Altitude: 457m to 1267m. Gain: 383m. Loss: 841m . Gradient: 5 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6)
From Iris Burn Hut take the track towards Luxmore Hut to the junction 100m from the hut signposted to the waterfall. At the waterfall, cross the pool at it's downstream end (can be waist deep and swift after moderate rain). A flagging-tape marked bait station line leads up the true right side of the waterfall but marking is intermittent - you have to follow deer trails between the bait stations.
Progress is generally on the true right. A viable camp spot for 1 exists on the upstream end of the 1st small clearing 2km above the falls - on the bushedge on the upstream side. Occasional crossings of the river make fore easier travel but travel on the true right is possible all the way to the valley head. The two large clearings shown on the map are boggy and slow. Spots for tramping increase above the north turn in the valley with good dry camping in the flats below the top forks below the waterfall.
The V notch to the upper valley is scrubby low down, so ascend through the beech on the true left and then pick up good deer trails through the remaining low scrub to reach the more open rock and tussock above. The climb is steep and loose in places and an ice-axe is a great aid.
The ascent comes out 20m above the head valley flats on the true left. Easy but wet flats lead to the saddle with some exposed but dry camping on low ridges on the valley floor.
The descent to the lake in the upper Delta Burn is steep. Access to the northern shore is blocked by bluffs. Zigzag down the face to the head of the lake, or sidle faces on the south side. The descent is steep with multiple bluffs or steep snowgrass faces to contend with. Pass the lake on the true left (south) on terraces 50m above the lake, descending towards the lake shore about half way along. Viable but wet-after-rain campspots exist on the east side of the barrier that holds back the lake.
Follow the creek down from the lake outlet - staring on the true left and crossing as required. Cross to the true left (south) before the descent to the forks where the creek becomes a waterfall/water chute. Stay 20m above the creek to the bushedge and then pick up deer trails through the scrubby beech forest descending steeply to the main valley below. More spongy camp spots exist against the bushedge at the base of the descent - the valleyfloor beyond is marshy.