Trip Report: The Gap & Castle Hill Peak

17 March 2019 |

After a Saturday cooped up inside, I was itching to get out onto the mountains for a bit of time for reflection and exercise. Following an uneventful drive to the top of Porter’s Pass, I started the walk in the clouds which rapidly faded after a few hundred metres of ascent.

The Gap and Castle Hill Peak have long been on the list of day walks, having driven past the start an umpteenth number of times. In this instance, I was especially keen to go visit the range due to a sighting of ten fledgling kea the weekend prior.

Trig point on Castle Hill Peak Trig point on Castle Hill Peak, looking south

The Gap is a distinctive feature on the Torlesse Range. From a distance it’s easy to see the rectangular looking incision, looking somewhat like a missing tooth. Walking along the ridge-line, it seems like your average, everyday Canterbury ridge-line, until you come across an abrupt cliff with two sheer rock walls either side of a gravel slot.

I’d be interested to hear reckons as to what geomorphological processes led to the formation of The Gap—let me know if you know!

The rock wall from The Gap South rock wall of The Gap

Looking west of The Gap Looking west from The Gap

Long story short, 1586m of vertical ascent later it was ultimately a great trip in the mountains, despite the back-of-the-legs sunburn and some unintentional shubbery-bashing! No kea this time, but crossing fingers if I head up there again.

Useless stats: ~14.1km total, ~1590m ascent