Altitude: 217m to 892m. Gain: 675m. Loss: 17m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6)
The river draining Robin Saddle into the Irene is gorged and impassable, but good deer trails climb the true left (southern) bank from the forks and sidle up the valley 40m or so above the river for 100-200m, before swinging SW to climb a minor spur up the valleyside. The steady climb brings you onto gentler sloping faces above 400m. Locating a deer trail which sidles these upriver is the key - they exist but can be tricky to find. There is thick ferny undergrowth and locating a trail really helps. Sidle the valleyside climbing gently from 400m to 500m as you travel upvalley, remaining below bluffs. As the valley opens the gradient lessens and the valley floor becomes more open but bouldery/mossy. Ephemeral deer trails continue up the true left of the creek sticking close to the stream.
Pass the two creeks shown entering from the south and climb the spur immediately east of the creek draining Robin Saddle. This is steep in places and poorly tracked until you reach the scrub layer at around 800m. A good deer trail leads from the head of the spur zigzagging through 50m-or-so of thick scrub to climb onto the first of many rocky shelves on the terrace above. The remaining kilometer to the hut is an easy walk connecting these rocky shelves via tussock clearings and low knee-high scrub bands.
Robin Saddle Hut lies on the south side of the small creek, just upstream of pt904 and has to be one of the most wonderfully remote and beautiful hut sites in NZ.