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June 2017 Issue
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Scrambling above Dingle Burn

Gaining height above Dingle Burn Valley, en route to Mt Gladwish. The Huxley Range is in the background. Photo: Jakub Cejpek
Distance
18.3km
Total Ascent
1888m
Time
Ahuriri Base Hut to Top Dingle Hut, 3hr; Top Dingle Hut to Mt Gladwish, 4-5hr; Mt Gladwish to Ahuriri Base Hut via Birchwood, 4-5hr
Grade
Moderate
Accom.
Ahuriri Base Hut ($5, six bunks); Top Dingle Hut ($5, six bunks)
Access
From Ahuriri Base Hut, on Birchwood Road
Map
BZ14
GPX File
Mt Gladwish.Hawea Conservation Park (gpx, 28 KB)
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Mt Gladwish via Top Dingle Hut, Hawea Conservation Park

Bad weather and snow in the high mountains are not reasons to stay at home. That’s the lesson we learnt on an early winter trip to Top Dingle Hut. Even though we were welcomed with dark clouds and rain, this circuit from Ahuriri Base Hut provided great tramping.

The Dingleburn Route from Ahuriri is well marked and leads steeply to a ridgeline that forms an outlier to the Huxley Range. When we arrived at the 1450m ridgeline, we were greeted with 30cm of new snow. Descending to Dingle Burn Valley, we followed snow poles to Top Dingle Hut, which could be heated to tropical temperatures thanks to its open fireplace.

The following morning was too nice to simply retrace our steps, so instead we decided on a climb of Mt Gladwish, 1861m. We followed the Dingle Burn Valley Track downstream of the hut to the spur coming off Pt1719. This proved easy to ascend and after regaining the ridge, we headed south along the tussocky tops. Our progress was rewarded with ever more extensive views, especially into the picturesque Dingle Burn. Soon, we reached the summit of Mt Gladwish.

We contemplated heading back along the ridge to the Dingleburn Route, but instead descended the eastern spur of Gladwish to Birchwood shelter. Our route followed an old fence line and the terrain was steep, but straightforward. Before long we were back in the Ahuriri Valley with a final stretch along the road back to our car.

– Jakub Cejpek

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