From Beuzenberg Peak, above Stag Saddle, Mounts Cook and Tasman overtop the ridge to the west. For a summit of a little over 2000m, the views are expansive.
This is open country with no shade and no water. Take HEAPS and leave before dawn. And sun protection. Take HEAPS of that too.
2 km from Lake Tekapo along SH8 turn left into Lilybank Road. Just after crossing Coal River and before Mount Gerald Station, there is an indistinct DoC sign on the right. This leads along a rough track through several gates to a parking area by a small river.
The route to the peak falls broadly into two sections; the first to Rex Simpson Hut and then along the sinuous ridge to the peak. After a steady ascent following marker poles at the edge of the Te Kahui Kaupeka Conservation Park, you reach the hut and it’s comfortable deck.
Climbing the nose of Snake Ridge, behind the hut, you can weave a course on the deer tracks. Sneaky peeks up the Godley and the reflected light on the river braids are a treat.
Although the main Te Araroa trail is below you to the right alongside Camp Stream, take the elevated ridge. There’s a false peak at the edge of the tussock-studded vegetation and a transition to a colourful array of exposed schists. Low growing cushion plants encrusted the sheltered hollows. Otherwise the surface is bare.
Beuzenberg Peak (2070m) is the culmination of a long gentle climb and you get a sense of the high mountains here. It’s a long way back, so don’t linger too long!
The Two Thumb Range was mostly cloaked in ice at the height of the last glaciation. During the melt, vast quantities of greywacke were washed down in the meltwaters and deposited to fill the hollows of the Mackenzie Basin. The pseudo-flat interior is etched with old watercourse threads, weaving a tapestry of post-glacial drainage patterns. The kame terrace of lateral moraines deposited at the close of the last glaciation now shows as a ridge running parallel with the valley.
Some Germanic names come from the early explorations of Government geologist Julius von Haast. But in this instance the naming story was much more recent. Erica Beuzenberg fell to hear death near Ball Pass whilst guiding in 2005. In comparison to her other accomplishments, including the first woman to climb Mount Cook in winter and summiting New Zealand’s 20 highest peaks in a single winter, this was a relatively tame expedition and her loss was felt by many NZ climbers.
South Island ▷ Mount Cook - MacKenzie ▷ Lake Tekapo
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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍