Altitude: 179m to 899m. Gain: 26m. Loss: 736m . Gradient: 16 deg (Steep)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
After a brief wander through the cloud forest on the tops, the track descends an obvious spur, gently sloping for the first 1km to pt776. The track is reasonable well defined and marked.
Beyond pt776 the track starts to steepen, as both the track and the spur become less distinct. Soon you are descending on a barely visible ground trail (though still marked) down a steep face. Whilst this is not the rough, steep scramble of the northern side, it is still a hard climb / descent. Lower down ongaonga makes it's appearance to add its sting to the fun.
Finally the track emerges onto a terrace 20m or so above the river and swings round it before dropping to the riverbed. The last 20m to the river are overgrown with scrub and not clear.
Wharepapa hut is 200m downriver on the opposite bank - the exit from the river is marked with triangles and the hut visible through the trees.Travel is on the river banks, and only one crossing is required. The river is small, and looks to only be a risk in extreme weather.