above the bush line, the track gets less rocky, less steep and the views become mesmerizing. The last hundred meters or so follows a sharp ridge where it’s highly recommended not to slip as the consequences may be undesirable. Going down via Scotts Track was definitely easier, it’s less steep and less exposed.
I climbed the peak at the edge of winter and although there wasn’t much snow, I was quite happy to have an ice axe as the last part was a bit steep and icy. It’s a gorgeous walk but it’s a decent exercise and the peak should be attempted only by experienced parties.
Rough stats: 7 km, 1100 m up, 5h
Climbed on 23th May 2021.
Max elevation: 1833 m
Min elevation: 744 m