Day 1 - Andrews Shelter to Casey Saddle (camp), 9.6km 3hrs, +660m -433m
A seven day, solo tramp starting at Andrews Shelter on the Waimakariri river and travelling via Hallelujah Flat to the Poulter river over Minchin Pass to the Taramakau river. Then up the Otehake river to Tarauhuna Pass to cross over the Aiken Range to Lake Mavis and onto Goat Pass Hut. Next down the Deception to the Otira river and then traversing the Kelly Range tops to Hunts Saddle before descending back down Kellys Creek to complete the 100km plus trip. Had great weather apart from some cloud and light rain crossing the Aicken Range which meant I missed the opportunity for some stunning tops images.
The route up the Otehake has recently been recut so travel was much easier than prior. The route if also mostly a lot lower than than displayed on the topt maps. The slip mentioned on the route notes has a stream running down part of a steep face that is fairly loose. I managed to find a reasonably easy bypass lower down and then climbing up the boulder band back to the track 50m above. There are a few cairns identifing the route up from Taruahuna pass to the tarn. Basically you need to be above the head of the stream (GR 912504) to avoid the bluffs and then climb up the scree to the tarn at GR905499. I encounted a fair amount of snow as I climbed from here to the saddle on a rock band that required me to climb down the ridge to gain access to the scree slope on the other side of the saddle.