Altitude: 773m to 2038m. Gain: 1845m. Loss: 1800m . Gradient: 22 deg (Steep)
Skills: Snow / ice (5/7) - Streams (2/6)
A technically easy but physically demanding route crosses the Neumann Range from Kennedy Hut via the col south of Mt Reticence. Scrub sections exist on both faces and are very thick though under 50m to cross. Looking down good clear routes were present avoiding both bush sections - if you can find them!
Head up the creek just north of Kennedy, swinging west towards the base of the '49m' waterfall. A small clearing climbs the southern face just east of the fall - head up the eastern side of the clearing, tucking round the worst of the scrub and climb bush to the ridgeline. Follow the ridge west as it becomes the slight spur south of the 49m fall creek.
Follow first the spur, later the face climbing west. I kept just south of the creek shown on the map. The climb is steep at first through tussock, later scrub and briefly rock. A gentler terrace is reached with bluffs above - all the creeks seem to swing south at this point. Pick out a good route, weaving through several layers of bluffs - I followed a spur cutting towards the southern end of the basin and then climbed directly from its head, weaving through bluffs. If you find yourself contemplating risks, back off and look for another route - good routes exist through this section.
Eventually your reach the ridge which climbs from the main creek SW towards pt2190. The gully leading to the col is to your north - find good scree descending into the gully - 3 spots looked ok, I took one which hit the valley just below the start of the snow shown on maps.
A steep but easy climb follows to the pass up the 'snow gully'. Snow was present on the northern face in late January and ice-axe and crampons made for an easy ascent. Loose scree on the southern face would be another option. The whole ascent looks very exposed to avalanches in winter.
From the saddle looking into the Hopkins, a large tussock basin is visible below in the sidecreek. A good route is visible down the southern side. The river _may_ also be an option - I did not try it. The northern valleyside bluffs out lower down.
I sidled down past tarns to the broad terraces you can see on the southern valleyside, and followed the tussock spur west past pt1713. A good grassy face descends WNW to the head of beech forest, avoiding the worst of the scrub - sadly I didn't take it. The good route is the gully 50m north-east of the descent route shown on the map. A sidling descent through open beech took me to the confluence with the Hopkins.