Altitude: 73m to 2185m. Gain: 2388m. Loss: 2370m . Gradient: 11 deg (Steep)
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
Mt Adams - Escape Col - Dale River - Law Creek
Altitude: 73m to 1839m. Gain: 1796m. Loss: 30m . Gradient: 14 deg (Steep)
Follow the farm track for about a kilometre and then the streambed to where the main stream kinks sharply to the right. This is about 2 hours from the parking. About 50m up the side stream there are pink and blue tags marking the start of the track, follow these for a minute or two into the bush. At this point, the DOC big orange triangle is visible. This triangle is not visible from the stream as the DOC website suggests.
Orange triangles and the occasional pink tag mark the track. In April 2023, it was slightly overgrown with some windfall but only in one spot did we need to search for the track after a windfall. The track is steep and eases faintly after a while. It took us about 5.5 hours to reach the end of the scrub from the parking.
Once out of the scrub, continue up tussock slopes to pt 1545m, then the ridge past pt 1767m. There are some nice campsites in the 1700-1767m area, along with a few tarns, although those are probably not there all year. After 1767m, there are more campsites every so often.
Altitude: 1301m to 2185m. Gain: 581m. Loss: 983m . Gradient: 9 deg
Skills: Prolonged scrambles (4/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6)
From the campsite, continue up the wide ridge to below pt 2101m, plenty of campsites at the 2100m level. To reach Mt Adams, continue over pt 2194m and along the ridge to Mt Adams. Some scrambling is required and depending on time of year, ice axe & crampons are needed.
To descend to Escape Col, traverse under pt 2101m until a wide gully is reached just before the ridge above the Escape Glacier. This gully descends all the way to easier ground at around 1900m. Traverse out at an appropriate point and head across and up to Escape Col.
After Escape Col, the ridge is flat and easy walking to pt 1951m. After this, the ridge gets narrower and finally there is a very steep 60m at about 1900m as shown on the map. It is necessary to scout about to find the best way down. We took a very steep gravel/rocky slope where we could see it didn't end in a bluff. It was facing in the whole way and extreme care was needed. A rope would be smart.
After this, it is easy travel to pt 1824m. There are probably numerous routes down to the Dale Creek flats. We took the gully draining pt 1809m.
After crossing the flats, take the faint saddle to the west branch of the Dale Creek. Follow the gorge until it becomes untenable and tussock slopes can be traversed out of the gorge. Cross tussock slopes and basins to reach the numerous tarns and campspots around 1450m.
Altitude: 88m to 1434m. Gain: 11m. Loss: 1357m . Gradient: 10 deg
Skills: - Prolonged rivers (4/6)
From the tarns, gain the ridge leading to pt 1215m, there is an old rough track in parts down the ridge to the saddle. Mostly travel is on the ridge but sometimes on either side. Once at the saddle, descend tussocky slopes and a short scrub section to gain Law Creek. Follow the creek all the way to the Whataroa. There are two waterfalls/steepenings between 700 and 800m where it is necessary to traverse on the true right in the bush and then descend steep banks to regain the creek. A short rope was not necessary but would be helpful. The descent to the saddle took about 1.25 hours and the saddle to the Whataroa about 5 hours.
Once in the Whataroa, boulder hop and follow grassy terraces to reach the farm track and road.