Purple Hill

Sunday 9 Feb 2014

Our day was grey until we crested Porters Pass where we emerged into glorious sunshine. We dropped into reception at Flock Hill to tell them we’d be exiting from our walk at 2:30pm.

We had permission from Craigieburn Station to walk on Purple Hill. We left a car at Flock Hill and at the top end of Lake Pearson and set off to the north side of Purple Hill. The glorious sunshine became the cruel sun as we steamed up the steep slope. We needed lots of stops along the way so after 2hrs we hadn’t gone far.

At the 1400m mark the spur takes on a better slope but the final 280m still looked daunting. Time was getting on so we didn’t spend long admiring the mighty views all around. Through a gap in the terrain we could see Crow Glacier and Mt Rolleston. We moved down from 1680m and on to well-rounded 1518m Mt Saint Bernard, then south along a nice ridge. The spur pointing to the fan formed by Saint Bernard Stream seems like the logical exit but it got steep and bony and ends in matagouri. Dan was not amused. It was 6pm before we got onto the Flock Hill track and another half hour before we reached the lodge.

This hike would be better in cooler weather and with some snow to cover the gravelly slopes. We were:

Bill Templeton, Gavin Chalk, Joy Schroeder, Geoff & Mary Korver, Barry McKessar, Dan Pryce and Kerry Moore (KM)