Crown Range to Cardrona Traverse


  • Total distance: 15.37 km
    Max elevation: 1714 m
    Min elevation: 1079 m
    Total climbing: 1394 m
    Total descent: -865 m
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  • SUMMARY::
    After an initial climb, enjoy fast ridge travel with views over Wakatipu Basin. Half to 3/4 day ending in Cardrona carpark where you can hitch back to your car at the Crown range.

    ACCESS::
    Make sure Cardrona ski area is open so you can get a ride back from the Queenstown commuters heading home. Park at Crown range saddle.

    MONTHS::
    June – Oct. May be longer with an early snowfall or during a large snow year. A cold spring that delays melt can also extend the season.

    ROUTE::
    Start at Crown range saddle. Climb up to the west towards Mt Scott. You can miss the summit and sidle around to the saddle, which will often protect you from the SW winds which can be bitter. Once you make the ridge follow it up towards Crown Peak (1735m). Enjoy some great views before a quick skating traverse towards Mt Sale. Just before you get there, you can come onto the east aspect and make your way down and across to the low point marked 1308m. This can be a bit scratchy for snow in the lean years or at either end of the snow season. Steadily climb following the ridge taking care to get around a few rocky outcrops. It pays to stick to the western side when traversing this section as the east is often steeper and is lee to prevailing weather (snow+wind=slab avalanche). Make sure you time your arrival into Cardrona car park for about mid afternoon. that’s when there seems a steady flow of traffic to hitch a ride back round to your starting point.

    ALTERNATIVES:
    Coming down on the western side of Crown Peak. Follow the broad ridge to the NW until about 1350m, then depending on snow cover make use of the finer ridges that lead down to the crown terrace road or the Glencoe road behind Mt Beetham


  • Snowfarm 1500m looking Southeast

    Cardrona 1650m Looking North

    Cardrona
  • Helpful  signage

    Helpful signage

    Crown Peak

    Crown Peak

    Avalanche NZ- 1308m low saddle. Shady turns

    Avalanche NZ- 1308m low saddle. Shady turns


  • Below are a few weather forecast sites. It is always good to compare different sources of information when trip planning.

    METSERVICE LINK – Southern Lakes Mountain forecast


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