Since I’ve got myself into #52peakschallenge this year, I naturally started looking for places where I can climb 2 peaks in one day. Packard Peak (2066m) had been dragging my attention that week as there was a possibility to climb Mid Hill on the same day. It also didn’t seem to be very popular among Christchurchians which is always a plus.
I still wanted to make it easier for me so on Saturday night I went up to A-Frame hut where I met up with Kupkin. The following morning we first climbed up to the tarns under Mid Hill. The journey over tussocks was okay, a little bit harder than I expected but in general, it was a straightforward travel. We climbed all the way to the last tarn and straight to the ridge from where it’s a wee bit gnarly way to the top of Mid Hill but not too bad. From Mid Hill the ridge is a bit bumpy with a few exposed places but again, nothing too bad. Once at the saddle south of Bruce saddle, there is an ugly-looking steep scree slope that took quite a lot of willpower to climb. It’s only around 200 vertical meters but hard work.
Once on the ridge, we followed it to the top of Packard Peak. I wouldn’t recommend this route. There are one or two climbing sections. Just 2m high or so but it required some basic bouldering skills. Especially coming down this way could be an issue. A better idea is to drop down to the tarns north of pt1625 and hit the scree slope on its east side. It might be annoying but it’d be less dodgy. From Packard Peak, we followed the ridge further north-east before dropping down to Long Creek. The creek provides easy-going, very scenic travel. When we reached Cass Lagoon Saddle track, we just followed it back to the cars.
Overall a great tramp that can be done in one long day but perhaps the best idea is to do it as an overnighter with camping at the tarns under Packard Peak.
Rough stats: 35 km, 3400m ascent. 2h + 13h.
Tramped on 13-14th March. Map on NZ topomap here.
Participants: Kupkin, me
Max elevation: 2067 m
Min elevation: 652 m