Altitude: 1292m to 1701m. Gain: 61m. Loss: 470m . Gradient: 13 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
This route takes the northern of the two ridges leading down to Back Ridge Hut. The turnoff from the main range lies about 1km N-NE of Kaweka J & 500m north of the Makahu Spur junction. The junction is signposted & both tracks are sparsely poled so they could be easy to miss in bad weather. In good weather however, the entire Kaimanawa Range & central volcanic cones lie before you. Heading due west across exposed gravel tops from the track junction, the route begins to drop & a defined spur forms, delimited by valleys to the north & south. The spur drops in a series of steep rocky steps, still on bare gravel - often sidling down the southern face. Tussock is finally reached beyond pt. 1552 & the track continues to drop along the clear ridge to a narrow saddle. The map show the track continuing along the riidgeline but on the ground it sidles the southern face, contouring from the saddle to bypass the small un-named peak N-NE of Back Ridge Hut, until it reaches the spur dropping directly to the hut. The route then zigzags down though the tussock to enter beech forest just above the stream. Back Ridge Hut lies beside the stream some 50m beyond & downriver.