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The unrelenting climb

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October 2023 Issue

French Ridge Track, Mt Aspiring National Park. By Gareth Meyer

The alpine alarm clock woke us early: a circus of kea doing their utmost to make sure no one slept in. We were the last to leave the hut, but were quite happy to take our time after the previous day’s Crossfit-esque hike into French Ridge Hut. 

Having missed most of the scenery on the ascent, it was a beautiful morning to be heading down to the Matukituki Valley far below. The descent was a treat compared to the previous day’s strenuous climb. 

On the way towards the tarns and the treeline, Liverpool Hut became visible in the distance across the valley. This image of my group descending French Ridge to the valley below includes Pearl Flat with Gloomy Gorge on the left. 

Soon enough we were walking out along the valley floor, enjoying the flatter terrain. 

17.4km to French Ridge Hut
Total Ascent
6–8hr to French Ridge Hut
French Ridge Hut (serviced, 20 bunks)
Raspberry Flat car park at the end of Mt Aspiring Road

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French Ridge Hut (gpx, 46 KB)

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