Track Details

  • Klondyke Corner to Carrington Hut: 4-5hrs, 14.7km
  • Carrington Hut to Park Morpeth Hut: 9 hrs, 11.7km, +1100m
  • Park Morpeth Hut to Julia Hut: 9-11hrs, 12.5km, +950m
  • Julia Hut to Hunts Creek Hut: 8hrs, 9.3km, +1200m
  • Hunts Creek Hut to Otira: 3-4hrs, 11.6km

IMG 20210311 121453 1 6680A variation of classic three passes route. Starting on the braided Waimakariri river and climbing Harman, Whiting and Browning passes and then heading north over Popes pass and Hunts ridge ending back on the main road west of Otira. This trip requires above the bushline experience, advanced navigation skills and good conditions, preferably in summer months when you don't have the risks of heavy snow and avalanches.

Note: Popes Pass is no longer accessible from the east as the eastern flank of Mt Harman has collapsed. Access is now higher on the slopes of Mt Harman as per the route of our repeat trip in 2021.

Doc Track Info: Click here

Image Gallery: Private Trip, Feb 2002, NTC Trip 2021

Trip Route Details

Location: Arthurs Pass Number of Days: 5 Grade: Med/Fit
Start Location: Klondyke corner Number in Party: 2 Organisation: Private Trip
Finish Locatiion: Otira Leader: Peter Waworis Weather: Sleet - Fine weather

Proposed Route: As tramped. High Res Route Map (3.1mb), Trip Images

Day One Details Form Klondyke corner crossed over the Waimak a number of time attempting to find the easiest route up the shingle bed. Long hot slog to Carrington hut
Time/Km travelled 5hrs, 14.5km
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Carrington hut (36 bunk)
Water source Hut & river
Day Two
Details From Carrington hut climbed up to Harman Pass (+520m). Left marked trail and climbed up the headwaters of Mary creek to Whitehorn pass. Still plenty of snow on in the riverbed higher up with some large melt holes which required care(+430m). Route down off Whitehorn into the Cronin stream was obvious. Slow going in parts and some scrambling. Straight forward once lower down on track.(-850m)
Time/Km travelled 8hrs, 11.5km (+1100m/-1000m)
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Park Morpeth Hut (6 bunk)
Water source Stream
Day Three Details From Park Morpeth climbed up to Browning Pass (+500m). The low cloud made navigation across the tops to Popes Pass difficult and we needed the GPS at times to ensure we maintained the correct elevation before dropping down to Popes pass (+280m). Note: Access to Popes Pass from the south is problematic due to the mountain side collapsing. Refer here for updated route map. Descending into Julie creek was a scramble at times with speargrass and tussock holes proving a handful. Slow grind to Julia hut descending 1000m. As the creek was up had limited opportunities to dig a hole and soak in a hot pool:-)
Time/Km travelled 9hrs, 12km (+900m/-1200m)
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Julia Hut (6 bunk)
Water source Hut and stream
Day Four Details An easy 3km down the Taipa river before ascending Dry creek. This was a real grind with super slippery rocks sending us onto our backside on numerous occassions. This 1060m steep climb had the legs shaking and the transition over Hunts ridge down into the Hunts creek was interesting. We took to the grassed, tussocked slopes to bypass the slippery shingle tops before having a great run down the scree slopes. Transitioning off the scree into the creek was a bit of a boulder hop and slow going. Once in the creek it was easier going to Hunts Creek Hut (-540m)
Time/Km travelled 8hrs, 10.6km (+1200m/-940m)
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Hunts Creek hut (4 bunk)
Water source Creek
Day Five Details Climb out of basin crossing scree slopes to Hunts saddle with the track following Kelly creek out to the road. Climbs around a gorge but otherwise an easy bash out.
Time/Km travelled 12km
Hut/Campsite details incl Grid Reference Nil
Water source Creek

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