Also includes Gunn Stream
For the most part, travel along the range from McFetrick Peak to Fardowner Peak is an easy rollercoaster, provided one can see where to go. But at the end of the range, north of Fardowner, greasy and broken bluffs on the ridge cut off the descent, making this a range with a sting in its tail. Leaving the range on the spur west of Gunn Peak also has its difficulties. To the east, tussock leads to Pt 1106 metres, and a spur heading north-east from it offers a hard, steep scrub bash down to the lower Whataroa. The range itself is a wonderful place to visit, most easily accessed from Butler Forks and the track into the upper Gunn Valley. Stans Hut is a community maintained four-bunk hut in upper Reynolds Creek.
Butler Junction Hut to upper Gunn River
From the Butler Junction bridge over the Whataroa a maintained DOC marked route climbs to the scrubline on the Gunn Ridge, with big coloured marker poles near Pt 1203 metres. Above here markers cease, and the spur up onto the range is scrubby, narrow and eroding in places but negotiable. From the old cairn where the spur meets the Gunn Ridge, follow the ridge up to 1700 metres, then descend the valley that heads north from Pt 1854 metres to about the 1560-metre contour. From here sidle mostly west, crossing streams and climbing to 1700 metres again before swinging north-west down broad tussock slopes to lower flats in the upper Gunn basin. There are good campsites in the upper basin of the Gunn River to climb from.
Descending from Gunn Ridge to the Whataroa, some have found the top of the tracked spur dangerous under loose snow and instead used the ridge over Pt 825 metres, which is less steep. This was reported as scrubby but reasonable going, as is McCormick Creek lower down.
Time: Butler Junction Hut to cairn on Gunn Ridge, 5 hrs
Traversing from Gunn River via Mt Cloher to Gunn Peak
This is reasonably straightforward. Access to Mt Cloher from the Gunn River can be gained up a tiny side creek at I35 956553 / BW16 856 937 on the true left of the stream draining Mt Cloher, or up the spur at I35 950555 / BW16 850 939 and then sidling across an upper basin to the peak. A kilometre south of Gunn Peak it is easiest to sidle to the east through basins, avoiding a rough piece of ridge. Gunn Peak can also be sidled easily to the east. Fardowner is easily approached from Gunn Peak. The main ridge north-west from Fardowner is initially steep but traversable. However, at the col immediately southeast of Pt 1522 metres, guts and rotten rock walls make travel impractical. We don’t know anyone who has traversed or bypassed this.