OverviewThe North Slopes route up Mt. Angelus is an easy half day return trip from the Angelus Hut in the summer. Plan a full two days for a round trip from the Upper Mt. Robert Carpark to the summit, with an overnight at the superbly situated Angelus Hut. Some easy scrambling and loose rock may be encountered on this route, and basic routefinding skills are required as the trail is frequently faint.
Getting ThereSee Mt. Angelus page for directions to St. Arnaud and description of approaches to Angelus Hut.
Route DescriptionThis route requires some limited routefinding and scrambling skills, but should be within the abilities of any fit tramper. From the Angelus Hut, head south on a poorly defined trail across the tussock towards the beautiful Hinpouri Tarns. Descend, first across the tussock and then over a large shingle fan to the tarns, which make for a fantastic (freezing) swimming break on the return trip. From the south end of the tarns, cross a small braded stream and try to locate a climbers’ trail that heads directly up the tussock slopes. The trail is faint at times, but your destination is rarely in doubt.
Continue up the slopes, reaching a desolate, rocky talus covered slope. A prominent knob looms above you, along the west ridge of Mt. Angelus. Here you have two options – either follow cairns to the climbers’ right, gaining the ridge west of the knob, or head more directly up the steep, loose scree and talus, gaining the ridge east of the knob. Both routes work fine – if you choose to follow the cairns a little easy class 3 scrambling might be required to pass the knob. The more direct route is loose, and some may find it unpleasant.
From the ridge, continue up the path of least resistance up the face through the steepening scree and talus towards the summit. The loose rock is unpleasant, but a great view awaits at the top across the rocky peaks of Nelson Lakes. Descent is via the same route. The climbers’ trail seems easier to locate and follow on the descent. A nice swim at either the Hinapouri Tarns or Lake Angelus should serve to complete this fun climb.
Essential GearIn summertime after the snow has melted, only hiking gear is necessary. As this climb is accessed from the Angelus Hut, bring standard hut gear for spending the night (including gas and stove) and two hut tickets.
For winter and early spring climbs, snow/ice gear (including ice axe, crampons, rope, pickets, ice screws) may be required, as well as snowshoes or skis for access to the hut.
External LinksDepartment of Conservation
South Island Weekend Tramps book