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Porcupine Ravine & Ark Ridge

Leader: Don Jepson 19 January 2023 Porcupine Ravine & Ark Ridge

This was advertised as an exploratory meet on Ark Ridge – but I had, a few days prior, found the vital link that was to form part of the ‘exploration’. No one on the meet had however covered this descent route from Ark Ridge before, so for them it was still an adventure!

I visited Ark Ridge, for the first time in 50 years of hiking, towards the end of last year and was captivated by its remoteness and unusual rock formations. It was clear from the very overgrown path and lichen covered cairns that the area had been visited in the past, but not for some time.

After ascending Porcupine Ravine and Ark Valley we turned right at the main path intersection and about 50m further on turned left onto an overgrown path on Ark Ridge (this is my given name as there is no name for this ridge on the maps even though it’s high point is marked with a height of 946m).

There are a number of excellent tea spots along the ridge, one of which was selected for our overdue tea break. From there we wound between rocks and made our way towards the end of the ridge, guided by the odd cairn, until we reached what appeared to be a dead end. However a turn to the right opens up a traverse around a ledge to a passage behind the rock face that leads to a descent gully.

An overgrown path leads down to intersect another overgrown path leading from the top of Porcupine Ravine which eventually joins the Kitchen Ravine path. For any would be explorers, be aware that this path is very overgrown and care must be exercised not to veer off it as there is thick bush on all sides!

After eventually reaching the Kitchen Ravine path we continued a short way up to the top of the ridge and took the St Michael’s Peak overgrown path to the ‘bucket’ beacon. After taking in the views we continued towards the end of the ridge and followed an off-path descent to intersect the path that runs from Echo Valley to Upper Disa Stream.

A tolerance for adventure and off-path hiking is required to enjoy this route! The 16 of us arrived safely back at our cars at about 2:30pm.

Don Jepson
Don Jepson

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