Riding Mt Patriarch Submitted by Tim Miller - January 2012
Mountain Bike Club members may wish to try a non technical ride up to Mount Patriarch in the Blenheim area. Four of us headed over on 28th December. Dave Lewis/ Stu Mckenzie /Tim and Olivia Miller. Easy to find where to go by googling "Lake Chalice". Just turn right prior to Wairau River on to the "North Bank Road" which heads you in the right direction. After about 15-20 minutes turn right at the Lake Chalice sign. The ride can either start at the very bottom of the hill as we did or drive up the majority of the altitude to Lake Chalice. It is possible to continue into Mount Patriarch in a 4 wheel drive. If you start at the very bottom of the hill as we did it's 26kms to the end of the 4 wheel drive track at an elevation of around 1500metres. It is possible to climb up the rocks further to 1696metres, though we left that for others. Approx 11km in from the bottom there is a car park and a sign saying "lookout". Bike the 200mtrs to the look out where there is a picnic table and fantastic views down the Wairau valley. We carried on past Lake Chalice, approx 200mtr above it looking down into it. The views changed as the road crossed from one side of a ridgeline to the other, looking West to the Nelson and Mount Richmond range, South to the Mt Tapuaenuku area and both up and down the Wairau Valley. The track/road does get rocky in parts with slips that have crossed the road but its pretty easy going. Recommmend the ride in and the massive downhill return ride.
Stu, Olivia and Dave at the highest point we reached.