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Frances River


The head of the Frances River gives access to peaks on the Main Divide and to Perth Col, and from there to the Gardens of Eden and Allah. The valley has long been used to reach the Gardens and for
crossings to the West Coast. In the 1880s John Acland named the good camping area at the entrance to the valley Bay Of Plenty. In the 1930s Lloyd Wilson named Windy Corner, on the true right near the crossing point to McCoy Hut, and he also named The Sewer, found about 1 km upriver where the river used to cut into bluffs necessitating a swim or steep scramble.

POINT (170.7539697 -43.35657042)

Travel along the Frances River is easiest on the true right. A vague track from McCoy Hut cuts north-west to join the river upstream of a short section where the river flows over bedrock. Follow the river here for a couple of hundred metres to a gravel flat. Cross here if possible and continue to towards Tauroa Creek, taking a couple of short minor scrub sidles behind boulders about 600 metres past Tauroa Creek. Beyond Agnes Stream stay close to the river to pass a moraine boulder field, and continue to silt flats and the lake at the foot of the Colin Campbell Glacier. Travel along gravel from here to the Frances Glacier. Tent sites exist a few hundred metres downstream of Tauroa Creek, in the vicinity of Agnes Stream and just below the confluence with the Colin Campbell Glacier.

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Type Name
Pass Fan Col
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club