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Hunters Hut to the Gardens via Lambert Spur


  • P1

In good conditions this is the best approach to the Gardens from the Westland. However, part of it, particularly sidling under Mt Lambert has significant avalanche risk when there is fresh snow. There are superb grass campsites near 1443m, and others over at a gravel flat, I35 269677. From Hunters Hut take the track out to the Lambert riverbed, follow the boulders up and cross the Lambert bridge. A good track on the true left leads across a bush terrace before climbing up a spur to pt 1148m, a rocky viewpoint in the scrub. Almost a km further, leave the scrub behind and continue through long tussock into short grass and easier going above about 1450m. Below a small tarn at about I35 264694, there is no water on the ridge. From the knob at I35 265692, to get to the saddle at I35 259681, there are two options. Either descend to the wonderful camping basin south east of pt 1443m then continue to the basin below at I35 256689 before climbing up to the saddle, or sidle across from the small col south of the knob, sidling slowly up to the tarn shown on the map then following the snow or gravel slopes beyond through to the same saddle. From that saddle, descend a snow gully south to access another saddle at I35 262675. The gravel flat about a km east offers a good campsite. (The steep bouldery creek below here has been used to descend all the way to the Lambert Head Flats, but is loose and a poor route. Bouldery falls mean descending oversteep gravel ribs in places to get down). From this gravel flat, descend the steep loose stream east to about the 1300m contour. Drop packs and find a relatively safe route through otherwise steep tussock slopes usually marked with small cairns, crossing about 3 gullies. The first gully has a gravel creek and is crossed near a big boulder. Sidle out on the far side, cross a tiny saddle at 1340m and continue on across to a small dry shingle gully just above falls and ascend right up that to a cairn at the 1500m contour I35 275673 on a rib. Beyond here lie easier ledges and basins under Mt Lambert. Continue south east down across a basin then climb up past a big prominent boulder at I35 277669 before continuing a sidling ascent to the col on the ridge just west of pt 1967. Descend to the Lambert snowfields. Both upper branches of the Lambert Glacier give access to the Garden of Allah, with a few slots around Satans Saddle itself to watch out for. The sidle under Lambert is subject to spring and winter avalanches, and is not recommended in wet or snowy conditions. Time. Hunters Hut to the basin south east of pt 1443m, 6hrs. From the basin south east of pt 1443m to the Lambert Snowfield, 6hrs.