Mt Philistine has been dragging my attention for a while and I finally got to climb it this summer! Main thoughts:
- The access is easy. Park at Otira Valley Carpark, follow a well trodden track to Otira Bridge, cross the bridge and start to go up along a visible path into a scree slope (actually a moraine) that takes you on the only walkable ridge in the area.
- From the grassy ridge, the track climbs steeply through the series of bluffs sometimes referred to as Warnock bluffs. These are quite impressive and extremely steep. Perhaps the steepest 100 m I’ve done in New Zealand. When standing on the top, it almost feels vertical. The track is actually not too bad but in winter conditions they can be very dangerous and people died here in the winter. This is the crux of the route.
- Once above the bluffs, the track gently roles across a boulder field and gentle scree slopes to the base of the top of Mt Philistine.
- The last 100 vertical metres is again very steep and care needs to be taken if more people are in the group as there are a lot of rocks waiting to be dislodged and send down.
- From Mt Philistine, we went back to the carpark the same way as we came up.
- I met some fun people on this trip including Endrew form Hikingscenery.com – nice and cheerful guy.
Participants: Michal Klajban, Jan Kupka
Rough stats: 1100m up, 6h 30 min return trip, 8.4 km
Tramped on 9th April 2022.
Max elevation: 1957 m
Min elevation: 885 m