(draft) Trip: My Trip
Distance: 30.9 km (28.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 695m to 1761m. Gain: 2534m. Loss: 2080m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - High avalanche risk, iceaxe/crampons (7/7)


NZTM2000: 1221043, 5036428 (alt: 697m)

Great Walk Hut

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-07-03 07:40:21. Experienced: 2009-04-10

NZTM2000: 1221043, 5036428 (alt: 697m)

Great Walk Hut

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-07-03 07:40:21. Experienced: 2009-04-10

From Routeburn Flats Hut to North Col via Route Burn Nth Branch
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Distance: 9.8 km (7.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 695m to 1587m. Gain: 967m. Loss: 77m . Gradient: 6 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

In Feb 2013, snow and ice was easily avoided. However, even in summer, the south side of North Col can be fully covered in snow / ice. Without appropriate gear, attempting the descent in such conditions would be stupid.

In good conditions, it's a long descent on boulders, scree and snowgrass. The line is occasionally cairned and obvious. From 1200m contour, aim for the gully to the right of the flattening spur. At 1020m contour, cross to the TL of the burn and pick your way down until a slip suggests easier travel on the TR (870m elevation).

From here the going is easy through grass flats - the start of the marked track clearly marked. Continuing through grassy flats, then around a significant tarn and into the bush, the track rises a little then descends to the final flats leading to the Routeburn Flats Hut. There is no bridge crossing the Left Branch but low flow presents no problem.

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-25 07:29:56. Experienced: 2013-03-01

From North Col to Lake Wilson Campsite via Serpentine Range
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Distance: 8.5 km (13.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
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)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

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.

Last updated by: Yarmoss at 2017-12-14 18:17:26. Experienced: 2017-01-06

From Lake Wilson Campsite to Harris Saddle Shelter via The Valley of the Trolls
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Distance: 2.3 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1227m to 1434m. Gain: 118m. Loss: 311m . Gradient: 11 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Note: the top of the gut used to climb to Lake Wilson holds snow into January and an ice axe should be carried.

From just past the bluffs at Harris Saddle head northwestwards off the track as if making for the southeast corner of Conical Hill and look for a grass slope descending steeply to the shore of Lake Harris. At the bottom of the slope you should find a trapping line with a ground trail that runs around the western shore of the lake. Follow this until you reach the entrants to the valley at the head of the lake, unofficially known as The Valley of the Trolls. Theres camping here on grass beside the stream. Climb through boulders on the true right of the stream to make your way into the valley. Once through the boulders cross swampy terrain to the valley head and cross the stream beneath the waterfall. Theres a rock bivvy located about half way up the length of the valley and about 40m off the valley floor. On the true left of the waterfall a grassy gut climbs all the way up to the top of the hill. Climb all the way up to a rocky shelf. The lake outlet and camping spot is at the northern end of the shelf.

Created by: Yarmoss on 2015-06-08. Experienced: 2013-01-03

From Routeburn Falls Hut to Harris Saddle Shelter via Routeburn Track
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Distance: 3.4 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 974m to 1307m. Gain: 393m. Loss: 127m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

On track, climb away from the Routeburn Falls Hut to a broadening of the valley and a brief respite before climbing again and sidling above Lake Harris. The track turns left into Harris Saddle, two emergency shelters on your right. If weather and time permit, a good side trip Conical Hill gives panoramic views.

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2017-08-07 03:49:38. Experienced: 2009-04-10

From Harris Saddle Shelter to Lake Mackenzie Hut via Routeburn Track
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Distance: 6.9 km (3.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 889m to 1240m. Gain: 383m. Loss: 734m . Gradient: 9 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

At Harris Saddle,there are two emergency shelters on your right. If weather and time permit, a good side trip Conical Hill gives panoramic views.

From Harris Saddle, the track continues south along the Hollyford face, crossing several minor creeks until sharply rounding a spur above lake Mackenzie. A zig zag descent then enters the forest and the lake outlet to arrive at Lake Mackenzie Hut.

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2017-08-07 03:45:49. Experienced: 2009-04-10

NZTM2000: 1221043, 5036428 (alt: 697m)

Great Walk Hut

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-07-03 07:40:21. Experienced: 2009-04-10


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