Altitude: 676m to 1179m. Gain: 503m. Loss: 14m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
The Oamaru is knee deep at the confluence in normal conditions, and easily crossed.
There are good, well-used campsites at the Oamaru/Otore confluence. Ignore old permolat markers heading east at the confluence – they appear to sidle terraces on the south side of the Oamaru, heading downstream. The Otore valley is narrow at first, but soon opens up – good tramping up river flats and terraces, beech leaves and moss underfoot. The river is small and unlikely to pose problems in all but extreme conditions. Navigation is simple – following the main stream to where it swings due south towards the saddle. The gradient increases 1km from the saddle, and the flats disappear, but it is still good open beech forest, and easy walking, sidling the valleyside. 500m from the saddle, there is a final fork, not shown on the map. We climb the mossy slip between the two forks, heading due south towards the saddle, emerging onto a wide plateau of beech which rises gently to the saddle itself. There is some flagging tape here marking the way, but a bearing of due south would suffice.
The Otore clearing is open – a mixture of marsh and tussock. The small Otore Biv is tucked away on the south-west side.