Mt Peel via Middle & Little Mt Peel, Canterbury NZ
A long walk to the summit of Mt Peel (1743m) via Middle & Little Mt Peel. Great views of the Canterbury Plains and surrounding mountains, (particularly when a massive cloud inversion hangs around all day).
This tramp to Mt Peel (1743m) is a long extension of the reasonably popular climb up Little Mt Peel, on the edge of the Canterbury Plains in the southwestern corner. I was lucky to do this walk on a day when there was a cloud inversion covering every square inch of the Canterbury Plains, providing a spectacular backdrop to about 9 hours of walking.
The views are already good from Little Mt Peel (1311m), so you’ll be wanting a physical challenge I think if you decide to continue on over Middle Mt Peel (1583m) to the ‘Big’ summit. Despite a fairly early start I met a couple of people climbing Little Mt Peel, but after that I didn’t meet another soul.
Walking above the clouds all day was most certainly memorable, but one problem is I can’t really show you what the area looks like normally. Nevertheless, you can see photos up to the summit of Little Mt Peel in my post for that walk (done in winter). Most of my photos below are from the section after Little Mt Peel.
There’s a constructed track to the summit of Little Mt Peel. This track starts at the end of Lookout Road, however there’s no parking at the trail head, so you must walk up the road from the car park. You can get more information on this route, including a circuit option, in my blog post, and also on the DOC website.
After Little Mt Peel there’s an unmarked impact track for most of the way along the ridge to Mt Peel. There are sometimes options to pass below peaks to avoid a bit of climbing. The last bit towards the summit is rocky but otherwise it’s quite easy walking along this long ridge. The walk may take you 8-10 hours return. (Note: I just found out that the summit of Mt Peel is not actually on public land – this stops a few hundred metres short. The views from nearby the summit are still good, so you don’t have to visit the summit except for peak bagging rights).