Fabulous views & some of the most beautiful tarns we’ve ever seen on this walk up Faust (1710m) & Mephistopheles (1736m) in the Lewis Pass region.
I had read good things about the climb up Faust (1710m) in the Lewis Pass region. Nevertheless, the pictures I’d seen online didn’t get me too excited. It was with moderate expectations then that we set off on a calm, cloudless day in autumn, intending to also visit the nearby peak of Mephistopheles (1736m). We were destined to have our expectations exceeded yet again. There are excellent views of countless peaks and glacial valleys, particularly from Mephistopheles, and the Faust Tarns were probably the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Plus you’ll possibly have the place to yourself, as we did despite perfect Saturday weather.
The 1km walk from Faust to Mephistopheles took about an hour. I’ll admit to a spot of peak bagging here, motivated in part by the cool name, but the views were a bit better than on Faust so it was a worthy extension. We returned the way we came. Track notes at the end.
Faust & Mephistopheles: The Scenery
Just north of the Boyle River bridge there is a grassy layby on the right. From there go through the fence and along an old grassy track which soon narrows. It climbs to a grassy terrace, then enters beech forest. You pass through an outdoor education centre (just a collection of wooden equipment), and climb steeply for a short while to another higher terrace. We got lost at this point as I had read the track enters a small clearing. But at the top of the steep climb turn right to stay in the forest, and eventually the track veers left to begin the climb up a broad spur all the way to the treeline.
From the treeline the route is poled for a while, then it’s a straightforward walk along the ridge to the summit of Faust. From there it’s 1km and a little scrambling to summit Mephistopheles. There is a loop option requiring some bush bashing (see my map above), but we returned the way we came. The whole thing was at the hard end of moderate.
For more information on walks in the area, including substantial multi-day tramps, visit the DOC website.