Descent from Kelly Tops to Hunts Saddle and Return!

Descent from Kelly Tops to Hunts Saddle and Return!

Masochistic mission involving at times 40 degrees gradients where the techniques of hanging off scrub and sliding to the next bit of veg. or climbing horizontal neinei trunks on vertical greasy terrain are employed.

To get to the start of this route, drop down to the level where the tussock disappears and is replaced by snow totara and sidle south until a lead of talus is seen descending. Once the talus ends, just do as Matthew advises and drop down directly but aim for a gully where ribbonwood grows. This eventually cedes to coprosma and then swampy open scrub. Leads of NeiNei lower down on subtle spurs may be easier to navigate and there are narrow streams which are also good going.



  • Honorar Honorar I went back to Alan's track with he and Emma Richardson and we clarified it. Since then I've been back with Frank a few times and done more establishing of the upper section through scrub.
    29 September 2022
  • Honora Honora Alan Jemison has done a bit of a cut and mark directly from the end of the spur to the tarns. Yet to check it out. We looked at the other end but it petered out after the first stream crossing going uphill. His cut needs more work and better marking. We did a wee bit of cutting from the bottom of his route, but couldn't follow it after the stream crossing.
    10 October 2013
  • Honora Honora For the truly masochistic who are willing to ascend this route...After the open swampy section 700m to the NE of Hunt Saddle, leads of Nei Nei can be ascended. Try to utilise 70m (vertical) of a lead of ribbonwood in a gully as this is fast going. Eventually you will be offered the option of impenetrable coprosma, Nei Nei which is rigid and unyielding or leatherwood. The leatherwood isn't too bad as a lot of it is spindly and half rotten. By diagonalling to the left as you ascend, you may come to the talus lead mentioned above which will save a bit of time struggling through scrub. I found a big DoC orange triangle in a creek where we ascended. I stuck the triangle in a divaricated bush as a marker for where we ascend but a bit further up the track where the Nei Nei forest is would be better.
    27 October 2011
  • Honora Honora Believe it or not, it was the second time we dropped down through through the scrub as we'd done the same route in Nov, 2004. I said to Frank, "do you think many people do this twice"? Well, time constraints meant we needed to return to the 7 Mile Creek roadend before the forecasted NW rain after 4pm so Frank insisted on repeated this route in now saturated scrub from heavy mist, rather than going down Kelly Creek, hitching to the roadend at the Taipo and walking the 8km of 4WD track to where our car was parked by the 7 Mile Creek.
    27 October 2011
ID 7410

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Added 27 October 2011 by Honora. 2 revisions, most recently 27 October 2011 by HonoraHonora.


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