End Peak (2100m) offers grand views of Lake Wānaka to the east, and over the Harris Mountains backcountry to the west. If you had to climb it from the bottom it would be a real slog, but thankfully you can get a leg up starting at Treble Cone Ski Field (~1260m). Once the steep climb onto the ridge is finished, it’s then fairly easy ridge travel all the way to the summit, with great views the whole way. Lake Wānaka is always there, but views of a heart shaped tarn are an added bonus for reaching the summit.
On the drive in we passed an already chockers Roys Peak car park (and it’s a big car park!). I was very happy not to be joining the masses on that lacklustre walk (with admittedly epic views). End Peak offers a far more enjoyable walking experience with excellent views (if a bit more distant from the lake). And you get the satisfaction of visiting a high peak. Having said that, this walk does require route finding in places on somewhat rough terrain, so best for moderately experienced walkers. I can also recommend a very short side trip from the ski field vehicle track to look north at mountains lining the Matukituki Valley.
Track notes at the end.
End Peak from Treble Cone Ski Field: The Scenery
To gain access to Treble Cone Ski Field in summer you need to complete a simple safety induction online. This gets you the code for the key to open the gate at the bottom of the road. Visit the Treble Cone website for details. When I did this it was via the Zero Harm website – I just signed up and searched for Treble Cone to take the short course.
From the car park, you can climb up towards Saddle Hut directly through tussock (steep), or on the windy vehicle track (longer). We decided to take the vehicle track on the way down because the tussock was slippery and steep. (We also took the opportunity to get views north from a spot up an embankment just north of the vehicle track – was worth it).
From Saddle Hut head south along the ridge all the way to End Peak, with one short but necessary diversion off the ridge to get around point 1940m. Keep to the west side of this peak on steep slopes.
Despite starting at roughly 1260m, there’s still around 1000m change in elevation getting to End Peak at 2100m along the undulating ridge. And depending on your route up to the ridge the return trip will be 14-18km. So still a good work out, at the hard end of moderate.