Altitude: 100m to 530m. Gain: 1034m. Loss: 1192m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
A sidle out of Waitewaewae (YTYY) using the OLD track. The slip section of this track will probably change fairly frequently, so tips offered below may become outdated - please update if you find a different/better solution!
From the YTYY hut, head south along the track, crossing a few side creeks until reaching Arapito Creek (approx 30 min). There is a sign here indicating direct river route to hut in low flows. From here the track sidles up and down the valley until a section at the head of the creek. Crossing and travelling slightly upstream, and recrossing (plenty of triangles to follow), you reach the junction of the new & old tracks. The new track climbs up for a hundred or so metres, while the old track heads down Saddle Creek.
The old track still has plenty of markers to follow, interspersed with sections of flagging tape. The track is not maintained, so will gradually become more difficult. After an initial drop, a slip coming in on the true left is best negotiated by staying on the left. From here the track works its way down the creek on both sides with frequent crossings. Very rarely do you move far from the creek bed. Further downstream the track exits on the true left and climbs slightly before sidling along the 340m contour. Some windfall is present, but all negotiable. Going is relatively straight forward once the old boiler is reached until the big slip (which is the reason the track has been rerouted).
We climbed up the side of the slip to the head, through a mix of tangled vegetation (supple jack) and along the very edge of the slip face. Going was ok-ish. There are some cut vines which will show you're on the right track. Curving around at the top of the slip the vegetation is slightly more open. You have two options here - wade through the thick plants below the fallen rimu, but there is a sharp drop down a steep section of bank requiring down climbing. There were some roots to hold onto, but these may not withstand a lot of traffic. Your other alternative would be to try and cross the top edge of the slip. We down climbed the bank, then walked the ledge back towards the open area on the edge of the slip, head straight down through the pungas and a hundred or so metres down you will intersect with the track. Turn left and keep following south. Easy walk out from here!