This is possibly the easiest 4-point summit close to Christchurch, but like any of the foothills peaks it is exposed to high winds from the northwest or southwest, or cloud from the east.
We set off from home under heavy overcast skies hoping the summit would be clear, and so it proved as we got our first mountain views just past Sheffield. There was little wind and the snowline was only down to about 1500m so we were in for a good day.
The walk is easy and quite well-used, offering great views down to Lake Lyndon and across the Castle Hill Basin. From the top, cloud permitting, Banks Peninsula can be seen.
Propagation conditions were not as good as the weather, however. I made the required 4 QSOs on 80m but couldn’t raise anyone on 40m or 20m SSB. Out came the CW paddle and I was rewarded with a reply from N4EX in North Carolina, my first ever North American chaser.
While we were on the summit the cloud had been steadily creeping in and up from the east, and enveloped us just as we got back to the road.
ZL3/CB-536 Trig M
Height: 1251m ASL
Directions: From SH73 just west of Porters Pass (Starvation Gully) an information board marks the track start. Follow the obvious track to the top.
Time to summit: 90 min (380m ascent)
Summit marker: Trig beacon
Land access permission: Not required, Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park
Repeater access: Good into Christchurch area repeaters
Cellphone access: No Vodafone/2degrees 3G from the summit
Map: NZ Topo Map
More information: sota.org.uk