Length: from 3.0 up to 5.0 days
Distance: 32.6 km (19.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 477m to 1587m. Gain: 2131m. Loss: 2350m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6)


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 Nerine Camp Spot via low route
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Distance: 2.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 1405m to 1587m. Gain: 141m. Loss: 254m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

From the north shore of Lake Nerine, walk to the west side and climb to the low saddle. From here, there are two routes to North Col.

The low route descends to the 1440m ledge and contours around to the gully below North Col - then up. There are useful cairns along the route.

If visibility is questionable, use the low route. The high route takes slightly longer (and would be very challenging in poor weather).

Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-25 06:13:40

From Lake Nerine Camp Spot to Park Pass via west of tarn
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Distance: 4.5 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1174m to 1583m. Gain: 377m. Loss: 675m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Climb the slope north of the smaller lake beside Lake Nerine to gain the ridge west of Point 1594. Drop down rocks to the next lake and go around it the gully to the northwest. Cross the head of the gully and sidle north, all the way to Park Pass. There is a cairned route along the eastern flank of the ridge as you traverse very steep tussock slopes and the odd scree slide, but the cairns are sporadic and there's no obvious grand trail. A trail picks up at the flat ground between 1220m and 1240m going through a boulder field, and crosses to the western side of the ridge. Drop down to tarns on Park Pass where there is exposed camping. (copied from duplicate entry by @Yarmoss)

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-23 02:19:41. Experienced: 2014-02-28

From Park Pass to Rock Burn Rock Bivvy via creekbed
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Distance: 0.5 km (0.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1002m to 1175m. Gain: 0m. Loss: 173m . Gradient: 19 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The route down into the Rock Burn is a water coarse which drops steeply beside the stream. Large boulders at the base of the steep terrain are dropped through, the large one near the bottom of the slope has the rock bivvy under it's southern side.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-06-23 02:16:27

Distance: 4.9 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 754m to 1002m. Gain: 70m. Loss: 316m . Gradient: 5 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Head south from the rock biv and cross the outlet stream from the Park Pass Glacier melt lake (a difficult crossing on slippery rocks in rapid current). Follow the Rock Burn down stream. A marked track drops down through the bush by the upper gorge and then its down more river flats to climb through the bush beside Point 908 on another marked track. Drop down to Theatre Flat and cross to the patch of bush half way down. On the north side of the bush is a giant boulder with a permanent fire pit on its eastern side and sheltered camp spots.

Created by: Yarmoss on 2015-06-11. Experienced: 2014-03-01

From Theater Flat Campspot to Routeburn Shelter via Rock Burn track and Sugarloaf Pass
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Distance: 10.4 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 477m to 1155m. Gain: 576m. Loss: 855m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Head down Theatre Flat and follow markers into the bush on the true left of the Rock Burn. A short distance later cross the swing bridge over the river and follow a good quality track all the way down river through bush and flats with good camping. The track climbs up the hill past Point 844 and a sign posted track junction reached which points the way to Sugarloaf Pass. Climb and cross the muddy pass and follow markers down into the bush on the Routeburn side. The track drops steeply all the way down to a signposted junction with the Routeburn Great Walk. Follow the Routeburn to the shelter at the car park.

Created by: Yarmoss on 2015-06-11. Experienced: 2014-03-01


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