Altitude: 793m to 1941m. Gain: 1191m. Loss: 174m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6)
From the Shamrock Hut turnoff on the main valley track, continue upvalley for 1.5km until you have passed the outflow of Watson Stream to the east. Cross the river and climb the easy grassy face to pt1003. Terraces exist on the true right of Watson Stream beyond pt 1003 - follow them through a series of clearing in beech forest, sticking at the same height until the valley narrows and you find yourself on the creek-bank. Cross to the southern bank at the bushedge. Good well used camp spots exist here in the last of the beech forest.
Continue up Watson Stream, and climb the southern valleyside 100m-200m before the main forks to avoid a gorge in the lower South Watson. Sidle into the south branch of the Watson, remaining above the gorge on good tussock faces, returning to the valley floor above the gorge. A km or two of tussock flats remain before the valley transitions to moraine and boulder scree. This stuff is semi-loose and rolls easily underfoot, so watch out. Swing NE with the main valley and climb gently to the obvious low pass SW of Mt Maitland. The descent on the far side is equally gentle, but on equally loose boulder scree. 1km from the pass takes you to the tarns at the head of the South Temple, where a steep pass to the south leads into a branch of the Maitland.