Altitude: 413m to 1679m. Gain: 1923m. Loss: 1592m . Gradient: 17 deg (Steep)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6)
The old NZFS track up Jacks Stream is not currently maintained (2018). The route is not a mixture of river bash and scrub bash to the tarns at the head of Jacks Stream.
Follow the cut track downriver from Jacko Flat to the first creek - Jacks Stream. Head up the river to the 3-way forks in the valley head by following the riverbed. A couple of gorged sections require bush travel - te first in open bush and that latter in tall scrub. I passed both sections on the true right - though maps show the old track as following the true left so that may also work.
1.5-3 hrs to head basin.
At the first part of the 3-way fork, I left the riverbed and followed a good, clear deer trail up the spur between the two forks. This climbed steeply for 200 vertical meters to the bush-scrub-line. A further 100 vertical meters of gentler slopes covered in thick scrub had to be negotiated to reach the first of many large tussock clearings at 980m - well below the scrubline shown on maps.
1.5-3 hrs head basin to ridgeline.
From the start of tussock you have 2 choices - continue up the spur back into scrub, or sidle the clearings north until the climb to the ridgeline beside the northern branch of the creek. Sidling the face, stick to the tussock clearings, bashing your way through 3 small steep guts the disect the face. A third larger creek may be crossed by locating a steep slip dropping into it, and picking up tussock faces again 50m downstream to climb out the far side. From here it is uninterrupted tussock climbs - steep in places - up the spur to the ridgeline.
Tarns on the ridgeline give good, but exposed campspots. The series of tarns continues well beyond those shown on the map, with the last one being half way up the climb to pt1795.
Follow the well-worn trail south along the ridgeline and climb to pt1795. A couple of impassable sections of ridgeline can be bypassed on the western side.
1-2 hrs tarns to summit
From pt1795 a well used poled track drops west. More tarns and good camping exists at the saddle around 1420m. Beyond them, the track sidles the northern side of the next small peak, before swinging abrubtly north to descend to Camp Creek. The initial section of track is very steep down a combination of small guts and spurs. After 100m a steep spur appears and is followed all the way to the hut. The track is roughly cut through the scrub - easy to follow but watch your step.
On reaching the valley floor, the track crosses a small side stream. Beyond, a marked track junction is signposted to Camp Creek Hut - a 40m climb along the cut track back up the far side of the sidecreek.
1-3 hrs pt 1795 to hut.