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Off track on open tops

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February 2021 Issue

Woolshed Creek Hut via Mt Somers, Hakatere Conservation Park

If you haven’t gone off track and want to test your map-reading skills, a descent from 1688m Mt Somers is the perfect first experience.

From Sharplin Falls car park, follow the Mt Somers Track clockwise over Hookey Knob and climb steadily west along the ridge. At Staveley Hill, 1085m, head north-east at the junction and follow the steep poled route to the summit of Mt Somers.

From the summit, open tops provide a gradual descent along wide spurs – making it straightforward to pick a route west to rejoin the Mt Somers Track south of Woolshed Creek Hut.

The lack of bush in this area allows the light to stay around longer, particularly in summer, and though hiking up high during sunset wasn’t something I’d done often, it was a forgiving environment to learn in. I kept stopping to take photos of the ribboning effect the light was playing on the mountains in the distance.

Being off track in a popular tramping area meant we didn’t see anyone else until arriving at the very full Woolshed Creek Hut. The snow on the tops had only just melted, so it was quite boggy, but during summer the broad tops would be an incredible camping spot.

– Racheel Hockridge


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Distance
10.8km
Total Ascent
1345m
Grade
Moderate
Time
Car park to Mt Somers summit 4hr; To Woolshed Creek Hut, 2-3hr
Accom.
Woolshed Creek Hut ($15, 26 bunks)
Access
Sharplin Falls car park
Map
BX19

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