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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mt Aicken - Mt Blimit - Mt Cassidy Traverse 10th March 2012

Uncle Roddus Tramping Dairy: Tramp No 116
Mt Aicken - Mt Blimit - Mt Cassidy Traverse 10th March 2012

Last year I participated in an impromptu trip up Mt Aicken with the CTC, when our original destination became undesirable due to weather conditions. Earlier, while looking at the maps of the area I had contemplated the possibility of doing the loop around Aicken and Blimit and while on the climb to Aicken that day I was talking about it with one of the party, who informed me that he had actually done that particular trip and it was indeed doable. So when this trip appeared in the CTC trip calender I knew I must give it ago.

A party of four enthusiastic trampers arrived at the Punchbowl Falls car park, Arthurs Pass, just before 9am on a high overcast morning with a brisk Westerly wind cooling things down. On the track by 9am heading first to Aicken, we made fast time up, reaching point 1844 by around 11am where we had a short scrog break. Not wanting to hang around too long, as the forecast was for rain late in the day, we set off for point 1863, after which we started on the traverse between Aicken and Blimit. The going was very rocky, with a couple of areas that involved some rock climbing, but no equipment was necessary. We stopped for lunch somewhere around point 1832, sheltering from the cool wind behind a large rock. After this, the going was pretty good, with short rock scrambles here and there, as we cruised along and the wind stayed mercifully lighter. The two mountain goats of our party soon left us in their wake and we didn't catch them again until they stopped before the grade 14 rock climb just before Blimit. We then dropped down onto Punchbowl Creek basin to sidle below this rock massive, before scrambling back up onto Blimit its self, where we had a very short stay as the wind was quite brisk and the cloud had closed in. The rest of the trip involved heading along the ridge to Cassidy before dropping down the not too pleasant Cons track, which was not well marked higher up and involved a lot of steep travel on very loose rocks until the bush line. Back at the car by 5:45PM after a good trip of just under 11KM and around 1300M height gain.

A view of the ridge we will traverse taken from lower down on Aickens track.

looking towards the Waimak river.

Some nice easy rocky points to traverse.

Making progress.

Thats Blimit in the top center of the picture.
The view across to Rolleston from Aickens Track, a photo out of sequence.

Some views of the surrounding Mountains and Valleys.

A look down Punchbowl Creek from near Blimit.

looking down on Temple Basin Ski Area as we come off Blimit.

Approaching Cassidy.

Arthurs Pass from Cons track.

Looking back up Cons Track from near the bush line.

Another photo loaded out of sequence, the ridge we traveled.

Punchbowl Falls from Cons Track.

Uncle Roddus lagging behind on the uphill to Aicken.


Anonymous said...


I'm considering to do this trip next weekend and am wondering just how bad the scrambly bit is. The last trip I did was the Rakaia Spurs up at Lake Coleridge. I believe the CTC did that trip a couple of times. Would you happen to know how this trip compares?

At the Spurs I found the bit around point 1902 quite dangerous without a rope.


Roddus said...

I'm afraid I didn't go on the last Rakia Spurs trip as it was run on the day after i did this trip and I need a day to rest. I have no technical skills as far as ropes and belays are concerned but am comfortable on scrambly rocks. The Ackins-Blimir ridge I found no problem except the last knob before Blimit which we decided to go under which was easy enough.

Dennis said...

Sounds cool with me, then. Thanks for your feedback mate!

I admit that I very often take your blog and the CTC trip archive as inspiration for trips. I found that with the Rakaia Spurs and Mt Oakden trips the technicality of the scrambly bits was higher than anticipated.

At Oakden I actually had to turn around because my tramping mate was not feeling very confident about the ridge line. At the Spurs I had to double-back at 1902 because there was no way down.

Think I might still grab a helmet :-)

Roddus said...

I did the Oakden trip last this time last year and I didn't personally have any trouble at all with the rocky sections, although a couple of others on that trip did struggle a bit but got over the places required.
The Acikins-Blimit ridge is a bit harder compaired to oakden.

Roddus said...

Oh and I had the same trouble yesterday on Mt Princess, with it being a bit more scrambly than anticipated and I ran out of time to find an alternative route, but there are ways up to the summit via scree slopes.

Dennis said...

I think I'll give it a try and let you know how it went :-)

Dennis said...

.... and back!

I started the track in reverse from Cons track and Cassidy. Just before Blimit I didn't quite like the looks of the climb being on my own and all. Instead I tried cutting across the Basin to the opposite slope, only to chose the one scree slope that ended in a vertical drop. By the time I was back up on the ridge motivation to go down and back up again was somewhat lacking and I descended to Temple Basin.

So yeah, seems that I don't like scrambling quite as much as you do :-)

Roddus said...

Well at least you tried and it good to know your own limits, especially if your alone. The CTC are actually doing the Blimit trip next weekend on the Sunday via Cons track as you did.

Dennis said...

Righto, have fun! And thanks again for your help!