Trip: Mt Hooker
Length: from 7.0 up to 9.0 days
Distance: 84.7 km (62.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, hard - Hard terrain
Altitude: 20m to 2610m. Gain: 5902m. Loss: 5903m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Glacier travel required (7/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)


From Paringa Rd End - 'south' bank to Tunnel Creek Hut via River bank and track
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Distance: 15.3 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 20m to 138m. Gain: 189m. Loss: 72m . Gradient: 1 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

(From remotehuts.co.nz) Ben Monk (Tel: 03 751 0899) farms the River flats up to the Otoko confluence and likes folk going through to ring and let him know. The route is up the TL and is a mix of easy grassy flats and shingle riverbed sections. It is possible to cross and recross the River at low flows to get a straighter line, but this doesn't make a huge difference to travel times. There is a small bluff on the TL just below Stew Creek and depending on River levels and the lie of the channels, it may be possible to pass under it, as it certainly was in June 2014. If this isn't possible there is a cut and cruise-taped trail over the small bluff that drops into Stew Creek up a bit from its confluence with the Paringa.

There is a locked hut belonging to Ben on the TR of Stew Creek. A track commences by the shed here and goes up the TR of Stew Creek for around 500m before cutting South through open grassy meadows and patches of forest to connect with the Paringa River a couple of kilometres above the Otoko confluence. From here to the Hut it is mostly track with several short sections of river travel. A large unnamed side-creek around an hour up from Stew Creek would be problematic to cross if it was high. The tracked sections are mostly across fairly gentle terraces with a silver beech canopy and crown fern (piu piu) understory. The River is stunningly picturesque, with beautiful clear water, and large still pools and mossy boulders. Serpentine Creek has blown out and there is a fair bit of windthrow in it. The track restarts on its TR up from where it flows into the Paringa. From here it is an easy 15 minutes to the Hut Allow 1.5-2 hours from the Bridge to Stew Creek, and 2.5-3 from there to the Hut.

Last updated by: Hugh vn at 2014-12-11 22:07:57. Experienced: 2014-12-10

From Tunnel Creek Hut to The Rock Biv via old track
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Distance: 2.9 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 147m to 1047m. Gain: 950m. Loss: 50m . Gradient: 21 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

No description

Created by: Hugh vn on 2015-05-11. Experienced: 2015-01-01

NZTM2000: 1324361, 5142022 (alt: 1044m)

Excellent Bivvy, faces NW, sleeps about 6.

Created by: Hugh vn on 2015-05-11. Experienced: 2015-01-01

From The Rock Biv to McCullaugh Camp via High level traverse
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Distance: 3.7 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1047m to 2049m. Gain: 1016m. Loss: 14m . Gradient: 16 deg
Skills: Snow / ice (5/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the rock biv, re-enter the bush and climb through to the tussock proper. Traverse towards the flat area near the tarn and then make a rising traverse under The Buttress. Aim for the low point of the ridge E of pt 2018m. There is a wide ledge on the N side of the ridge from the low point through to snow slopes (depending on season) under the low point SW of Mt McCullaugh. There is one short step at the start of the ledge but otherwise it is easy walking on the ledge. Gain and cross the low point to the flat area at about 2040m.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-24

NZTM2000: 1327539, 5141207 (alt: 2049m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-24

From McCullaugh Camp to McCullaugh Camp via Mt McCullaugh & Lantern Peak
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Distance: 5.2 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear
Altitude: 1990m to 2246m. Gain: 477m. Loss: 472m . Gradient: 11 deg
Skills: Mountaineering (6/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The W ridge of Mt McCullaugh is rock scrambling; wherever it appears difficult, it is possible to sidle on the N side. The N ridge of McCullaugh is easily followed and the snow on the E side can be gained in different spots depending on snow cover. Straight forward snow slopes to the col between McCullaugh & Lantern Peaks. Lantern Peak is gained via easy slopes to pt 2113m and then a wide ridge traverse to the summit at 2123m. The route is reversed for the descent. Traversing the W side of McCullaugh requires a steep descent followed by an ankle-numbing steep traverse to the low point W of McCullaugh.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-25

NZTM2000: 1327539, 5141207 (alt: 2049m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-24

From McCullaugh Camp to Hooker Camp via McCullaugh glaciers, Murdock Creek.
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Distance: 5.4 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1059m to 2044m. Gain: 351m. Loss: 985m . Gradient: 15 deg
Skills: Glacier travel required (7/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Make a sidling descent to the south slopes of McCullaugh and descend to the tussock on the S ridge. Follow down slopes to the basins below the SE face. From the terrace above Murdock Creek, locate the descent gully. The descent is very exposed with steep short tussock to start with, then a steep loose gully which is difficult to enter. The gully gradually lessens in angle before reaching Murdock Creek. Cross and follow downstream for a short distance. Follow the reasonably open tussock slopes with some short sections of scrub towards the SW ridge of Mt Hooker.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-25

NZTM2000: 1330855, 5139537 (alt: 1415m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-25

From Hooker Camp to Hooker Camp via Mt Hooker & Mt Jack
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Distance: 10.1 km (8.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear
Altitude: 1410m to 2610m. Gain: 1293m. Loss: 1293m . Gradient: 15 deg
Skills: Mountaineering (6/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Pass through an initial rock gully which may be full or partially full of snow to gain the Hooker Glacier. Follow slopes to the shoulder at about 2540m NW of Mt Hooker. Climb the shoulder to about 2580m and cross to the northern slopes and traverse to the base of the summit pyramid. Scramble/climb, depending on snow cover, the summit pyramid of Mt Hooker. Descend the same way.
Mt Jack is an easy stroll.
Return to the main ridge via a sidling descent.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-26

NZTM2000: 1330855, 5139537 (alt: 1415m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-25

From Hooker Camp to Marks Flat via tussock slopes.
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Distance: 1.9 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 955m to 1496m. Gain: 86m. Loss: 541m . Gradient: 20 deg
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Descend the E spur off the main Mt Hooker ridge through tussock. Cross the streams from Mt Hooker to Marks Flat.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-26

NZTM2000: 1332039, 5138608 (alt: 955m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-26


NZTM2000: 1332039, 5138608 (alt: 955m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-26

From Marks Flat to Otoko Lake Flats via Solution Range & Mt Gow
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Distance: 11.7 km (8.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, hard - Hard terrain
Altitude: 936m to 1856m. Gain: 989m. Loss: 1008m . Gradient: 10 deg
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Cross Marks Flat and climb to the Solution Range via a steep scrub section. Once in the tussock, travel is straight forward through to Mt Gow. Harker Col and the unnamed highpoint overlooking the Otoko Lake Flat are easily gained. The descent to the shelf above the upper Otoko Lake requires some scouting and a little scrambling in spots depending on snow cover. Once on the shelf, travel north to the end and make a zig-zagging descent to the lake. It is exposed but with careful zig-zagging, it is not too steep. The TR of the Otoko is followed; there is clear evidence of previous parties close to the river; at times sliding down boulders. There is no longer a lake at' Otoko Lake' as marked on the map, it is gravel flats.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-27

NZTM2000: 1335388, 5143020 (alt: 936m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-27


NZTM2000: 1335388, 5143020 (alt: 936m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-27

From Otoko Lake Flats to Harker Torrent via Otoko River & Harker Torrent
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Distance: 4.3 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 719m to 1128m. Gain: 409m. Loss: 218m . Gradient: 8 deg
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Moir's guide provides a very good description of the Otoko route. The initial section from Otoko Lake Flats is through a mixture of fairly open bush, boulder hopping and short scrubbier sections. There are numerous deer trails. The ascent of Harker Torrent is straight forward on tussock and then scree. The valley was filled with avalanche snow from about 1100m at Xmas time.

Last updated by: Megturnbull at 2021-03-11 21:15:16. Experienced: 2018-12-28

NZTM2000: 1334485, 5145707 (alt: 1128m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-28

From Harker Torrent to Reynolds Flat via Otoko River
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Distance: 11.3 km (8.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 103m to 1140m. Gain: 45m. Loss: 1082m . Gradient: 6 deg
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Moir's guide has a very good description of the Otoko River route. The route varies between some boulder hopping, some short scrub sections and generally fairly open bush; there are numerous deer trails.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-29

NZTM2000: 1325103, 5148822 (alt: 103m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-29

Distance: 12.8 km (6.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 32m to 114m. Gain: 97m. Loss: 168m . Gradient: 1 deg
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Moir's guide has a very good description of the Otoko River route. From the Otoko/Paringa junction, the TR is more difficult than the TL. There are more easy grass flats but there were very few cattle tracks through the bush sections (unlike the TL). The final bluff before the road, which is actually two bluffs with a small clearing in the middle, is the crux. Crossing the Paringa to the TL would be the best option but if the river is up, the bluffs will have to be traversed. As we found in 2018; the first bluff has an obvious ground trail however the second (last) bluff does not. Find the best ground trail and climb through numerous vines until it is possible to traverse on less steep ground. Do not be tempted to start descending until the open farmland can be seen directly below.

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-30

NZTM2000: 1317612, 5154115 (alt: 32m)

Created by: Megturnbull on 2021-03-11. Experienced: 2018-12-30



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