Altitude: 627m to 1540m. Gain: 1593m. Loss: 952m . Gradient: 20 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/5)
The track is marked and/or obvious through to the saddle beyond Yuletide Peak. From there, the route is cairned but not always obvious.
From the Anatoki Forks Hut, a short walk brings you to a junction with the Waingaro Loop - go right to the Anatoki River crossing point - this will be impassable after rain. Once across, a steep and relentless climb begins through beech until the 1200m contour breaks out for views of the surrounding peaks and the Anatoki Valley.
Following the spine of the ridge, the footpad scrambles up and down the rocks and bush until dropping into the saddle before Yuletide and some welcome tarns, a good water source after a long hot climb. This is also a great campsite in good weather.
The track climbs Yuletide directly (initially slightly left of the ridge edge) for more inspiring views before dropping a little along the ridge than steeply into the saddle below The Needle. A cairn marks the start of the sidle across to the chute that leads up to the Needles Eye. The route contours across, brushing the top edge of the bushline, then pushed directly to an obvious rocky chute that climbs steeply to the Needles Eye.
From the Eye, an obvious track leads down to Adelaide Tarn. The hut is small and camping there is limited to one site but the waterfall is great on a hot day. Better camping on the TL of the outlet (which can be crossed easily).