Altitude: 827m to 1209m. Gain: 1135m. Loss: 763m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/5)
Travel downstream from the hut, then head up the left Maropea Fork as though going to Wakelings. Travel up the river, mostly pretty straightforward easy travel - not slippery, and plenty of shingle. Most crossings were only ankle deep in low flows if you stick the shallows, although plenty of deeper pools exist. After about 5.5km, the first main fork is reached - take the true right one (left fork if you're traveling upstream).
A bit further on one large rocky section must be negotiated where a slip has forced large boulders into the riverbed. Thankfully this doesn't last long. Another fork is marked by a cairn and this time take the true left (right fork if you're traveling upstream). This section becomes extremely eroded and the wet rocks are slippery - try to stick to the flat shingle plains if possible, or stray right in the creek itself. The water disappeared under the shingle just below where the track climbs up the hill.
A waterfall upstream of the track is worth checking out before you climb up to Top Maropea. The track exists on the true left bank, marked by large orange triangle and a sign. The base is a bit of a scramble up an active slip, but as of Feb 2018 wasn't pretty straight forward to negotiate. The track up is through cutty grasses and scrub, which provides great handholds as it's a bit of a grunt. Once on top a nice track climbs fairly gently until just below Top Maropea Hut