Altitude: 205m to 950m. Gain: 40m. Loss: 785m . Gradient: 7 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
Travel down the Mica Burn is straight forward though slow and rough in places
The creek training the saddle can be descended with ease on the true left (east). Initially the valley floor is scrubby but the stream bed opens u and provides travel for the first 500m or so past scrubby flats where the is allegedly good camping.
Once below the flats pick up deer trails on the true right, initially passing though bands of beech forest and thick scrub before good forest comes to dominate. Travel contnues on the true right all the way to the beginning of flats 1km above Disaster Burn. Deer trails are generally strong and good and sidle gorged sections about 20m above the river, dropping closer to the riverbanks on the flats.
Once on flats 1km above Disaster Burn the riverbed becomes open and rocky and provides the best travel down to Disaster Burn if water is low with multiple crossings.
Below Disaster Burn return to the true right and looks for deer trails downriver, sidling 0-20m above the river. It is necessary (or recommended at least) to cross where bluffs on the the eastern valleyside end and the valley opens to gentle slopes on the eastern side (the western side becomes steeply bluffed and the river drops into a slot gorge below this). Once on the eastern bank travel becomes very slow. The deer trials have crossed to this bank and can just-about be followed but the whole face was littered with major windfall when I visited and there was a lot of scrambling over trees and looking for trails again afterwards. Allow an hour from the gorge exit to the Micaburn road bridge.
West Arm Hut is 1.5km east along the road and is signposted.
See also route from Moir's Guide South. Ed 7. Pg 132. Mica Burn