The Kaipo River drains from the Ngapunatoru Plateau toward the Tasman Sea.
The Kaipo River drains from the Ngapunatoru Plateau toward the Tasman Sea. The Kaipo Valley is wildly remote even by Fiordland standards and sees more hunters than climbers. The only route climbed out of the head of the valley ascends the Kaipo Wall.
Upper Kaipo Valley via O’Leary Pass
From Demon Trail Hut catch a boat across Lake McKerrow to the stream that drains from O’Leary Pass. Follow the true left bank of the stream for 500m ‘til bluffs are met. Find an easy way up through bluffs, tending north ‘til the forest slowly opens out (long162, lat224). Cross moraine at around 700m and traverse, gaining height toward the lake under the scree bluffs above. From the lake scramble due south over big rocks and tussock to O’Leary Pass.
When descending into the Upper Kaipo from O’Leary Pass sidle to the south ‘til under
Peak 1577m. Weave through bluffs then take a stream that cuts back along under the bluffs. From here it is steep but easy going down to the Kaipo River. Once in the Kaipo Valley head for the main river, crossing to open flats on the western side which give easier access via deer trails to the upper valley. Allow 4hr travel to O’Leary Pass and a further 5hr to the head of the valley.
|Mountain||Troglodyte Pk (2 routes)|