The monitor to Ben Lomond — a well known mountain in Queenstown towering 1748m above sea level — is explained on the Department of Conservation web site as “a demanding climb and a total day’s hike with a 1438m elevation obtain. On very clear days trampers are rewarded at the summit with impressive panoramic sights”. Alina Suchanski went to check out it out.
When William G. Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann arrived at the best of the Crown Vary just after a extensive and arduous journey of exploration from Dunedin to the West Coastline in 1860, they ended up the initially Europeans to see the wonderful view of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding landscape.
Legend has it that they tossed a coin to choose who would have which facet of the lake. Whether or not that is true or not, Von Tunzelmann got legal rights to Fernhill Run on the western shore of Lake Wakatipu, including Mt Nicholas Station, when Rees finished up with a massive keeping to the east and south of the lake, from Arrowtown down to Kingston, which includes Coronet Peak, Ben Lomond, the Remarkables and Ben Nevis.
None of these peaks would have had their European names however. Some 50 decades later on Southland-born historian Herries Beattie put in significant time travelling the South and talking to Maori elders about the naming of spots in Te Wai Pounamu (South Island). He information that the mountain Ben Lomond was identified by the local Maori as Te-taumata-oHakitekura, the eyrie of Hakitekura, named following a girl who sat on the mountain and watched other village ladies have swimming competitions in Lake Wakatipu.
Ben Lomond was offered its English title by Duncan McAusland, a person of Rees’ shepherds, who named it just after its namesake from his household country, Scotland. Early on in Queenstown’s background, Ben Lomond grew to become a attraction for adventurous tourists because of to its height and relative accessibility. It was very the done matter to leave Queenstown many hrs in advance of dawn, stroll to the major of the towering peak and wait around for the sunshine to rise.
In 1916, the Lake Wakatipu Mail reprinted an short article from the Night Star by Amber Lloyd in which she suggests: “It is possible there is no peak of the same height in New Zealand additional climbed than Ben Lomond. Each and every customer is anticipated to ‘go up Ben’ and the couple of who do not make the ascent skip a wonderful offer.”
This climb had been on my list for a pretty very long time so, as a member of the Fiordland Tramping and Out of doors Recreation Club, I put up my hand to direct a vacation up Ben Lomond. We established the day for early November determining to go to Queenstown the day prior to, so we could start off great and early the subsequent morning. That was the concept anyway.
Only one particular man or woman was equipped to be part of me on this excursion midweek, when the weather forecast was great for climbing mountains. We left Te Anau at 5pm on a Thursday and arrived in Queenstown about 7pm, keeping at Queenstown Holiday break Park & Motels Creeksyde, quite shut to city centre, Chris in his van and me in my tent.
Following evening meal we went to examine the opening hrs of the gondola, as neither of us felt self-assured about our conditioning and we were both equally eager to save the time and energy of strolling via the pine forest. We learnt that the gondola commenced at 10am, so there went our early set-off intention.
The next morning, just after our gondola experience, we received beneath way from the major station. The sky was blue and there was hardly any wind at that place. Despite the chilly morning, we soon warmed up with the steady climb. I was amazed how lots of individuals had been on the keep track of. We saw trampers, runners and several teams of mountain bikers.
When we achieved the saddle, about two-thirds of the way up, we stopped for a breather, a snack and to take in spectacular lake and mountain views. The strategy was to reassess our timing and endurance to make a decision whether or not we would continue to the top rated or wander down from the saddle.
It was genuinely a no-brainer. The top seemed deceptively shut, despite a further 438m of elevation gain to be scaled. A surprising variety of people had been going for walks to the summit.
The keep track of to the top is steeper than the light slope major up to the saddle.
There was no reprieve from the sun. Aside from a transient wander by way of a conifer forest near the top rated of the gondola, most of the monitor was entirely exposed to the things. We would have been grateful for some clouds shading the solar from time to time, but there had been none. We soldiered on, experiencing an rising breeze cooling us off.
A few several hours right after leaving the gondola, we were being at the top. The check out absolutely produced our efforts worthwhile. We could see Lake Wakatipu in its comprehensive glory surrounded by spectacular mountains all all over. To the east were the Remarkables, hunting rather tiny from this top, Richardson and Harris Mountains have been to the north, and Thompson Mountains to the west.
By means of the visor on the summit we ended up in a position to locate Walter Peak and Mt Nicholas to the southwest.
There were being about a dozen people today at the best and while we were obtaining lunch a kea entertained us with its antics, making an attempt to steal foodstuff from all people.
The stroll down the mountain took only two several hours.
This trip did not stop up getting as frightening as it initially sounded, while Chris and I agreed that getting the gondola was a superior plan. Walking up and down the gondola track would have added a different two hrs to our six-hour day vacation, building it a bit more challenging and less enjoyable.
Possessing manufactured the ascent, I now recognize and take pleasure in the reputation of this observe back in the early times when Amber Lloyd strode up Ben Lomond and recorded it in her newspaper post.
BEN LOMOND Monitor
Accessibility: Abide by the Queenstown Gondola keep track of to the top rated station or consider a journey up, then observe the markers to the summit.
Time: Six several hours from the prime station to the Ben Lomond summit and back again. 8 several hours return from the reduced gondola station to the top of the mountain.
Length: 14.5km spherical journey, 1438m climb
Much more info: www.doc.govt.nz
Observe: Take sunblock, but also a warm layer of clothes, as the temperature at the top can be quite a few degrees cooler that in Queenstown.