Gerhardt Spur biv to Jumble Top and down to Squall Peak and Cedar Flat huts

The plan was simple yet not easy: to make a crossover from Gerhardt Spur Biv (my party) over Jumble Top to Toaroha Valley and out via Cedar Flat Huts. The other party would do the same in reverse. We’d meet at Jumble Top for the sunset and swap keys. To my surprise, the weather forecast was okay so the trip went ahead at the first try!

My party started off at the bridge over Diedrichs Creek. A track across farmland led us to the bottom of Gerhardt Spur. The start of the track is a bit hidden, but a cairn marks it. It’s right after the last vertical bluff ends. Initially, it’s quite bushy and steep from about 400-600 metres. After pt867, it flattens out, but there are more steep—perhaps the steepest—sections just before the biv somewhere around 1100-1200 contours. It’s not exposed. 

We were doing pretty well, but by the time we reached the biv, we were completely soaked, though it was only drizzling slightly. The vegetation was pretty wet, and it was unavoidable to get soaked. The track was in pretty good condition with occasional windfall that I cleared up a bit with my handsaw.

When we reached the biv, we were right in the clouds. The visibility was changing between 50 to a few hundred metres. Vanessa claimed to big and me, Justin and Carmela pitched our tents out. Just before we went to bed, at around 7 PM, the clouds opened up and showed us a very dramatic sunset with the misty Diedrich Range in the background. There were some doubts about waking up at 5 AM to reach Jumble Top before sunset, which was at 6:50 AM, but we decided to give it a go anyway, hoping for clear skies.

In the morning, we left the camp just before 6 AM. With the head torches on, we found our way along tussocky ridges up to the main ridge and reached Jumble Top an hour later. There is a rocky, steep bit just below the top that looked a bit scary at first, but it wasn’t bad at all. As seen from the photos, the views from the top were hypnotising. The other group caught up with us about 30 minutes later, and we all celebrated our life choices (or should I say weekend choices?).

From Jumble Top, it’s just a stroll down to Squall Peak and the bushline. From the bushline, the track gets pretty steep, and we all bum-slid a few times. Vanessa made an unfortunate tumble and actually twisted her pinkie to the side. It swelled later on, and it wasn’t until Monday we learned that it was broken. That’s the first broken bone on my trip. Oh well, it was probably coming sooner or later.

The track from Squall Peak down to Cedar Flat Huts is in excellent condition thanks to Andrew from Permolat who cut it a few years back. I was actually at Cedar Flat huts when he was cutting it during many wintery days of June 2020. We stopped at Cedar Flat Huts and had a good swim break in Toaroha River. In Hokitika, we regrouped with others, and for the first time in my life, I had both fish and chips and ice cream on the same day.

This was perhaps the most scenic trip that I’ve been on. Thanks to all participants for coming and a special thanks to Alex for leading and driving the other party.


To Gerhardt Spur biv – 15 km, 5h 20 min, 1350 m ascent

Gerhardt Spur biv – Jumble top – Squall Peak – Cedar Flat huts – carpark – 17 km, 9h, 600 m ascent

Participants: Michal Klajban (leader of Gerhardt’s party, scribe, GPX, photos), Alexander MacDonald (leader of Squall party), Emma Rogers, Justin Loh, Vanessa Smith, Carmela Terrobias, Shana Dooley, Simon Barr
Tramped on 17-18th February 2023.


Map – to Gerhardt Spur biv

Total distance: 17241 m
Max elevation: 1229 m
Min elevation: 75 m
Download file: GPX-hikingisgood-com-nz-2024-Gerhardt_Biv.gpx

Map – Gerhardt Spur biv to Cedar Flat huts

Total distance: 19760 m
Max elevation: 1561 m
Min elevation: 96 m
Download file: GPX-hikingisgood-com-nz-2024-Gerhardt_Spur_Biv_Jumble_top.gpx

About the Author

I lived a pretty ordinary life for a while. I did my studies, my second studies, my third studies, my first job, my second job, and my third job. I wasn’t really sure what’s going on so, in 2014, I left my home country (Czechia) to learn about the world. I’m still not sure what’s going on but I enjoy it much more. I lived in a few countries before settling in New Zealand.

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