Browning Range

(3 routes)

Browning Range is seldom travelled, but it offers an interesting traverse from the Main Divide at Mt Beals through to Whitehorn Ridge. The main use the range gets is as a crossing from the Crawford to the Styx at Lathrop Saddle.

-42.921675000000, 171.249304000000
Reference Title Grade Length Quality Bolts Gone Natural pro Link to edit content
Lathrop Saddle
From Crawford Bivvy in the Kokatahi Valley, a lightly poled route leads up north-west through open patches of scrub onto a spur at J33 690073 / BV19 590 457. It continues north across slopes under bluffs, climbing up into the basin draining from Lathrop Saddle. There are campsites in these basins, but also quite a lot of rock. To descend to the Styx, head north-west from the saddle to the top of a small rib. Browning Bivvy (DOC, two person) is located lower down this rib. Markers lead moderately steeply down the rib to a flatter area just above the bivvy. From the bivvy, the marked route continues steeply down before sidling into the creek bed to the east at about the 840-metre contour. Going up, the point where the track leaves the creek can be easily missed. The creek itself offers greasy but reasonable travel, until further down a marked route begins again on the true left, leaving the creek bed and following the bush fan not far away to finish on flats near Grassy Flat Hut. Times : Crawford Bivvy to Browning Bivvy, 3–4 hrs ; Browning Bivvy to Grassy Flats, 2 hrs down, 3 hrs up
Browning Range and Whitehorn Ridge traverse
The Browning Range can be approached from Browning Pass via Hall Creek, heading up slopes a little west of Mt Beals to the Main Divide. From the Main Divide towards Mt Lathrop, rock strata on the range dip towards the west. A series of little ribs running down off the range has little bluff lines on southern aspects. The climb from the south-east onto Mt Lathrop itself involves a steep scramble on poor rock a few hundred metres north of Pt 1640 metres, but the descent to Lathrop Saddle is not difficult. From Lathrop Saddle, the range can be followed to a bluff at about J33 677081 / BV19 577 465. Though climbable, with heavier packs this obstacle can be passed on the Styx side about 100 metres down. As you might infer, Cairn Peak has a big cairn on it. There are often rock wrens around, but they didn’t build it. The basins through here are very pleasant, and Tyndalls Knob can be bypassed in them leading to Whitehorn Ridge. Fabulous but open campsites exist on Whitehorn Ridge at about the 1500-metre contour with tarns. Below the 1440-metre contour, the ridge drops on stable rock and tussock bluffs. These can be bypassed via the old Whitehorn Bivvy site at J33 658061 / BV19 558 445 (not the position marked on older maps). The partly collapsed bivvy has been removed. To bypass from the 1440-metre contour on the ridge, head east and descend the marked creek that heads south, then sidle across a basin to Whitehorn Ridge again by the 1300-metre contour. Follow the ridge down on tussock leads. A very overgrown track begins in the scrub basin below here and white permolat may be found at J33 659047 / BV19 559 431. It is just followable, with care, and after about 500 metres leads into a narrow channel gully overhung with scrub that gives fairly open travel for some while. Markers disappear. When it gets rougher, another gully 30 metres to the true right also gives fairly open travel. When that gets gnarly, the ridge 100 metres to the true left leads down to finish about 100 metres west of the Crawford swingbridge. Expect to bushbash. Times : Lathrop Saddle to Whitehorn Ridge scrubline, about 6 hrs ; Whitehorn Ridge scrubline to Crawford Forks, 2–3 hrs
Styx River to Cairn Peak
Mid Styx Hut (four bunks) on the true left, and tracks to it, are currently maintained by Permolat. There is a marked route onto the tops of Cairn Peak from here.
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club


Type Title Link to edit content
Mountain Mt Lathrop (0 routes)