Battleaxe Col provides a crossing from McCoy Stream to the Rakaia River and is a useful access point to the southern aspects of The Warrior from Sinclair Stream via Crossbow Saddle.
The lower reaches of Billy McCoy Stream are steeply gorged and a high-level traverse of the gorge is difficult. The gorge is passable in low water, with numerous crossings and a scramble around the final waterfall. It is impassable in high water. In good conditions Hecuba Glacier is a feasible route to Battleaxe Col, but it can get cut off in its lower reaches. In summer the final climb to the col is up steep rock.
From Battleaxe Col, Crossbow Saddle is reached by heading south-east across straightforward snow and ice slopes.
To reach the Rakaia River follow the steep Kirk Glacier and follow Kirk Stream as far as a small side creek draining the south side of Prelude Peak. Climb to a small saddle south of Prelude Peak, head east, and follow the spur that leads down from Pt 1753 metres reaching the Rakaia River at the east end of Lyell Lake.