First of all let me say that at moment I don't have any intentions to do this route(especially by my self).
But I would like to know if any of you has ever done this pass...how hard is it...how rewarding and general impressions regards the three pass.
Three passes that starts in Canterbury and ends in Westland?
Unfortunately I cant add much - have tried to set off to do this twice but got rained out.
The first section goes up a creek towards Harman (from around Carrington Hut). You will know if theres too much rain as you cant even get up there.
Its not meant to be too bad otherwise, the only dodgy section is some of the steep parts on Browning pass.
I would describe it as "moderate" for a multi-day adventure. Definitely rewarding. Some people have come un-stuck on it, so possibly better not done solo. Definitely need a PLB.
Any particular questions ?.
I've done it both ways, once as a weekend trip (long days). Coming over from Browning Pass down into the Wilberforce I lost my footing in the very soft and steep snow (too used to plastic boots and I was wearing leather boots). I self-arrested but nothing happened as the snow was too soft so then I clicked; dig in the boots which I'd be trained to regard as a no-no, to avoid doing this wearing crampons which can result in a broken ankle or worse. So I dug in the boots and came to an immediate halt short of the awaiting rocks where the snow ended.
Some deer culler has done it in a single day. I think he made a habit of it but I can't recall his name. Google is becoming useless!
Honora it was Bert Cropp an Internal Affairs Dpt deer culler that first did the Three Pass Trip in a day. (A long time ago four of us did the Three Pass Trip in a shade under 12 hours whilst seeking to emulate Bert)