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Ivory Lake

POINT (170.912933 -43.135441)
BW18 303 220

Top Waitaha Hut to Ivory Lake Hut
From Top Waitaha Hut, follow tussock flats and cross Reid Creek just before it gorges. Climb onto the terrace between Reid and Stag Creeks. There is a small tarn (marked) and campsite at the 1200-metre contour here. Sidle across the terrace and descend gently around the corner into Stag Creek, keeping about 30–40 metres above the creek until it flattens off at about 1220 metres. Continue by the stream until about 150 metres below the Ivory–Stag confluence.
There are now several routes up to the hut. The first, and a variation of it, leaves Stag Creek here and climbs scree onto a shoulder on the true right of Ivory Creek. Then either cross Ivory Creek in a basin at 1300 metres and follow up benches under bluffs to the lake rim east of the hut (easier), or as a variation continue up shingle on the true right of Ivory Creek. Then, near the outlet, sidle gently up
across bedrock, following the odd cairn. This route approaches the lake from just above the remains of the concreted weir at the outlet, before descending to cross. Slightly back in the lake is deeper (up to knees) but easy ; closer to the weir the bottom is greasy bedrock.
As another alternative, in low river conditions, continue up Stag Creek to a three-creek (including Ivory) junction and go another 100 metres further upstream before climbing easy slopes and ledges through bluffs to reach Ivory Lake, 100 metres east of the hut. This route is probably the easiest, but it is only possible if the rivers are low.
Time : 3 hrs
Ivory Lake to the valley head
From the lake, head up valley on the true right of Stag Creek, sidling across and down over benches and slopes to reach the upper basin above a marked 25-metre waterfall. A big gully of gravel and bedrock is crossed about halfway across.
Time : Ivory Lake to Seddon Col, about 2 ½ hrs

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