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Mt Richmond excursion

Mt Richmond isn’t apparent from Nelson, you need some distance, like over near Abel Tasman, to see the distinctive, if not memorable, shape. After more than half a lifetime it’s now proved time to climb the peak.

I was 16 at my first attempt, it was Easter and I was in my last year at school. We were an adventurous lot, a tougher crew than I normally hung out with, but the weather turned bleak and the Mount Fell ridge is just not the place to be with inclement conditions, and poorer prospects ahead. I had dredged up memories of some chain attached to a mountain somewhere and shortly thereafter feeling distinctly uncomfortable with the route, not much to hang onto, then having problems finding the hut at the end of the strenuous day, it’s wasn’t quite where we imagined. Then we retreated back down to the Pelorus River, along in steep ridge directly to the door of Roebuck Hut.

This time around the weather prospects were far more settled and, well, that didn’t always prove true, it snowed on the first night of summer. But it was a splendid day when I made it to the summit and that tremendous view, and remained so for the following day.

I hadn’t exactly planned my exit from Richmond Saddle, there’s various possibilities, starting with the easy one where you can just drop on the Marlborough side, down to a carpark, an easy four hour walk. Or you can progress onto Ada Flat along a tenuous ridge, the full day getting to the Te Araroa Trail, the Alpine Route. You can then turn left, towards Lake Chalice or Old Man, or to the right, back towards Nelson via Slaty and Mt Starveall.

As it turned out I chose the direct route along an untracked ridge down to the upper Pelorus River, not far from Roebuck Hut.

From there it was just a quick race out back to Nelson.

For a more involved report you can read my daily blog of the Mt Richmond tramp.

If you want a few more photos that distill my wanderings around Mt Richmond you can have a look at a look at this 28 image popup slideshow by clicking on the click thingy.

Mt Richmond, Mt Richmond Forest Park, December 2014
author | GJ Coop | posted | 13 December 2014
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