Altitude: 990m to 1108m. Gain: 54m. Loss: 168m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
This is an old route to Top Gorge Hut. From the saddle on the track south of Rocky Knob (there was a metal stake with tape marking the start of this route, in Feb 2020), go straight down the centre of the valley to the west. There is a faint ground trail as you push through grass and small scrub, with occasional cut branches and tapes. After about 110 metres distance the trail moves left (south) slightly onto the true left of the tiny creek in this valley, onto a grassy slip. Sidle across the slip then veer downhill on its far side, to the creek again. Cross the creek onto the true right and pick up a cut track through leatherwood and bush, heading down this small valley. This faint trail has occasional cut branches and tapes, and is worth finding and following all the way. Near the bottom of the valley, the trail veers sharply right off the spur and down a bit onto a grassy slip where you can see the Pohangina. Veer right (up the Pohangina) into the gut of the slip, where you will find the easiest way down the steep slip into the riverbed on the outside bend of the river (the eastern-most bend in this vicinity). From where you dropped into the Pohangina, it is approx 40 minutes boulder hopping down the riverbed to Top Gorge Hut.