Altitude: 1115m to 1377m. Gain: 118m. Loss: 313m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
Dropping west from the track junction towards Cameron Hut, its just 100m to the bush edge & some shelter from the elements, otherwise remain on the open tops & enjoy the views. The track rounds the end of the open tops & drops steeply, albeit briefly south, to reach the bush edge & a 'flat' spot. The track wanders, seemingly for an age, along the south side of the ridge to descend a prominent rock outcrop & the track becomes increasingly covered in windfall. As the track meanders westward along the ridgeline at around the 1100m contour, it passes through some lovely moss-lined sections as it climbs & falls over numerous small peaks & appearing to get no closer to the silver thread of the Ngaruroro River (visible on a good day) 1000m below at the base of the deep gorge. There are good views along this ridge of the slip-scarred northerly faces below Te Iringa on the opposite side of the valley, where the vegetation is the sparse manuka so typical of the Kawekas; the north slopes of the valley covered in a solid canopy of open beech. Finally, west of pt. 1191 a track junction is reached in the bush, with the north track sidling across towards pt. 1238 & Kiwi Mouth Hut (the fastest way out of that hut, if the Kiwi Stream is up). If intending to descend to Cameron Hut, keep heading west. Stash some gear at the track junction if you intend to return here from Cameron Hut; you'll be grateful you did.