This is a fine weather tramp, there are several creek crossing (dry feet in good weather, but would be dangerous in flood), the route above the hut to the ridgeline and Mt Fell is open and exposed and after all that effort you want the views!!
The start of this tramp can be difficult to find due to logging in the area (check with DOC - Renwick to ensure access is open). When we tramped it earlier this year the track start was very poorly marked (read: not at all!) the car park had become a logging skid site and was only recognisable because of the DOC sign, but provided you stay to the true right of Timms Creek you can’t go wrong and will eventually come across the familiar orange track markers.
The first hour is flat easy going on a walking track alongside Timms Creek and a good warm up for the climb to come.
After the fifth creek crossing (the largest creek) the track rises above you and now becomes a marked route. This is where the work begins, it’s 5 hours climbing from this point with very few reprieves for aching lungs and calf muscles. Most of this tramp is in beech forest with little in the way of views until you reach the bush line, but the views are definitely worth the effort.
The last half to an hour is an easy sidle along the bush line to Mt Fell hut (6 bunks) which is situated just below an alpine meadow. It is well worth getting up early in the morning and heading up to this meadow to watch the sunrise.
The route above the hut to the ridgeline and Mt Fell is marked with poles and is easy climbing. If you don’t feel up to climbing Mt Fell its self at least go to the ridgeline where you’ll be rewarded with views of the Wairau Plains, Nelson/Tasman Bay, the Pelorus Valley and as far out to Wellington. We spent a leisurely three and a half hours exploring Mt Fell, admiring these views and plotting our next trip.
If you want to extend this trip from the ridgeline you can access Mt Richmond or from Mt Fell drop down into the Pelorus Valley to either Roebuck or Middy Huts. We only had two days so headed back the way we’d come.