Mt Torlesse

Mt Torlesse (1961m) via Kowai River

14th June 2020

Grade I, 1+

Torlesse Range,

Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park


Mt Torlesse viewed from the Kowai Valley


My legs were feeling the previous day’s climb up Mt Philistine in Arthur’s Pass National Park, so I appreciated the gentle start to the trip being a wander up the relatively flat Kowai Valley. At the base of the southwest spur the ascent began, with over 1000 vertical metres across 3km to cover before the summit. The route was obvious, following an animal- and human-worn track along the crest of the spur, and we donned crampons at around 1400m. After reaching the summit at 1961m, we had a quick lunch in the lee of the wind on the eastern side, with views stretching across the Canterbury Plains.

The group split, with some retracing our steps to descend the southwest spur, while the rest of us continued down the southeast flank on snow and scree to a saddle. As small traversing ascent around Pt1211 brought us to the top of a scree slope leading most of the way to the Kowai Valley floor. The scree running was generally excellent, though the final bit involved some fighting with matagouri. Reuniting with the rest of the group, a final wander down the valley took us back to the cars.

Looking down the Kowai Valley from the southeast flank of Mt Torlesse.

3d map of the route taken up Mt Torlesse. Created in Blender.


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