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Barlow River

POINT (170.538712 -43.322181)

The seldom visited Barlow offers a difficult and challenging route off the Gardens down to the Perth Valley. For access to the Barlow, see Vertebrae Col. From the Barlow Glacier, follow the gravel and boulder stream down to a tiny flat and campsite at I35 150648 on the true right. There are 2 rock bivis below here at I35 148647 and I35 147647. Sidle down the true right from 30 to 100m or more above the Barlow and occasionally in the riverbed to forks at I35 140648, sometimes in steep thick scrub. Below here the gorge is walled.
From the forks, climb out in scrub and spaniards west onto a spur and sidle at roughly 1100m in tussock around to a stream flowing into the lower Seige. Follow the Seige valley down to the Barlow. Some initiative will be required to find a route down and difficulties should be expected. The spur between the Barlow and Seige offers poor travel with rock pinnacles in the bush. There is a small sand flat on the true right of the Barlow between the Seige and North Barlow River.
Cross the Barlow at the Seige, and climb south east over a spur to a big terrace at the 600m contour. The map indicates forest, but this terrace is low open shrubby podocarps and celery pine. Continue to Perverse Creek, which is cut deeply into a trench and difficult to cross. It can be crossed about 500m up from the River. Continue south over terraces at the 640m contour and descend to the river to cross the next problematic creek at I35 104618.
Head south up over a bush saddle east of pt 556m and return to the river at a big slip stream. Climb out 300m downstream at the next creek and follow the terrace at about the 350m contour to finish down the spur leading west towards the Barlow Perth forks. The Perth here is a big river in a gravel and boulder bed. Crossing the Perth is only practical at low flows, with options a little above and below the Barlow confluence. The Barlow itself though, is normally easy to cross here.
Times: Allow 3 days from the tiny flat in the head the Barlow to the Perth.

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Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club