Most people would have heard of Ben Lomond as it is a very popular day walk from Queenstown by either starting at One Mile Creek or via the Skyline Access road.
However for those of you who are after a more challenging option and the opportunity to get away from the lines of day walkers then the ridge line is the way for you.
Access the beginning of the track from the end of Lochy Road in Fernhill. You will see an overgrown route which you will follow until you are out of the tree line.
This is very steep and does involve a lot of route finding, you must also be prepared for some serious bush bashing through pine trees and eventually beech forest. Once you reach the beech forest you are nearly out of the trees (2hours).
Once in the clearing you will be on a ridge that will take you up to the main ridge line to Ben Lomond (1hour).
On the top of the ridge there is a defined route to follow (1hour). Your hard work of beating your way through trees is rewarded by spectacular views of The Remarkables, Frankton arm, Lake Wakatipu, Walter and Cecil Peaks, Moke Lake and Moke Creek, Mounts Earnslaw and Aspiring.
For the return trip it is best to descend via the footpath. Initially it is a steep track, but once the saddle is reached the slope becomes gentler.
You will reach a junction to either access the gondola or to carry on through the pine forest to end up in town or back in Fernhill.
Return trip time from Fernhill back to Fernhill 6 hours.
This is an alpine environment, so care should be taken. Sturdy footwear, water, and warm and waterproof clothing are required.
Route finding skills are essential if you want to go up the ridge line to the summit.
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