Waiau Valley to Durville Valley via Thompson Pass

  • one way
  • Medium

unmarked route between Upper Waiau Valley and the Start of the Durville Track

Waiau Valley to Durville Valley via Thompson Pass: Key information
Walking time
One way
One way
I imagine quite difficult if the pass and valleys are obscured in low cloud Grades explained
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Waiau Valley to Durville Valley via Thompson Pass: Find it

Did this in March 2018. From where the Waiau Pass track hits the Waiau Valley track, cross the steam that comes from near the Waiau Pass and get onto the true left of the stream that comes down from Lake Thompson. Start walking upwards towards the fault scarp you can see from the Waiau Pass (to the right of an obvious large rocky ridge). Once you reach this fault scarp, start walking up the scarp and then move onto the rocky ridge where there is a faint track. Follow the ridge up (always parallel with the the fault scarp) until you get to Lake Thompson. From Lake Thompson go back onto fault scarp (stream bed) and follow up to Thompson Pass. Once on the pass, you can see straight down about 100-200 metres into the Durville Valley. Go straight down in deepish, muddyish scree until you see a rock rib on your right. This goes downhill for about 300 metres so move parallel to the rock rib and then start sidling to the grassy areas (at bottom of rib to the right). There are occasional cairns as you move down towards bottom of valley. Follow little stone paths through the grasses to make walking easier. Eventually you get to the corner of the large scree (on true right) where the Durville River is. Cross the Durville River to the true left and follow this all the way to the start of the marked Durville Valley track. It is a mixture of rock walking, grass walking and river rock walking. You never have to walk down the true right nor bush bash. Just stay near or on the river but always on the true left. When you see a waterfall on your left, you are near the start of the Durville Track. Cross the stream (that the waterfall is on I think) and up on the north bank is a large orange blazer. If you look to the southern side from the start of the track, you will see another triangle. This leads to David Saddle and not Thompson Pass (if you are going the opposite direction to us) so if going to Thompson Pass, go down the stream until where it meets the Dúrville River then follow the river up towards Thompson Pass. If you are heading towards Thompson Pass from the Durville Valley, as you climb towards the pass on the grassy areas then onto the scree, make sure you take the correct route up to the Pass. You cannot see the route until you are quite near it and the obvious route you see from the grass is not the gut you want to take (one to take is to the right of this gut)

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ID 16632

About this track

Added 24 May 2018 by nickclevnickclev. 2 revisions, most recently 24 May 2018 by nickclevnickclev.
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