(draft) Trip: Richmond Ranges East
Distance: 26.3 km (22.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 96m to 1045m. Gain: 1631m. Loss: 2155m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills:


From Mt Freeth to Waikakaho-Cullen Saddle via ridgeline
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Distance: 12.1 km (10.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 550m to 848m. Gain: 820m. Loss: 642m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Heading SW a few meters into the bush beyond the TV tower and you’ll pick up orange / pink markers (paint blobs on trees) heading NW along the ridgeline. The route follows the ridgeline and is scrubby but passable for the first 1.5km (to P27 905897). Beyond here it’s into mature beech and much more pleasant going. Several of the peaks stick above the bushline, and give views of the sounds. Follow the main ridge, taking care at the southern peak of Mt Duncan to select the southern ridge towards the Waikakaho – Cullen creek saddle. A compass will probably be required as several knobs have multiple ridges descending from them.

There is no water on this section of ridgeline and in summer creekheads shown on the map are likely to be dry. The nearest I found was at the (private, locked) hut 2.5km north down the Waikakaho-Cullen Creek track.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-08-17 21:08:14. Experienced: 2007-02-03

From Waikakaho-Cullen Saddle to Mt Cullen via ridgeline
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Distance: 4.4 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 708m to 1045m. Gain: 554m. Loss: 310m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

4km of easy ridgeline travel in mature beech. Note that there is no water on the ridgeline.

From the Waikakaho – Cullen Creek track at the saddle, a well traveled route (with sporadic orange/pink paint markers) runs WNW along the ridgeline to Dukeshead and Mt Cullen

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-17. Experienced: 2007-02-05

From Mt Cullen to pt1045 via ridgeline
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Distance: 3.8 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 954m to 1045m. Gain: 161m. Loss: 164m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From Mt Cullen, the well-traveled route and occasional markers continues south as far as pt1045, where it rises above the bushline for the 1st time, giving views of Havelock, Blenheim and the Sounds.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-17. Experienced: 2007-02-05

From pt1045 to Kenningtons roadend via ridgeline/legal unformed road
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Distance: 6.1 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 96m to 1042m. Gain: 96m. Loss: 1039m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Beyond pt1045 it gets progressively tougher, with stunted, closely packed beech becoming common. The marked route continues, but can be hard to follow in some places, and you are probably best finding your own way. Descend your chosen ridge to Kenningtons Road – good ridges lead down from pt 867 connecting with legal roads on the park boundary. You pass through an area of pines here - don;t worry, they're part of the DOC land!

Paper roads down the valley diverge from the formed track (see WAMS air photos for a comparison). So you can legally walk down here, but knowing where the legal access is could be tricky. You may prefer to ask the Jorgensons (2006) for access down the farm track.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-08-17 21:37:09. Experienced: 2007-02-05


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