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Larapinta Trail near Alice Springs


  • this is an iconic 223km long scenic mountainous desert walking trail near Alice Springs in Central Australia / Northern Territory
  • it is best walked in the southern hemisphere Winter to avoid the very hot sunny days but night temperatures can drop below zero deg C and it can be windy and dusty

12 sections of the walking trail

  • Glen Helen resort offers transfer and food drop supplies to assist walkers on the trail
  • Alice Springs Telegraph Station to Simpsons Gap - 2 days, 23.8km medium
  • Simpsons Gap to Jay Creek - 2 days 24.5km medium
  • Jay Creek to Standley Chasm - 1 day 13.6km hard
  • Standley Chasm to Birthday Waterhole - 2 days 17.7km very hard
  • Birthday Waterhole to Hugh Gorge - 2 days 16km difficult
  • Hugh Gorge to Ellery Creek - 2 days 31.2km medium
  • Ellery Creek to Serpentine Gorge - 1 day 13.8km, hard
  • Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet Dam - 1 day 13.8km, hard
  • Serpentine Chalet Dam to Ormiston Gorge - 2days 28.6km, hard
  • Ormiston Gorge to Finke River = 1 day, medium 9.1km
  • Finke River to Redbank Gorge - 2 days to cover the 26 km, mainly easy but one steep climb
  • Redbank Gorge to Mount Sonder and back - hard 15.8 kilometre climb, 6hr return

Tent selection

  • there are several issues on this trail that need to be considered in choosing a tent:
    • pegging will often be problematic thus free-standing tents are preferred as they can be used without full pegging
    • it will likely be windy, dusty and cold at night (< 10degC and potentially sub-zero with considerable additional chill factor)
      • the fine dust may jam the zips
      • cold windy conditions would make a full fabric inner tent a better option and this would also help reduce dust entry inside (but not eradicate fine dust), the downside is that these are a little heavier
      • strong winds require a fairy wind resistant tent as you will often be in quite exposed sites - there are no forests to act as wind breaks!
      • rain is uncommon but may occur - winter rainfall is usually low
    • the ground is quite rocky and sharp in places and a protective ground sheet is worth while
    • many sections are hard to difficult ascent/descents so a light pack will make this easier
  • the relative difficulty of finding suitable pegging down sites for trekking pole tents make these less favoured for this hike although creative use of rocks can make them work
  • a 2 door tent provides some risk mitigation if one of the door zips becoming unusable (you may be stuck inside if you only have one door and it fails!), and provides much better ventilation options if it is a warm evening
  • the general consensus is a wind resistant light freestanding hiking tent as being best suited
  • examples of suitable strong wind winter tents include:
    • if sharing weight between 2 hikers:
    • solo hikers:
      • ZPacks Duplex Classic DCF single wall 2P tent (this version has no zips on the fly doors - there is another version with zips) combined with the Duplex Freestanding Flex kit = 862g excl. stakes but is expensive at ~$US849
      • Zpacks Free Zip single wall 2P tent freestanding, poles are thicker and stronger than poles used on the Duplex Flex shelter and the fly provides better wind protection. All zippers on the tent have been designed to allow the sliders to easily be replaced in the field. Two replacement sliders are included with the tent. 896g $US899 (plus add the 30g $US119 DCF ground sheet for added protection)
      • Durston X-Mid 1 solid dual wall full fabric trek pole tent - along with the Duplex, this is a favourite amongst through trail hikers throughout the world - if you are able to secure this with rocks then it is worthy of consideration for its storm-proof capability and light weight 905g- but it may be tricky to set up in some places
      • Mont Moondance 1P FN dual wall full fabric 1.5kg
australia/nt/larapinta.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/17 01:25 by gary1

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