Mt Crichton from Avalanche Creek, Queenstown NZ

A steep and direct route to the summit of Mt Crichton (1870m) near Queenstown, with fabulous views including Lake Isobel and Lake Wakatipu.

Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown

This is a shorter version of one of my favourite walks, to the summit of Mt Crichton (1870m), near Queenstown. Although less picturesque than the longer route (from the Mt Crichton Loop Track), this way is quite direct and offers some variety if you’ve already done that other route. The views from the summit and also the peak at 1845m are spectacular, and include Lake Isobel and Lake Wakatipu.

Track notes at the end.

Mt Crichton from Avalanche Creek: The Scenery

Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown

Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
A glassy Lake Wakatipu in the morning.
Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
Getting a bit lost on steep terrain.
Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
We ended up on that ridge and had to backtrack a bit to continue on.
Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
On the tarn shelf, with point 1845m straight ahead.
Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
Looking down to Glenorchy.

Here are shots from my previous visit. Firstly shots from 1845m…

Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Lake Isobel
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Lake Isobel from point 1845m. 
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
The north end of Lake Wakatipu from point 1845m

And now some shots from the summit at 1870m (…the very first is the final climb to the summit – there’s a scramble to get that far, so this is the harder peak to visit).

Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
There was a short scramble and then easy walking to get to 1870m.
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Lake Isobel and tarn from 1870m.
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Lake Isobel looking very green.
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Looking west over a very blue Lake Wakatipu.
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Looking over 12 mile creek towards the Remarkables.
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
The crumbly arete stretching to point 1723m.

And back to the tarn shelf…

Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
One of two tarns on the shelf.
Mt Crichton ascent, Queenstown
Another of the tarns on the shelf.
Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
We headed off to the right in this picture for an easy descent.
Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
Some nice bush on the section besides the road.


Track Notes

Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
There’s a car park on your right as you drive to Glenorchy, before you get to Bennets Bluff. From the car park climb a few metres up and then take a right. After you cross the second obvious creek, take a left turn on a vehicle track, then pretty much straight up to a tarn shelf near the summit. From there you can head left to visit 1845m, or straight up onto the arete, turning right and climbing down from the ridge to climb up an easy slope to the summit.

On this occasion we only visited 1845m, but you can visit the summit at 1870m as I did on my previous visit. From the car park on the road to Glenorchy (see my Google map below), head up and take a right onto the vehicle track. After you cross the second obvious creek, turn left onto a vehicle track and then head straight up to a tarn shelf. The track soon disappears so you need to navigate, and as per my photo below you’ll want to keep a little left rather than end up on the ridge like we did.

From the tarn shelf you can head left to 1845m, or straight up to the crumbly arete ridge, heading right along the ridge and dropping down to walk up an easy slope to 1870m.

You might like to look at my notes for the route up from the Mt Crichton Loop Track as well. Both routes are a hard slog and require navigation.

Mt Crichton from Avalanche Peak, Queenstown
At this point its best to keep left. We headed up the middle and found ourselves on a ridge with no easy way forward, and so back tracked a bit to get over to the left. On the way down we took the better option.

Here’s the car park location…

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

3 thoughts on “Mt Crichton from Avalanche Creek, Queenstown NZ”

    1. Hi Elizabeth. Thanks 👍😀 I thought this would be shorter than starting on the Crichton Loop Track, and it was, but not that much. I think allocate a medium to long day. It might depend on whether you choose a good route and how long you spend taking photos!

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