SUMMARY: This is a good introductory tour and has a couple of alternative routes. Can be both a day tour or overnight at the Kirstie burn DOC hut. ACCESS: Outside of ski season months, it can be wise to check with the runholder – MacMillans +64 27 284 0152. Drive to the ‘Snowfarm’ cross country ski area via the road from the Cardrona Valley. Usual protocol of leaving any closed gates as you find them and obey any road signage regarding restrictions, chain fitting. Park up by the Lodge building. 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 the lodge building and make your way south following the DOC access markers. After about 400m the markers then dive off to the left (east) and follow a valley all the way down to the Meg river. At ‘Musterers flat’ where you first meet the river, turn left and follow it upstream to the first tight curve. In behind some snow fences, you can get across the Meg quite easily and begin your climb up the broad ridge that separates Prince burn from Kirstie burn (some also call this Kirtleburn). This route is exposed high ground with little navigation features, and at around 1700m can get close to some cornices that form lee to the prevailing NW. If the weather/visibility is poor, then you can always follow the more straight forward route by staying next to the Meg River and continuing up past the Meadow hut for a few hundred meters to where the Kirstie Burn bends up to the right. This valley is often much more protected and offers straight forward navigation up to the Kirstie burn hut. If staying overnight, there are many short tours close to the hut on simple low angled terrain. You can also head up to the Mt Pisa Summit and enjoy spectacular panorama views. Caution – often the weather, and especially the wind can be alot meaner once you leave the protection of the valley and venture up onto the higher ground.
Heading down the glen via the DOC access route
Scooting down towards Musterers flat
Early season dropping down to Meadow Hut
low angled terrain near hut
Skin track back up from a side trip run down into Prince burn
Brewing up in the Kirstie burn hut
Cornice collapse and slab avalanche, watch your step in bad visibility.