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Cloudy Peak Bivvy, Canterbury

A rock bivouac at around 1280m in Cloudy Peak Valley. Photo: Peter Laurenson
Distance
13.3km
Total Ascent
885m
Time
3-5hr using 4WD or 5-7 walking
Grade
Moderate/Difficult
Accom.
Rock bivvy and camping
Access
From Hakatere Potts Road, approximately 7km of four wheel driving or walking across Clyde River mouth and up the Havelock River to the mouth of Cloudy Stream
Map
BX17, BX18
GPX File
Cloudy Peak Bivouac (gpx, yo 15 KB)
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If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll know that Edoras is the capital of Rohan, featuring prominently in The Two Towers. Back in the land of trampers, this location is actually Mt Sunday, situated close to the head of the Rangitata River.

Mt Sunday is also the gateway to Cloudy Peak (2403m), accessed after four hours of tussock sidling, manuka scrub-bashing and boulder-hopping up Cloudy Stream. Despite the relatively short hike, it’s still a rugged little journey, not travelled often given the lack of any obvious route for the most part.

The grunt is worth it. The west face and south-west ridge of Cloudy Peak soar dauntingly overhead. The view back down the route is dominated by the 2500m-high peaks of the Two Thumb Range while the view up valley promises more grand landscapes.

It’s a land of rock in the warmer months, including the accommodation on offer – two rock bivvies located only a few hundred metres apart. There’s no stream close to the bivvies, the endless boulder piles have buried it until about the 1050m mark. However, a waterfall a 30 minutes up the valley provides ample supply and ever-improving views.

And then there’s the rock scramble to the top of Cloudy Peak, or some much more challenging multi-pitch climbing routes. A landscape to impress all comers, be they hikers, climbers, hobbits or orcs.

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