Alpine - 55 routes - avg. grade 1 0 - 2.75 3+

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Access: More useful information in http://remotehuts.co.nz/

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

Showing all routes 40 routes total

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Alpine - 40 routes - avg. grade 1 0 - 2.75 3+

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Access: For a West Coast valley the Whitcombe River is reasonably well tracked and hutted. It leads to the Main Divide at Whitcombe Pass and is more often used to finish than start an alpine trip, but can be used to access Mt Evans from the Wilkinson Valley or the Bracken Snowfield from the Barron or Sale Glaciers. On the true right of the river, marked routes from Frew and Price Flat Huts give access to Main Divide peaks around Mathias Pass or along to Bonds Peak. Road to Whitcombe Pass The road to Hokitika Gorge via Kokatahi Flats is signposted. Just before the gorge carpark, a side road continues further up valley to a locked gate at about J33 482026 / BV18 382 410, and continues as a 4wd track to the riverbank 3 km further on. From here, a maintained DOC track mixed with sections of riverbed travel leads up valley to a cage crossing to the true left and Rapid Creek Hut, (DOC, four bunks, stove). Rapid Creek can quickly cut access up and down the valley after rain and needs to be considered as a gatekeeper both into and out of the Whitcombe Valley. Time : Hokitika Gorge Road to Rapid Creek Hut, 3 hrs Rapid Creek to Frew Hut From Rapid Creek the track to Frew Hut continues on the true left, crossing on a bridge to the true right above the Collier Gorge. The track stays on the true right from here all the way to the head of the valley. The new Frew Hut (DOC, 10 bunks, stove) is at J34 506935 / BV18 406 319. Frew Creek is a big tributary but has a good wide gravel crossing. Time : Rapid Creek Hut to Frew Hut, 4 hrs Frew Hut to Price Flat Hut From Frew Hut to Price Flat Hut the track begins easily on forested terraces, but it is slower going on steeper slippy country further up. The old Price Flat Hut, on an open flat, was built by CMC and West Coast deerstalkers and is now historic. Price Flat Hut (DOC, six bunks, stove) is up on a bush terrace. Vincent Creek is bridged. The bridge over Cataract Creek swept away in 2009 has been replaced by DOC with a new truss bridge. Time : Frew Hut to Price Flat Hut, 6 hrs Price Flat Hut to Neave Hut From Price Flat Hut to Neave Hut the track sidles and climbs through forest and slips, sometimes returning to the riverbed. Cave Camp sits by small river flats opposite the Wilkinson Valley. The view of Mt Evans from Cave Camp rock bivouac is an imposing sight : it has been celebrated since the 1890s, when Charlie Douglas sketched it and J Parks photographed it, and now graces the cover of this guide. Sadly, the plaque on the bivvy rock is to Norman Dowling, killed returning from the second ascent of the mountain in December 1937. Above Cave Camp, the track is in good condition to Neave Hut, (DOC, six bunks, stove). Time : Price Flat Hut to Neave Hut, 5–6 hrs Neave Hut to Whitcombe Pass The route from Neave Hut to Whitcombe Pass is a mixed bag. Initially the track is good, but shortly above the Gateway it fades at the riverbank by Snag Creek. Stay on the riverbank as much as possible ; the scrub can be thick. In low river conditions, crossing will help. The true right bank is slow but negotiable if necessary all the way. The pass comprises tussock, boulders and gravel, with campsites at the 1220m contour either side and a tarn and poor rock biv just to the south of the pass itself. Lauper Stream offers reasonable travel down to Lauper Bivouac (DOC, two bunks) in the Rakaia. Time : Neave Hut to Whitcombe Pass, 4 hrs

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

Showing all routes 1 route total 1947 m

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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From Harcourt Creek
Grade 1
Approached sidling the northern slopes of a spur off Button Peak.

Showing all routes 3 routes total 1968 m

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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From the West
Grade .75
An overgrowing but followable marked route leads up from Price Flat Hut to the bushline. Beyond, reasonably easy slopes lead to the summit.
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From Pt 1803 metres
Grade 1.25
Head across shingle then snow in the head of Cataract Creek and climb rock bluffs up to the rugged ridge.

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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Traverse
Grade .75
From a tussock campsite to the north-west, (where there was an old hunters’ camp) the crags can be approached up a long shingle slide to a col on the ridge overlooking upper Vincent Creek. Derwent Crags are very rocky and rugged, but quite good travelling along the crest. The ridge then provides easy access to Mt Tarleton.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2111 m

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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From the West
Grade .75
An easy walk on gravel, either up the north-west ridge or from the south-west.

Showing all routes 1 route total 2144 m

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P259 0

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

FW
From the West
Grade 1
A scramble from the west.

Showing all routes 4 routes total 2340 m

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Parkd

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

NWR
North West Ridge
Grade 1
From near the Stag–Reid Creek forks (J34 380835 / BW18 280 219) follow a narrow rib up onto a tussock plateau where there is a tarn and campsites at the 1200-metre contour. Continue up the spur, deviating south at 1700 metres across a creek to a more open spur that rejoins the original spur further up. Continue over Pt 2186 metres and up to the summit. The view into the Wilkinson and up to Mt Evans is spectacular.
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From Ivory Lake Hut
Grade 1
Descend from the hut to the forks at J34 404835 / BW18 304 219, cross Stag Creek and climb out onto the ridge to the south. Follow this up to a basin at about the 1800-metre contour, then head south-east up the snow basin to the summit. Glacial recession means some have found it necessary, due to crevasses, to sidle to the North West Ridge from just below the 1800-metre contour, reaching the ridge itself at about 2060 metres and then climbing over Pt 2186 metres to the summit.
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East Ridge
Grade 2
From Seddon Creek gain the East Ridge and follow snowfields and rock. The southern slopes of Park Dome have extensive crevassed snowfields with some significant buttresses of reasonablelooking rock.
SR
South Ridge
Grade 1.25
Gain Pt 1934 metres on the Bloomfield Range from either Reid Creek or the County, then a couloir on the County side leads eventually to Pt 2196 metres. The ridge is narrow to Pt 2216 metres, then sidle the head of the Reid Creek snow basin to overlook the McKenzie Glacier. This point can also be reached by scrambling up loose rock from McKenzie Col. Accessing McKenzie Col from either the County or the Wilkinson can be easy enough in spring snow, but both sides are subject to stone fall and schrunds can cut access from the Wilkinson. The South Ridge itself presents few problems, with a chimney providing the solution to a last line of minor bluffs.

Showing all routes 4 routes total 2035 m

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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Pahlow Ridge
Grade .75
From Price Basin Hut cross the stream, climb directly up past the last stragglers of scrub, then head for the crest of Pahlow Ridge beyond Mt Van Redan. A simple climb on tussock then shingle.
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East Ridge
Grade 0
From Wilkinson Hut via Pt 1036 metres.
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From Wilkinson River
Grade 1.25
‘Up the Wilkinson and thence up a side creek from which they worked on to a spur up to the main ridge and so to the top’ : probably Walcott Creek and then the south-east ridge.
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South Ridge
Grade 0
Gained from Seddon Stream. Descent was via a couloir back into Seddon Stream.
Alpine - 23 routes - avg. grade 2 0 - 2.75 3+
Whitpass

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Access: From Smyth Hut, a roughly marked track leads up the true left of the Wanganui to the Evans Vane junction, sometimes on the riverbed, sometimes in scrubby forest nearby. Vane has a dodgy crossing between big boulders a short way up from the river, and a safer crossing about 20mins further up on a gravel bottom. To continue up the Evans, follow the true left, sidling in open scrub along the banks as necessary. Travel is generally straight forward, leading to extensive gravel flats and campsites in the upper valley. Moraine boulders lead more steeply up the Evans Glacier. In low flow Vane Stream can be crossed fairly easily near the junction with the Evans River, but there is a safer crossing with a gravel bottom between boulders, about 30mins upstream. Travel is reasonably okay on the true left of the Evans River, with little scrub-bashing. Bracken Snowfield The Bracken offers good glacier travel from the Ramsay Glacier to Full Moon Saddle and, in spring and summer, good access down to the Evans and Wanganui Rivers. Alternative routes on and off the snowfield include the Katzenbach Ridge, giving access to McKenzie Col, Seddon Stream and the Waitaha ; and the Barron Glacier and nearby Sale Glacier leading towards Whitcombe Pass.

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

Alpine - 9 routes - avg. grade 2 0 - 2.75 3+
WhitcombeWhitcome1 0Whitcombe2

Southern Alps Ka Tiritiri O Te Moana. Mt Whitcombe is a significant climb from any direction, being the highest peak on or west of the Main Divide in the region. Even the easier routes from the west, across the Leeb Glacier or via Snow Dome, should not be taken for granted. Several parties have had difficulty getting off the peak on this side in mist and poor weather. Slabs tilted to the west and crevassed glaciers perched above huge bluffs characterise the western side of the Whitcombe Massif. From this side, the peaks are usually approached from the Bracken Snowfield, Evans River, or Vane Stream and the Hazard Glacier. The Buttress makes a fine sight from Smyth Hut, with ice-serac teeth crowning parts of it.

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

Ln
Leviathan
Grade 5
1300m This was the first winter ascent of the Ramsay Face of the Whitcombe massif and, given good ice conditions, may be the route on the face least prone to debris fall. It is a 1300-metre climb taking a line just left of the Original Route. Follow and link snow shelves with three ice steps, the third one being the crux. The climbing is direct until a slight jog to the right near the top. Finish just right of the low peak, although a hard direct finish may be available.
OR
Original Ramsay face Route
Grade 5
From the lower reaches of the Ramsay moraine the route takes a fairly prominent buttress running directly to the low peak of Mt Whitcombe. Start on easy scree ledges which become progressively steeper with height – the last 60 metres below the summit is almost vertical. The rock is extremely rotten and subsequent rock fall has altered the route. This line has not been repeated due to its objective danger.
MP
Middle Peak Route
Grade 0
From the Ramsay Glacier, take the obvious loose rock rib leading directly to the middle peak summit. Another route subject to constant rock fall.
NE
North East Ridge
Grade 2.25
The original route on Mt Whitcombe was first climbed on what was planned as a bad weather reconnaissance. To reach the route from Erewhon Col, either climb over Erewhon Peak, staying more or less on the ridge, or sidle and drop down to the glacier (to about 2000 metres) on the north-west side of the Erewhon Col–Erewhon Peak ridge. Follow a glacial lead up to the col at 2330 metres between Mt Whitcombe and Erewhon Peak. The first part of the North East Ridge is a short, exposed, narrow arête, which can be climbed directly or bypassed on rock to the west. From here, stay on the crest of the ridge to the summit. The climbing is straightforward and the rock is generally okay. Descend the same way, or via Menace Gap, or over Snow Dome (can be tricky with no snow coverage).
LWs
Low Peak, West side
Grade 1.75
Accessed from the head of the Lornty Glacier.
MWs
Middle Peak, West side
Grade 1.75
Accessed from the head of the Leeb Glacier. The first ascent party approached from Erewhon Col via the north ridge of Snow Dome, climbing the high peak of Whitcombe before dropping onto the Leeb Glacier for a simple snow and rock climb to the Middle Peak.
LG
High Peak, From Vane Stream via Leeb Glacier
Grade 1.75
Above the Essex flat in Vane Stream, continue on the true left. Go a little way up the Wilberg tributary before climbing the spur between the Wilberg and the stream draining Pt 1811 metres to the 1420-metre contour, then sidle into the Hazard Valley. Climb the snow slope leading to the Dainty Glacier, cross the Dainty to 1880 metres and gain the rock rib north. It is best to descend to the Lornty as soon as is practical. To gain the Leeb Glacier, aim for snow slopesbetween a loose rock pinnacle and a rock bluff extending up to the Divide. From the Leeb, the west ridge of Snow Dome can be accessed at 2240 metres or, more normally, climb snow slopes between Snow Dome and Whitcombe. A schrund usually cuts this slope off later in summer, and other schrunds appear on the ridge itself, but both peaks are otherwise easily accessible.
vSD
From Evans River via Snow Dome
Grade 1.75
From J34 374757 / BW18 275 140, head east up a dry gravel stream to the 1800-metre contour and continue to the ridge due north of Snow Dome. This ridge can also be accessed at 1840 metres from a glacier under Erewhon Peak. Diagonal back south-west through a minor band of bluffs at J34 397755 / BW18 297 139 to snow slopes and continue to Snow Dome as conditions dictate. From Snow Dome a broad snow ridge (often cut with slots later in the season) leads down and up to Whitcombe.
NF
North Face
Grade 2.75
Climbed when the face was snow-covered. Begin in the left-hand snow cone and climb steep snow gullies to finish closer to the high peak.
Erewhon

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

NE
North East Ridge
Grade 1.75
First climbed en route to first ascent of Mt Whitcombe’s North East Ridge. Follow the rock ridge from Erewhon Col to the summit.
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Ramsay Face
Grade 0
Follow a couloir to the left of the lowest rock buttress, take a diagonal traverse and eventually reach easy snow slopes to the summit.
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West Flank
Grade 1.25
From the unnamed glacier between the Bracken and Snow Dome, a gravel shelf leads diagonally up to the wide, flat col 300 metres north-east of Erewhon Peak. A moderate snow shoulder leads on to the peak. Alternatively, from the unnamed glacier follow up the glacial shelf north of Mt Whitcombe and follow the west ridge, sidling on the northern slopes as necessary.
Alpine - 8 routes - avg. grade 3 0 - 2.75 3+
Evans3 0Evans2 0Evans4

Mt Evans stands dominant at the head of the Wanganui, Waitaha, and Whitcombe valleys, while the Bracken Snowfield to the south-east, at or above 2000 metres altitude, looks into the Wanganui, Rakaia and Whitcombe Valleys.

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

EF
East Face
Grade 3.25
350m Reach the Shelf Glacier via a narrow gully direct from the Bracken between 2100 and 2200 metres. The East Face is quite a feature despite its relatively small dimensions. Climb the rib (obvious from other peaks in the region but less so from below) generally on or near the crest to the low peak at 2609 metres. The first ascent gave sustained and tenuous climbing in deep snow, with occasional ice strands through rock bands. Descent was by the big gully in the middle of the face (which may be the quickest and most direct route up the mountain, snow conditions allowing). In summer this gully is subject to rock fall. Other lines on the face remain to be climbed
WR
West Ridge
Grade 2.25
Gain Red Lion Col and then cross shingle and find a line through the bluffs in gullies on the County side. Above, long easier snow slopes lead up the ridge. The ridge then narrows, offering an exposed scramble on snow or very loose rock to the summit. This summit ridge (called the Southern Cornice in past accounts) can be tricky under snow, with significant cornices.
ER
East Ridge, ‘The Golden Road’
Grade 3
This route offers a direct approach from the Bracken Snowfield, though the rock is quite poor in places. A snow arête gives way to a narrow ridge of loose rock and pinnacles, another snow arête and then some gendarmes. A variation, keeping to snow on the south side before the crux, has also been used. The section from the East Ridge up steep, loose rock flanks to the West Ridge is normally the crux.
NER
North East Ridge
Grade 3
A classic route. Reach the Shelf Glacier from the Bracken as described in East Face. Alternatively, from the Wilkinson Valley, climb the lower section of the ridge keeping to the McKenzie Glacier side. There are five rock steps and gendarmes, mainly on firm rock, and where the climbing becomes too severe alternatives usually exist on the McKenzie Glacier side. The final rock section leads to the junction with the North West Ridge and a traverse over the north summit to reach the high peak.
NF
North Face
Grade 3
A variation climbs up the North Face, reaching the North East Ridge high up. ‘Good rock climbing in places on the North Face. Very loose rock to the summit and off.’
OR
Original Route
Grade 2.75
From the upper McKenzie Glacier, climb rock slabs, snow slopes and couloirs on the North Face to join the North West Ridge at about 2400 metres.
NWR
North West Ridge
Grade 3
Access to MacKenzie Col is best from the Wilkinson side, earlier in the season. On the County side the couloir is narrow and more subject to rock fall. Begin up steep and fairly rotten rock, passing a prominent finger of rock on the McKenzie side and a rock tower on the County side. Three rock steps are more challenging, particularly the second one. Less than 100 metres from the junction with the North East Ridge, the ridge steepens and the first ascent party was forced to bypass this up a snow gully to the climber’s right. Loose rock leads to the high peak (or sidle well down on steep snow to avoid cornices).
CF
County Face
Grade 2.75
From the upper County névé, negotiate big schrunds to access the main gully at about J34 411783 / BW18 311 167. Generally the route follows up the middle of the face with a mix of loose and reasonable rock, snow patches and a long snow couloir between two rock ribs. Loose rock to the right completes the climb, reaching the summit ridge about 30 metres left of the high peak. Not excessively difficult climbing but sustained and moderately exposed. The route has variable greywacke, best approached when there is still snow in the gullies.
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Katzenbach Ridge
Grade 0
Katzenbach Ridge has been used since the 1930s to access the upper Wilkinson River from the Bracken Snowfield. Sidle onto the northern flank of the ridge from the edge of the Bracken, passing through a bluffline at the 2020 metre contour and continue across to the snowfield north of Pt 2068 metres. This is the easiest route. Alternatively, on a calm day the rotten rock and gravel of the upper Katzenbach Ridge itself can be followed, before dropping 20 metres off it to the north down steep gravel onto easier travel. The ridge crest further towards Pt 2068 metres becomes gnarly and impractical. Both routes then converge to descend scree and snowfield, curving down to the right over a rib to the major gravel gully that drains from Pt 1853 metres. Travel in the lower part of this has deteriorated with erosion, but routes can be found down to the lake edge. Watch for rock fall. The lake can be sidled at water level on both sides, but the true right is less subject to falling debris. On the true right, cross the outlet then the low open ground west of Agfa Knob to Seddon Creek. The rock shelters marked here (Bevernage Biv) are hardly worth the effort unless it’s raining and your tent leaks. They are small and a scrub bash to get to. Seddon Creek leads to the Waitaha. It’s worth noting that traversing the Wilkinson River down to the Whitcombe is difficult, slow and not a good route. If used, stay on the true left. River boulders are huge and travel arduous, and an alternative is to sidle back in the bush on deer trails, which are numerous, particularly around Walcott Creek. At the 800-metre contour in Walcott Creek there is a very good bivvy under a huge rock. Continue along the true left of the Whitcombe, with a couple of scrubby sidles, to the Wilkinson Hut and bridge.
BG
Barron Glacier
Grade 0
Used as access to the Bracken Snowfield from Whitcombe Pass. Despite glacial recession this route remains direct and efficient, but it follows a steep and narrow glacier and parties should be prepared for crevasses. In a lean snow year or from about February, schrunds may make the route impractical. David Barron, Chief Surveyor of Westland, advocated for a stockroad over Whitcombe Pass in 1895. The col at the head of the Barron Glacier has been referred to as Kitchinghams Col.
SG
Sale Glacier
Grade 0
The Sale Glacier is used similarly for access to the upper Ramsay Glacier and Erewhon Col, and is probably more reliable and easier than the Barron. Don’t be tempted to sidle up onto the moraine wall from Lauper Stream or Whitcombe Pass as eroding gravels cut access into the valley. Follow up the stream and then moraine onto the white ice. Higher, at an ice bulge, the best route is usually on the true right, then easy snow leads to Pt 2051 metres and the upper Ramsay Glacier. Some prefer the Sale or Barron routes to sidling steep collapsing moraine along the fringes of Ramsay Lake. George Sale was appointed commissioner of the West Canterbury Goldfields in 1865.

Showing all routes 2 routes total 1985 m

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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Mikonui Spur
Grade 1
Head up the Mikonui Valley to the Mikonui–Dickson confluence and pick up the locally maintained marked route a short way up the Dickson River. Follow this presently overgrown permolat track up to the tops and Mikonui Spur Biv (DOC, two-person). The ridge above to Mt Bowen offers reasonable travel with steep sections in the lower part. Higher up, an easy sidle on the south-west side avoids the more difficult ridge crest.
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South (Sentinel) Ridge to Noisy Basin and the Whitcombe Valley
Grade 1
Mt Bowen can be traversed with packs to the Whitcombe Valley. From Mt Bowen, the rocky spur out past Sentinel Peak offers good travel down to J34 460909 / BV18 360 293, where there may still be an old marker post. Easy tussock travel then leads left to Noisy Stream and Basin. From the 1170-metre contour, leave Noisy Stream and sidle on the true left across benches and basins to J34 474922 / BV18 374 306. Descend the spur over a lower knoll directly down to join the marked route leading to the Whitcombe Valley. The lightly-marked route is followable with care, but deteriorates on forested flats near the river.
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Frew Bivouac to Whitcombe Pass
Grade 0
Taking a good three days, this transalpine route traverses the Main Divide mostly along western slopes, offering great views into the Mathias Valley and ranges west of the Whitcombe, including Mt Evans. From Frew Bivouac head upstream to the south-west, sidling further west at 1460 metres onto the ridge at J34 540901 / BV19 440 285. These basins across to Pt 1644 metres are gorgeous. The descent into Harcourt Creek begins at J34 536897 / BV18 436 280 and appears steep, but isn’t too bad. Reach Harcourt Creek at J34 533891 / BV18 433 275 and climb out south onto a flatter shoulder of the ridge off Button Peak. Sidle south into the stream off Kea Pass. Cross Kea Pass to the bench and valley east and south of Mt Split Open, and follow the Main Divide up to Mt Young. A sidle on the eastern side is necessary at pinnacles, but a col beyond gives easy access to the Divide again. Gravel slopes lead to the summit. Descend, sidling Whitcombe slopes to a narrow gully that breaks a wall coming off Mt McWhirter at J34 505838 / BW18 405 222. Sidle to another bluff line that can be descended at J34 501829 / BW18 401 213, and continue south. There are some interesting rock crevasses at about J34 499826 / BW18 399 210. Another bluff line can be passed at J34 498818 / BW18 397 202 leading into Bond Creek. Late in summer there is a sheltered gravel flat with water in a basin at the glacier snout (J34 502812 / BW18 402 196) that would be a great campsite in reasonable weather. From this campsite, sidle at 1900 metres past Laws Peak, descending under the big rock ridge off Mt Neave at 1640 metres, then head back up to cross Neave Creek at 1800 metres. In late summer, much of the section from Laws Peak south has few redeeming features other than the views : there is lots of gravel, inconvenient little climbs and descents, and little or no water.
Alpine - 15 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75

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Access: The hut and track network here, thanks to DOC and groups such as Permolat, is as good now as it has been for 20 years. This is a great place for friends of mixed abilities to plan a tramping and climbing adventure with opportunities for both. And there are hot pools. The standard access into the upper Hokitika and Mungo Valleys is via Frew or Toaroha Saddle. There are also several higher passes over the Main Divide. The Hokitika Valley below the Mungo– Hokitika confluence is untracked and rugged, with thick vegetation. People paddle the river, but few travel it on foot.

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

Alpine - 5 routes - avg. grade 0 0 - 2.75

Separating the Hokitika and Toaroha Valleys, the Diedrichs Range offers a traverse on tussock, rock, snow and gravel tops. While travel is mostly easy, bluffs and narrow arêtes intercede in places. Routes past these spots are described. Basic access routes are covered below, but others exist.

Access: http://remotehuts.co.nz/

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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Squall Peak
Grade 0
A marked route onto the northern Diedrichs Range leads up from Cedar Flats to Squall Peak. Maintained by Permolat, it begins on the true left of Percy Creek about 20 metres up from the Toaroha River at Cedar Flats. It is followable with care but partly overgrown in places.
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Gerhardt Spur
Grade 0
This can be a useful spur when planning a round trip along ranges from the Hokitika roadend. A long and overgrowing marked route (which DOC plans to re-cut) leads from J33 496023 / BV18 396 407 in Diedrichs Creek, up Gerhardt Spur to Gerhardt Bivouac (DOC, two bunks). The spur leads easily on to Jumble Top. To access the Diedrichs Range going south, descend from Gerhardt Bivvy to the forks at J33 552019 / BV19 453 403 and climb up the gully to the range beside Pt 1610 metres.
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Mullins Creek
Grade 0
An old, intermittently maintained (by volunteers) track leads up to Mullins Hut from the Toaroha Valley. Mullins Creek enters the Toaroha about an hour up from Cedar Flat as a spectacular waterfall. Cross the bouldery river, okay in ordinary flow, and find the track start 50 metres downstream from the Mullins junction and about 30 metres up a small side creek on the true right of the creek. The track climbs and sidles into a side creek, goes up the creek for 20 metres, and then climbs out on the true right to a small scrubby ridge. Beyond, it sidles into a creek, goes up that for 50 metres, and then climbs out on the true right and follows a ridge over a knoll into Mullins Basin. The Diedrichs Range is accessible up slopes to the north-west of Mullins Hut, between two small creeks where scrub is minimal. Slopes above lead to the range near the basin saddle (where there is a cairn) between Pts 1610 and 1780 metres. To descend from Mt Ross to Mullins Hut, drop into the basin west of Pt 1251 metres and pick up tape in a creek at about J34 571989 / BV19 471 373 to avoid thick scrub on the spur.
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Toaroha Saddle
Grade 0
A well-maintained track leads up to Toaroha Saddle and Toaroha Saddle Bivvy (DOC, two bunks) from the Toaroha and Mungo sides
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Diedrichs Range traverse
Grade 0
From below Squall Peak, sidle through basins east of Jumble Top. Some looking around will be necessary to bypass bluffs, particularly on the south side of Jumble Creek but routes exist. The range itself at the top of this bluffline is also steep and exposed. An alternative bypass exists via upper Diedrichs Creek and a fork at 1140 metres, returning to the range just north of Pt 1610 metres. More detail can be found if needed on remotehuts.co.nz. So long as the weather is fine, the range is now easily traversed over Mt O’Connor to Pt 1718 metres. The range crest gets gnarly between here and Mt Ross but difficulties can be bypassed via Darby Creek. Either climb out of Darby Creek at the 1400-metre contour to reach the north-west ridge of Mt Ross at 1560 metres or go further down and climb up to Pt 1524 metres. From Mt Ross, descend along the tussock range to Toaroha Saddle, a natural place to finish the traverse. Bert Cropp, D Heinz (climbed Mt O’Connor from the Toaroha, the first known ascent), April 1935

Separating the Toaroha and Kokatahi Valleys, the Toaroha Range offers a traverse of tussock, snow and gravel tops. Currently the Pinnacle Bivouac access track onto the northern range is overgrowing, but the range itself offers generally good travel to Zit Saddle and beyond. Basic access routes are covered, but others exist.

Access: http://remotehuts.co.nz/

Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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Adventure Ridge and Zit Saddle
Grade 0
A short distance past the upper swingbridge at Cedar Flats in the Toaroha Valley, a marked route leads up to Adventure Bivvy (DOC, two persons). Beyond the bivvy, follow a route that is marked and cut through scrub in places and mostly poled over to the forks at J33 609022 / BV19 509 406. It then continues south-west up to the Toaroha Range a few hundred metres north of Zit Saddle. The poles lead down into the stream draining the saddle and on to forks in the upper Kokatahi Valley. The recently relocated Top Kokatahi Hut is just upstream near the main river on the true left (J33 623010 / BV19 523 394).
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Yeats Ridge and Crystal Bivouac
Grade 0
The track down Yeats Ridge is regularly maintained by polytech students on the West Coast and provides another option off the range. Descending off the range from the north, traverse over or sidle north-west under Pt 1694 metres, reaching Yeats Ridge at about the 1540-metre contour. A couple of knobs can be sidled on their northern sides, leading to a partial track through open scrub to a clearing east of Yeats Hut (DOC, four bunks). From Crystal Bivvy, Permolat volunteers have cut and remarked the route down to the Toaroha Valley (2009). It begins at the bush edge north-west of the bivvy and descends to the main valley track at the top of a rise on the true left of Pretty Creek.
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Toaroha Range traverse
Grade 0
The standard approach onto the northern end of the Toaroha Range begins up the Kokatahi Valley, leaving the valley track at a sign in a cutty grass clearing, five minutes before Boo Boo Hut. The marked route up to and beyond here is getting somewhat overgrown in places, but DOC is expecting to recut it by 2012. A short way beyond the first tussock clearings, but below Pt 1085 metres, the marked route jumps from one spur south to another spur. There are poles and tape through this section but the route is still easy to miss, especially coming down. Pinnacle Bivouac (two person) is old and basic, but weatherproof. Head over Crinkle Top above the bivvy, then sidle off the ridge through basins east of Genoa Peak to reach the range further south. There is a steeper rocky section before Mt Reeves, but travel is not difficult ; nor is dropping off Mt Reeves to the south. There are campsites by tarns near the range in the last 750 metres along to Zit Saddle. Continuing south, the ridge is dry. Sidle through a rocky landscape with interesting basins to the east of Pt 1809 metres, then climb up to Mt Chamberlin. With a little looking around from a saddle about 300 metres south of Mt Chamberlin, a gully and terrain nearby offers a steep but feasible route down to Park Stream. If staying on the range, continue past another Pt 1809 metres and continue over Mt Bannatyne towards Toaroha Saddle, being careful to go right around and not get caught by the beautiful canyon in upper Bannatyne Creek. Great campsites exist around Toaroha Saddle, or continue up to Toaroha Saddle Bivvy.
P266 1

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Attribution: Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

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North Ridge
Grade 1
The East Ridge from Pt 1954 metres is rocky, and the peak is more easily approached from the basin north of here, up the north ridge.
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Frew Hut to Mathias Pass via Frew Saddle
Grade 0
A track leads up into Frew Creek as marked. In the upper basin, travel is in the stream bed, climbing out on the true left at 1100 metres where the stream steepens into waterfalls. Frew Bivouac (DOC, two bunks) is just west of Frew Saddle. To reach Mathias Pass, descend from the north end of Frew Saddle to the upper Hokitika River and follow it up. Travel is easy, campsites exist and Mathias Pass is not difficult. Water is available near the pass.
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Frew Saddle to Toaroha Saddle
Grade 0
From Frew Saddle descend north-east into the tussock basin of the upper Hokitika River. Judicious crossing will make travel quicker and easier, but it is also possible to stay on the true left and sidle small bands of speargrass and scrub. About 100 metres before Steadman Creek, climb up to the north on the true left over a tussock shoulder and, from here, markers sidle down valley to Bluff Hut (six bunks, woodburner), rebuilt by DOC in 2009 a few hundred metres south of its old location on an open shoulder. A marked track leads from Bluff Hut steeply down to the Hokitika River just below its confluence with the Mungo River, where DOC has built a new bridge to replace one destroyed a few years ago. A good track then leads up the Mungo to Poet Hut, (four bunks, open fire). From the small flat at Poet Hut, follow river boulders up to a gravel creek just before a slot gorge and pick up the track again. The track sidles past the Poet Footbridge and later climbs up to Toaroha Saddle Bivvy. Times : Frew Bivouac to Bluff Hut, 3 hrs ; Bluff Hut to Poet Hut, 3 ½ hrs ; Poet Hut to Toaroha Saddle Bivvy, 2–3 hrs
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Poet Hut to Mungo headwaters
Grade 0
To access the upper Mungo, leave the track from Poet Hut to Toaroha Biv at about the 660-metre contour and follow the recently recut side track that leads to Saddle Creek and the Mungo riverbed. Travel up valley is then on bedrock, river boulders and gravel. When the river cuts in against bluffs on the true right and the valley is more open, cross to the true left. The riverbed on the true left is now used to the Mungo–Park forks. About 300 metres below Brunswick Creek there are hot spring seeps in sand, and 50 metres upstream of Brunswick Creek there is usually a hot pool on the true left of the Mungo in gravelly boulders. Brunswick Creek is swift and can be awkward to cross. There is a campsite on the true right of the creek, just above the forks. Good travel in Brunswick Creek gives easy access to Mungo Pass and some upper basins from which Main Divide peaks can be approached. Above the Mungo–Park forks, the Mungo River has a short gorge (directly south of Mungo Hut). A track up to Mungo Hut (four bunks) from the forks was recut by DOC in February 2009. Another track, from Mungo Hut via a creek bed back to the Mungo River, bypassing the gorge, was recut by volunteers in April 2009. Above here, the Mungo can be followed on gravel until under Hokitika Saddle. Park Stream is good travel all the way from the Mungo–Park forks to its head under Commodore Ridge. About 200 metres upstream from Sokota Creek a scree gully leads to the ridge between The Rampart and Pt 2006 metres. Times : Poet Hut to Mungo Hut, 3 hrs
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Homeward Ridge to Sir Robert Hut
Grade 0
In its lower reaches, Sir Robert Creek is scrubby and seriously gorged. Sir Robert Hut is approached from Homeward Ridge. The Poet Footbridge gives access to the track up Homeward Ridge, or else the ridge can be accessed from the upper Hokitika River, up the spur on the true right of Steadman Creek. Descend to Sir Robert Hut from Homeward Ridge at J34 591932 / BV19 491 316 by following a rib due east overlooking a creek to the south. Around the scrub edge, descend towards this creek, reaching it at about the 980-metre contour. Follow the creek down. This creek is the first one marked on map sheets J34 and BV19 below Sir Robert Hut on the true left of Sir Robert Creek. Travel on up Sir Robert Creek is all gravel to its head.
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Sir Robert Creek to Canyon Creek (Main Divide crossing)
Grade 0
From roughly the 1620-metre contour in Sir Robert Creek, head up the side basin towards Pt 1905 metres, swinging right then left onto rock rounds higher up. Continue on snow slopes to the saddle, and then traverse across snow, heading south on the Canyon Creek side, before descending the snow basin draining east from Pt 2042 metres. Travel is then on old snow and rock debris. Campsites can be found lower down the valley at 1300–1400 metres, among moss flushes and bedrock.
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MAIN DIVIDE : Mathias Pass to Hokitika Saddle
Grade 0
Opportunities abound for enjoyable and moderately challenging transalpine and climbing trips on this section of the Main Divide. True, the peaks aren’t on the scale of those further south, the rock is at best variable, and there are only pockets of permanent ice, but the area has an isolated character of its own. You can get lost on the peaks here for a week or so, camp in alpine basins and – when it rains – retreat to a hut with a good chance of having the place to yourselves. Routes described here mainly include climbs approached from the Mungo River in the west. Most Divide peaks here have traditionally been approached from the Mathias and Wilberforce Valleys to the east.