Altitude: 1406m to 1761m. Gain: 673m. Loss: 831m . Gradient: 10 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) Winter - High avalanche risk, iceaxe/crampons (7/7)
From North Col ascend steep slopes to the south west through bluffs to gain the main ridge line heading south from Peak 1796. The ridge is followed as best as possible, negotiating bluffs and ledges as far as Point 1555 where it is best to traverse the western side of the ridge on tussock and rock ledges high above the lake at the head of Swamp Creek. It's then up and onto broad, flat topped Peak 1550 where the next small lake can be viewed. Moirs Guide North talks about descending a scree chute straight down to the lake, but this chute is very steep and full of loose crumbly rock. It is safer to head south west and drop down into the saddle west of the lake before passing through the saddle to reach it, 4-5 hours from North Col. There is exposed camping on the eastern side of the lake (the saddle acts as a wind tunnel from the west).
From the lake climb briefly to the south then negotiate numerous boulder fields east of Peaks 1697 - 1605, keeping within the 1400-1500m contours. You can sidle straight to the saddle at Point 1410 where there is a large tarn and more camp spots (~6.5 hours from North Col). From 1410, the main ridge line is followed all the way to Peak 1807, again negotiating considerable boulder fields around Peak 1604, bluffs, tussock ramps and ledges. Peak 1807 had large snow slopes on its eastern flanks in January 2017 which required ice axes to cross safely... we didn't summit as we were in the cloud. Traversing the snow just below the summit drops you down to the saddle between Peaks 1807 and 1795 from where steep rock and then snow slopes drop down into the head of the Lake Wilson basin. Climb/glacade down to boulder fields and then down onto flat ground. A large melt water lake exists in the flat ground between the 1520 and 1540m contours with camping, other wise there is numerous flat but exposed camp spots dotted around on the terraces at about 1500m, about 11 hours from North Col.
Cross a large gully beneath Mt Erebus and climb through small bluffs to reach the boulder field at Point 1578 and skirt around it's west edge. Follow the broad rolling terrace which drops down to the tussocky flat ground at the Lake Wilson outlet. There is a dry rock bivvy that holds 3 people just southeast of Point 1578 and north of the of the "k" of "Lake Wilson" on the map, on the southeast side of the ridge facing Mt Xenicus.