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|Hooker to Lower Tasman||1+||
From the East Hooker track. Follow the Hooker Valley track to the second swingbridge, don’t cross it – instead continue up the eastern side of the Hooker valley, following a vague track marked occasionally with cairns. This track follows vegetated moraine terraces to a large shingle fan opposite Hooker Hut. To the north-east of this fan there is an obvious gully, ascend this to a relatively flat area under Mt Mabel known as the ‘playing fields’. Continue up scree slopes to the east. These slopes snake upward between bluffs. Once above these slopes follow a ledge northward to the north-west ridge of Mt Mabel. This is the best route through the bluffs. Traversing northward again, cross rock slabs and descend around the ridge, west of Mt Rosa. Beyond Mt Rosa continue in a north-easterly direction across scree slopes to Ball Pass. Ball Pass to Caroline Hut. Below the pass, descend the Ball Glacier a short distance before gaining the Ball Ridge to the south. Continue down this to Caroline Hut (~1790m, privately owned and locked, although an emergency shelter with a radio exists). To get to Ball Shelter, follow the Ball Ridge below the hut. Difficult sections can be avoided on the eastern side. Follow cairns until the track turns to the east, where the route descends boulder scree and alpine scrub to the shelf that Ball Shelter (~1020m) resides on. Time: Village to Ball Shelter 8-10hrs, usually completed as a full day trip.
George Mannering, Arthur Harper, Jan 1890.
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