Death Valley from Saddle
Death Valley is an offshoot of Kay Creek and makes an interesting and straight forward alternative to a crossing from Scott Creek to Kay Creek or vise versa.
Taken from the top of the saddle looking into Death Valley. It's quite bluffy up here but a straight forward decent is off to the left of frame (south) initially down a "staircase" of rock before heading westwards down scree to reach the start of the tussock. The tussock quickly becomes bluffed as well overlooking the lake, but this is easily passed by heading north to the scree and descending this to the foot of the bluffs north of the lake. The lake is then easily reached and there are good campsites here. A steep descent down tussock west of the lake reaches Death Creek.
Sticking to the scree the whole way down is the easiest way to reach the creek. The map only shows the creek starting from the lake outlet but it actually starts much higher up in the scree (you can see it in the photo).
Yarmoss Hi Bernie, sorry for the late reply, I've only just seen your post. Travel down Death Creek was fine. The valley floor is scrubby and bouldery so best travel is close to the stream banks. The scrub gets dense near the mouth of the valley but theres a good animal trail (marked by a solitary cairn) which leads through the scrub to the treeline which is open down to Kay Creek hut. From memory it took me about 4 hours to get from the saddle to Kay hut, including an hour spent at the lake. From Scott Basin you can reach Upper Caples hut (R.I.P.) in a comfortable day.
14 May 2014
bernieq What was the going like from where the creek turns south, down to Kay Creek and the hut?
18 February 2014
bernieq Thanks for the photos, Yarmoss. I've had a gpx through Death Valley (constructed from topo map and GE) for a few years.
18 February 2014