Altitude: 31m to 692m. Gain: 683m. Loss: 1338m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
From the south end of the Kakapo Range (1km SSW of pt873), descend the clear spur indicated on maps dropping due west. There is a scrubby section before the bushedge is reached but it is navigable down to the valley floor sticking between the two creeks shown on the map.
Cross the valley floor (streams are small in normal flows and can be hopped) and climb into the low valley north of pt475. The ascent is in tall manuka scrub, and slow - though deer trails help if you can find them. A few small clearings on the saddle provide the opportunity for camping if you're desperate.
Follow the valley west past pt475 in relatively open bush on good deer trails, swinging WSW with the valley. At about 280m the creek starts to drop more steeply. Sidle west to the base of northern valleyside and then contour out of the valley into the main valley at about 250m where you will pick up a series of terraces in open bush with reasonable travel. Deer trails are good and helpful. Follow terraces NW staying above the river gorge until you hit the point where the main ridgeline above you descends towards Lake Fraser. Follow the ridgeline down, dropping steeply north just before you hit the river gorge.
The river can be crossed at the bend 250m north of the base of the spur, easily in normal flows (knee deep) but will be impassable after rain. Good dry camping is possible on the river banks on the east side.
After crossing, aim west over the valley flats through tall bush and some windfall, past pt41 to the head of Lake Fraser where more grassy camping is possible on the lakeshore (will flood in heavy rain).