(draft) Trip: My Trip Download GPX
Distance: 54.3 km (39.3 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 719m to 1868m. Gain: 6600m. Loss: 6451m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/6) Winter - High avalanche risk, iceaxe/crampons (7/7)


Distance: 4.5 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 979m to 1857m. Gain: 983m. Loss: 124m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Descend from the pass on a sizeable boulder-field to the obvious tarn and continue south straight over the edge (rather than seeking a route down to the east of the tarn). More boulders/scree makes a simple, quick descent to the creek (just 30 min from the tarn).

After reaching the creek, it’s a cairned route (mostly) to the treeline (NZTM 1555288 5317043) and a marked track from there to the St James Walkway, turning left for Ada Pass Hut.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2013-02-19

Distance: 2.7 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1306m to 1791m. Gain: 29m. Loss: 510m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Crossing the river to the TR, we tried to cut the corner but travel was easier closer to the stream.

Crossing back to the TL involved a scramble down and up out of the stream. Then a stiff climb to the gut (and fault line) that runs up to Lake Thompson. We traveled in the gut but travel would also be good on the ridgetop. From Lake Thompson, it's a short climb to Thompson Pass, first on a grassy tongue, then on rock.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-20. Experienced: 2013-02-15
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2017-10-12 07:20:34. Experienced: 2013-02-15

Distance: 5.6 km (2.8 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 725m to 908m. Gain: 654m. Loss: 482m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Immediately after crossing to the TR, a steep zig zag climbs above the river. The walkway continues well above the river until entering the clearing that leads to Cannibal Gorge Hut.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-29. Experienced: 2013-02-20

Distance: 4.5 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 979m to 1857m. Gain: 983m. Loss: 124m . Gradient: 14 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Descend from the pass on a sizeable boulder-field to the obvious tarn and continue south straight over the edge (rather than seeking a route down to the east of the tarn). More boulders/scree makes a simple, quick descent to the creek (just 30 min from the tarn).

After reaching the creek, it’s a cairned route (mostly) to the treeline (NZTM 1555288 5317043) and a marked track from there to the St James Walkway, turning left for Ada Pass Hut.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2013-02-19

Distance: 4.9 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1108m to 1857m. Gain: 115m. Loss: 864m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

The route from the cairn is uncomplicated – cross to the true left and climb (steeply) away from the river to an obvious saddle, avoiding the Spaniard grass. Then gradually descend back to the river, below a major gut on the true left. From here, stay in the river, boulder-hopping, until just below the final climb to the tarns – easy travel.

For the climb to 3 Tarns, we exited the river to the TL at the 1400m contour - in hindsight, it would probably be better to continue in the stream to the 1600m contour.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2013-02-18

Distance: 5.0 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Unmaintained track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 837m to 1108m. Gain: 28m. Loss: 292m . Gradient: 4 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

A short distance from Bobs Hut, the track crosses the river to the TR (not possible in higher flows) and stays on the TR whilst under the trees. The side streams make for quite a few boggy sections.

Once at the clearing (from 1070m contour) pick your way across the grassy flat, crossing and recrossing the stream. In high flow, keeping to the TR would be OK but would take longer.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-22. Experienced: 2013-02-18

Distance: 3.3 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 726m to 852m. Gain: 186m. Loss: 304m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Having crossed to the TL on the 3-wire bridge, there is a short sharp climb to the 800m contour. Then, rising and falling, is a well defined track, under beech for a little over 2km before breaking out into a clearing.

At the other end, 1km away, is Bobs Hut. We kept to the TL and crossed easily at low water levels directly opposite the hut.

This crossing would be problematic following heavy rain.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2013-02-17
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-21 04:12:31. Experienced: 2013-02-15

Distance: 4.9 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 719m to 897m. Gain: 333m. Loss: 163m . Gradient: 6 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

All on-track and in the trees, from the hut, follow the obvious markers on the true left. There are a few boggy sections but nothing serious. Shortly before the west river branch walkwire there is a sign to the east branch walkwire and access to downstream Matakitaki river, the gorge and Downie's Hut.

Depending on time of year, beware of European wasps in this section.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-21. Experienced: 2013-02-17
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-21 02:44:22. Experienced: 2013-02-17

Distance: 0.0 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 896m to 1247m. Gain: 523m. Loss: 172m . Gradient: 456 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot, avalanche risk (3/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the hut, travel most of the way upstream on the TL on a mix of intermittent foot pads and one section of marked track. There are a few crossings required, but quite a few can be avoided on sidle tracks. Further up the valley, one section is best traversed on the TR. Once the valley opens out either side can be used.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-08-20. Experienced: 2013-02-16
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-10 20:39:07. Experienced: 2018-04-01

Distance: 0.0 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1250m to 1815m. Gain: 584m. Loss: 19m . Gradient: -70 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Descending from the pass, there is good scree for slide-stepping to the obvious tarn in quick time. Then move left of the tarn to the top of the gut descending SW to the Matakitaki Valley floor. Initially steep, it starts to look like bluffing out but it’s a simple boulder-hop to the bottom.
Once down, progress is easiest on the rocks in the river until almost the treeline. 1km from the bushedge the 'V' chute descending from Davids Saddle can be seen joining the valley from the north.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-20. Experienced: 2013-02-16
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-08-24 17:31:55. Experienced: 2013-02-16

Distance: 3.3 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear
Altitude: 1655m to 1825m. Gain: 507m. Loss: 523m . Gradient: 18 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

From the Pass we climbed to the east (there is an obvious grassy ramp back from the middle of the pass) and picked our way through the rocks (occasionally spotting cairns) to descend to a bit of a ledge, initially at the 1800m contour and then at 1700m. Rather than traverse below the final bluffs, we climbed a steep shallow gut – a very easy approach to D’Urville Pass.

You need good visibility for this route.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-20. Experienced: 2013-02-16
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-21 02:43:22. Experienced: 2013-02-16

Distance: 2.7 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1306m to 1791m. Gain: 29m. Loss: 510m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Crossing the river to the TR, we tried to cut the corner but travel was easier closer to the stream.

Crossing back to the TL involved a scramble down and up out of the stream. Then a stiff climb to the gut (and fault line) that runs up to Lake Thompson. We traveled in the gut but travel would also be good on the ridgetop. From Lake Thompson, it's a short climb to Thompson Pass, first on a grassy tongue, then on rock.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-20. Experienced: 2013-02-15
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2017-10-12 07:20:34. Experienced: 2013-02-15

Distance: 1.6 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Marked route
Altitude: 1300m to 1868m. Gain: 24m. Loss: 590m . Gradient: 23 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

On the map, this route looks steep and risky - in wet or icy weather it would be. However, poled all the way, in good weather this is a simple descent on good, grippy rock.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-20. Experienced: 2013-02-15
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-21 02:42:16. Experienced: 2013-02-15

Distance: 5.9 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1182m to 1866m. Gain: 391m. Loss: 1075m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

From Blue Lake, the route is poled all the way to Waiau Pass (and on to the valley floor).
Initially gently rising and open, once to the trees the track steepens. A rising track leads to the true left of Lake Constance brings you to a steep scree climb then a traverse to the mid-point of the lake.
Although there have been recorded deaths above the lake, the track is straight forward. However, take care if you choose to approach the top of the bluffs as the fall to the lake is sheer.
The poled route leads to a steep descent in a gut and to the lake shore – then along to the lake head and across the valley floor (good campsites 100m before the start of the climb) and up up up to Waiau Pass.
It’s steep but the initial section on larger rocks is stable. The track moves onto a grass tongue until an obvious footpad angles up, across the scree, towards a grassy shelf. A useful tarn at the base of the final ascent to the pass means less water needs to be hauled up from the valley.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-20. Experienced: 2006-02-01
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-21 02:41:34

Distance: 2.6 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1085m to 1784m. Gain: 534m. Loss: 699m . Gradient: 30 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6) Winter - High avalanche risk, iceaxe/crampons (7/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Climb up through tussock along stream to base of rock. From here, climb onto rock on right hand side (true left of stream). Do not attempt to use the stream, as it soon has waterfalls and true right has a lot of loose rock (rocks were falling from above). Climbing up the rock face is easy - solid and lots of foot and hand holds with a distinct foot pad in places. Follow the rock and tussock all the way to the top of the ridge, where it is easy to drop down into the middle of the true saddle. Descent down the "scree" on the northern side is straightforward - it has large pieces and isn't very loose, so doesn't move much. Stay slightly to the right, to intersect with a line of small cairns dotted on top of the larger rocks. When these run out, there is a "V" of loose rock and tussock slightly to your left - use this to descend to the tussocky plateau. The plateau consists of larger tussock interspersed with speargrass. Keep descending on the left edge of the thicker vegetation/scrub until another large rock and cairn is reached. From there turn hard right (90o) towards the trees, where the first orange triangles are spotted. Stay away from stream on the left - it'll soon turn into a large waterfall! In the trees, a nice looking, marked track sidles across to a creek, from there it is a steep descent down. At one point the track is higher above the stream and the triangles seem to end - climb down into the creek bed and down for a few meters, where you should see triangles continuing on the true right. Back into the trees on the far side, the track becomes easy to follow down to the D'Uville Forks.

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-20. Experienced: 2007-02-13
Last updated by: Ellya at 2018-04-10 20:33:54. Experienced: 2018-04-01

Distance: 2.7 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1094m to 1791m. Gain: 697m. Loss: 0m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Occasional scrambles (3/7) - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Note: Described in the reverse direction to your journey

Descend Thompson Pass, following cairns and cutting to the true left to avoid steep ravines to reach the valley floor. Follow the valley on the true-left until you find track markers (orange triangles) climbing into the area of bush just upstream of the gully leading to David’s Saddle (D’Urville hut is 2km downstream at this point

Created by: Madpom on 2015-08-20. Experienced: 2007-02-13
Last updated by: Madpom at 2015-08-24 17:30:24. Experienced: 2007-02-13

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