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Waitangitaona River

POINT (170.310059 -43.301571)

Waitangitaona River onto the northern Price Range
A 4WD track on the true right of the Waitangitaona River beginning at I35 918656 / BW16 818 040 leads along a stopbank around the base of Ralfes Knob and continues intermittently up the valley. Mike Hende should be contacted to cross farmland in the valley, though the cadastral map indicates there is public access up the streambed. The track continues south at about I35 911619 / BW16 811 003 through grass and scrub and loosely continues into Darnley Creek to the end of the flats. Here, at about I35 915609 / BW16 815 993 on the true right, a marked and cut route to the tops begins, but there may be little indication on the flats themselves. However, it is marked from the bush edge about 50 metres or more above the valley at the top of a revegetating slip. Marking is at first sparse, but improves as height is gained. Good campsites exist near a tarn marked on the west end of the ridge at Pt 1273 metres.
Further up, difficulties exist from Pt 1527 metres on this ridge through to the Price Range near Mt Gunn. The ridge is steep and exposed here, with rotten rock, making travel impractical. Choose an alternative route past here carefully. It has been bypassed to the south in gullies that are also steep and loose. Approaching along the flanks of the ridge from the west at the 1340-metre contour, a narrow shingle gully leads down to the stream draining Pt 1527 metres. The initially broad shingle gully opposite offers a route up to the range at I35 961597 / BW16 861 981, but is loose and has small falls to climb around. Alternatively, from contour 1280 metres in the gravel gully draining Pt 1527 metres, climb over spurs and sidle to reach the stream at I35 958591 / BW16 858 975 at the 1240-metre contour. Travel up to the Price Range at I35 966591 / BW16 866 975 in this creek is confined and wetting but otherwise okay.

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