Altitude: 921m to 1518m. Gain: 760m. Loss: 1190m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
From Hector, head off down the clear open ridge heading ENE. Fill up your water bottles at one of the huts before Hector, or small tarns on this ridge bout 75m off Hector - there is no water until the bog on top of Cone is reached. If you are lucky, you may occasionally find a puddle near the old Winchcombe biv site.
The route is fairly obvious over 1398, Winchcombe as it is in the open, then it drops into the bush. Neill is out in the open again and would be a nice campsite if there was water. While the ridge looks fairly level on a map, there are a lot of short steep climbs and drops. It can be hard work.
Through the bush, there are old markings, many of which are covered in thick moss on the trees. The track is fairly easy to follow, but we found it hard to follow coming up out of Neill Saddle to 1118. It's easy from there to Cone. There is good camping on Cone next to the tarn - there are some nice spots tucked out of the way - it's worth looking around. The water is an interesting colour - you will probably want to boil it.