Probably the most famous track in Queenstown, the Ben Lomond Track provides access to the 1,748m Ben Lomond mountain, following a ridge line from the gondola, or as I did it, from the end of the Moonlight Track.
Stunning snow and frost covered mountains were behind me as I headed up the hillside.
Spotted a bird of prey perched on a rock behind me, as I turned around to check out the view, one of the downsides of doing the track this way round. If you can get transport from Arthur’s Point would recommend doing this track in the opposite direction.
Hard to beat the combination of distant mountains and nearby Otago yellow tussock.
Particularly when combined with snow.
Made it to the Ben Lomond Saddle in time for a much needed lunch after leaving Arthur’s Point four hours earlier.
Had the time and beautiful weather to attempt Ben Lomond summit, a strenuous walk in the summer, a pretty sketchy and dangerous one in winter. Took me just over an hour to reach the summit, following the ridge line and tracks in the snow, grateful for bringing my walking poles.
Hard to top the 360 degree views from the top, perfection.
Was amazed, if by now unsurprised, at the number of people tackling the summit wearing trainers and without any poles. Clearly braver, more foolhardy, or less risk adverse than me. They certainly slipped more.
Took me an hour and twenty minutes to get down, the scariest descent I’ve ever done. On my backside, clutching onto snowgrass and aiming my poles to stop any slips isn’t something I want to repeat anytime soon. Another reason to do the track (with the Moonlight Track) from Queenstown to Arthur’s Point is to summit early, with the track is less icy, and less used. Fresh snow is far safer than ice.
Made quick work of the also slippery, if less steep and scary, descent down the ridge from the saddle, concerned about missing my flight home (had plenty of time in the end).
Relief get back to civilisation and take the gondola back down the hill, where an entertaining car, and a hot shower awaited.