Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

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Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby tasswander » Sat 13 Jun, 2020 7:18 pm

Over the coming weekends I will be going down the West coast to do a series of walks around Queenstown. I was hoping that some fellow walkers had some times of climbing My Tyndall, Jukes, Darwin and Owen. And any reports on track quality and the like
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Re: Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby north-north-west » Sat 13 Jun, 2020 8:06 pm

Owen is straightforward - road up to the end (don't take the sideroad to the left when it forks), up the short access track and then cross country around the first set of rocks to the summit. Be careful on the descent as there's a lot of loose gravel on the steeper bits of road and it can be like walking on marbles.
It's been a few years since I did Darwin, but that's just a matter of following vehicle tracks and then picking up one end or another of the loop track to the top. When I was up there the eastern side from the carpark at the end of the vehicle track had been recently cut and taped so it was easy to follow. The western side was more overgrown, but still followable.
Tyndall has a clear track through the scrub from the access road, then cairns to either the lakes or the summit. It's possibly the shortest and easiest of them. Can be boggy on the flats and the first bit of the climb can get a little overgrown but it's usually easy to follow.
Jukes . . . been too long. Good long daywalk to cover the whole system, but that's better in summer when the days are longer; you'd be pushing to do all that in winter. I've been up there three times and always had trouble finding the lower line of the route, and always lost it at least twice on the way to Proprietary. Once you're up, it's open across to the helipad.
Times depend on your walking speed. All can be done as daywalks, but this time of year you'd want to start early. Abels book gives ascent times as roughly two hours for Tyndall and Owen, three hours for Jukes.
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Re: Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby tasswander » Sun 14 Jun, 2020 9:14 am

Thanks heaps.
We will hopefully be staying the weekend down in Queenstown later in the month and I'll try to pick up as many as I can. The info is invaluable
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Re: Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby Tortoise » Sun 14 Jun, 2020 3:13 pm

Re Jukes - there are a couple of options for the descent to the small saddle just before Proprietary Peak that is mentioned in the Abels. If you head straight for the drop-off to the saddle, there's a bit of a scramble down the rock that some people have turned back at when it's wet. If you back-track a short distance (? 30 m ish), there's an easier descent. Very steep with move-y stones, but straightforward. I think the time it'll take for Jukes will be largely determined by whether or not you find the old tracks lower down. Lovely mountain. :D
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Re: Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby Tortoise » Sun 14 Jun, 2020 3:23 pm

And re Darwin - I've only been past it en route to Sorell. A Serious 4wd-er (!) got us up to the plateau in less time than the walk would have taken. Not sure if the road is still open or not. If so, you'd really need to know what you're doing. A couple of friends walked up there a year or two ago, and got a bit confused by the several track junctions on the plateau. In good visibility, or with a GPS, it shouldn't be a problem finding the right one to take you towards Darwin.
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Re: Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby pazzar » Mon 15 Jun, 2020 5:41 pm

Re Jukes - It was a few years ago that I went up, but I parked at the Mt Huxley lookout and walked about 200m up the road. From here there was a cut line straight towards the ridge where you picked up tapes and cairns. Not sure if the cut line still exists, but once on the cairned route it was pretty easy to follow. I second NNW's suggestion of doing the whole group in a day. With an early start, it could be done in winter - if you move quickly. I managed to do all the Jukes Peaks and Mt Owen in about 9 hours in summer, but I am known for moving pretty quickly. If you have the time, spend a night up on the Jukes Plateau. I kind of wish I did!
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Re: Jukes, Darwin, Owen and Tyndall.

Postby danman » Tue 16 Jun, 2020 9:17 pm

Owen - instead of walking up the road (which is very boring), there's a slightly more interesting route starting from horsetail falls. Park at the horsetail falls carpark, follow it along the new wooden platforms to the end. You can then see an old track which continue on to the top of the falls. Cross over the creek at the top of the falls and follow the old king billy poles up. A bit of boulder climbing but very easy and more interesting trail. Maybe 3 hours up and back.

Tyndall - I think I took about 5 hours. When you get to the plateau it's worth heading east to the climbers cave and cliffs above lake Huntley. Very spectacular. You can then return via the Tyndall summit. Expect the starting section of the track to be wet and muddy.

Jukes - 3 to 4 hours. I'd suggest parking at the lookout for mt Huxley (the Queenstown side before coming over the top of the saddle). Walk up the road to near the high point of the saddle and hopefully you'll see a cairn on the right. For the first part I couldn't find a track but head straight up and go left around the rocks/steep bits. Once you get up a bit there's an easier to follow track, or at least a few cairns. Keep an eye out for the weird butterfly net in the gully.

Darwin I haven't done yet, unfortunately! Let us know how it goes.

Also it probably goes without saying, but you'll be pretty lucky to get any views off any of them this time of year. if you can get a good forecast then go for it. If it's windy in particular, I wouldn't bother. It'll be 100km/h+ near the summits and not much fun.
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