Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring), Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park, Canterbury NZ

Our second time to do this classic Canterbury tramp, this time in a bit of snow: Castle Hill Peak (1998m) via Foggy Peak (1741m).

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)

I first did this classic Canterbury walk up Castle Hill Peak (1998m) via Foggy Peak in autumn, not long after I had arrived in Christchurch (that post here). On that snowless day there were gale force winds and the final ascent to the summit felt rather adventurous. I had wanted to return and repeat the walk in snow because I’d read that it made for good winter tramping. The Torlesse Range captures and holds a fair bit of snow, so I waited until a sunny day in early spring to do this, having so many good new walks to do over the winter.

There wasn’t so much snow left, but enough that I chose to use crampons for the first time, just for the final short and steep ascent to the summit. (It had been a dry and warm winter). I think I’ll return to do this again next winter in deeper snow, but for now I’ve included some pics from this second ascent to whet your appetite. (Refer to my original post for further information including track notes.) 

On the summit we met a friendly tramper, originally from Slovenia, who had already been up Castle Hill Peak eight times, and done countless tramps all over the South Island of New Zealand. Despite his age (I’m not sure how old) he maintained a steady pace in snow and scree, and was off to do a few days in Nelson Lakes National Park later that week. Hopefully I’ll be this tramping fit in the future.  

On our way back Sophia and I passed a couple of trampers descending from Foggy Peak. I didn’t know it at the time but one of them was a follower on Instagram, and she realised who I was the next day when I posted one of my pictures from the walk. Small world.  Anyway, say hello if you recognise me or Sophia on a walk 🙂

Castle Hill Peak (Spring): The Scenery

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Lake Lyndon, Red Hill, Mt Lyndon and the southern end of the Craigieburn Range (with snow on it).

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
On our way up Foggy Peak. Ben More at the back.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
A panorama of the Torlesse Range from Foggy Peak.

Looking towards Mt Torlesse and other peaks in the range.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Panorama of the Craigieburn Range from Foggy Peak.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Sophia on the summit of Foggy Peak (1741m). The Craigieburn Range in the background.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
A small Sophia on the ridge that leads to the summit, top right.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Approaching the summit of Castle Hill Peak.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Sophia and me on the summit of Castle Hill Peak (1998m). Our first time to use crampons and ice axe all winter, and only needed for a few short sections. It wasn’t very wintery for most of our first New Zealand winter.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
A panorama of other high peaks in the Torlesse Range from the summit.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
A panorama of the Craigieburn Range from the summit.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Sophia liked this picture of her. Taken on the summit.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Looking north.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Me on a fairly snowy section.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Looking out towards the Canterbury Plains.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
The friendly tramper we met on the summit on his way back to Foggy Peak. Mt Hutt in the distance.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring) Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
We took our crampons off here for the easy walk back to Foggy Peak.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Returning from the summit. I took a lot of pictures trying to represent the steepness of this section. This is probably the best. It actually felt a lot less steep this second time, possibly due to familiarity, much less wind (ie, less scary), or else in snow rather than bare scree.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Returning to Foggy Peak along the ridge. I think that is Red Hill and Mt Lyndon in the centre mid ground.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Sophia arriving back on Foggy Peak.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
More views of the Torlesse Range from Foggy Peak, this time in afternoon light.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Views from Foggy Peak before we began the final descent.

Castle Hill Peak via Foggy Peak (in spring)
Sophia descending from Foggy peak with Lake Lyndon in the background. It was around here that we passed one of my Instagram followers, only neither of us knew it then. She realised the next day after I posted a picture from the walk. Small world.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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