Altitude: 793m to 1941m. Gain: 174m. Loss: 1191m . Gradient: 7 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6)
A physically and technically easy alpine pass on moraine and tussock.
From the tarms at the head of the Sth Temple (due east of Mt Maitland), head WSW over the obvious pass. This is a gentle climb on semi-stable rock-scree - just loose enough to half roll when you stand on it.
The descent into the Watson is similar. A fairly gentle descent but on semi-stable rock-scree - not loose enough to run/surf down, but too loose to trust your footing on. After 2km tussock replaces scree and going improves. The valley gorges out as it swings west and drops to the forks in the Watson. Sidle above the gorge on the true left and descend good tussock faces to to main Watson valley. An easy walk down tussock flats follows to the bushedge where good, well used campspots exist on the true left.
Cross to the true right and sidle the valleyside at roughly the height you entered the beech at on good terraces as shown on the map. Pass through a series of clearings and head to pt1003 where the bush ends. An easy descent on a face of short tussock takes you to the Ahururi valley floor. Cross the river to the old farm track on the western side. The river is fairly small here and an easy crossing in normal flows, but it is in a large bed so can clearly flood.
Shamrock Hut is 1.5km south down the old farm track - 150m west of the track on the bushedge.