Marc from the CTC told me a couple of times that he’d really like to go to pt1709 near Binser Saddle. He described it as a prominent peak that you can see clearly when you’re driving from Arthur’s Pass towards the East Coast. I got quite excited about it because it did come to my mind recently that trampers including me tend to climb peaks with a name: if it doesn’t have a name, we don’t climb it. Well, that’s quite wrong to judge a peak based on its name! We should be looking at its beauty, prominence and how much it speaks to our hearts.
Anyway, here are some findings from our womble:
- It took us about an hour to get to Binser Saddle. It’s a fairly straightforward track with some good views along the way. There is water just before the saddle so no need to drag water up there.
- From Binser Saddle, you need to bushbash to pt1203. The bush is quite thick there but once you get to the ridge, there is an open track going to the bushline to pt1532.
- Once on the tops, the travel is okay, although there are scrambly parts. These together with wet snow were not ideal to travel on.
- It is a long way to go to pt1709. It would be doable in a day if we knew that we could descend along the ridge across pt1420. However Marc tried to access pt1420 from the Binser carpark and reported a bush so thick that it’d take us a really long time to push through. This was confirmed by a tramper we met on the tops. Worth exploring one day but not on my top list.
- We reached pt1623 and from there we turned back. It was still an amazing day full of sun, warm north-westerly winds, and some good conversations with Marc. On the way back, we tried to follow the track behind pt1203 and it keeps going parallel with Binser Track. This would be good to explore one day!
Rough stats: 16km, 1500m up, 7h.
Tramped on 3rd October 2021.
Max elevation: 1630 m
Min elevation: 493 m