Climb one of the Southern Alps' most rarely hiked routes. 

The trail starts at the carpark to the famous Devils Punchbowl Falls and heads up towards the falls themselves before taking a turn up and to the right. 

You'll pass through the forest before the trees lower in height and you'll have amazing views across to the south over to Mount Rolleston and Avalanche Peak. The tree line will take around 2 hours to get to and after that you're into the real stuff.

If you aren't experienced then now is the time to turn back. The alpine area is very open and you will need to know how to navigate in poor visibility or have a GPS handy. The weather can change quickly and this would probably be one of the easiest hikes to get lost on due to the big area that leads to the summit.

You will continue to ascend following the big orange snow poles sticking into the ground. After around 30 minutes you will join a ridge line that takes you to the top. The rock is very loose so be careful and watch your steps as you proceed along this spot. Once at the summit you'll have great views and you can even continue along the ridge line to Blimit if you so wish.

On the way back you will see the poles and orange rock markings quite easily. The hardest one to find is the entry to the bush line so be sure to remember the exact location where you exited from. 

Mount Aicken is a fine day out and can be don in 4-5 hours. The views are superb and you're just about guaranteed to have the whole peak to yourself. 

 

Pack List

  • Mountain attire
  • Umbrella
  • Sturdy Shoes
  • GPS or Map and Compass 
  • PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)
  • 3 litres of water as there is nowhere to get water up here
  • Camera
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RT Distance 3 Miles
Elevation Gain 3608.9 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful and challenging

Definitively a great alternative for the Avalanche Peak, which can become quite crowded on a nice day. I got the tip from the DOC center at Arthur's Pass, it's best to check in there before taking the hike, just to be up to date with the weather and track warnings.


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