Altitude: 889m to 1601m. Gain: 26m. Loss: 734m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/5)
Note: an ice axe should be carried for the south side of Emily Pass which usually holds snow well into summer.
The south side of the pass is usually snow bound until February but mild winters can mean it's snow free by mid Jan. Descend steep snow or rock/scree to the flat area above 1400m and then drop down the western side on more steep slopes to the large flat area at 1200m. This is usually snow free by December and has great camping here as well as 2 rock bivvys. The steep slope dropping down from here can be negotiated on snow grass on its south side but better travel is to be had by passing through the boulders to the southwest and dropping down scree.
The stream shown on the map is a dry water course. Enter it and follow it all the way down the valley to avoid scrub. It abruptly becomes a wet stream where the map shows the start of the Lake Mackenzie depression. There's flat ground for camping here but its a frigid location first thing in the morning due to cold air pooling, even in late summer, and you might be shooed away by a DOC ranger if you are spotted from the zigzags exiting the Lake Mackenzie basin. Much better off camping an hour up the hill at 1200m. Follow the stream on down to the lake edge. A green plastic sign vaguely marks the start of an, initially, rough trail down the eastern side of the lake. The location of the trail varies over the course of the summer as the lake level drops and more people visit the head of the lake. Push down the trail to the Split Rock boulder where a good quality track carries on past the Lake Mackenzie DOC campsite and on to Mackenzie Hut.