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Perth Col


Originally named Lucknow Saddle in the early 1930s, Perth Col is the usual pack access onto the Gardens from the Frances branch of the Clyde Valley. Watch for random stonefall in the Colin Campbell and Wee McGregor valleys. Water is usually available in the lower Wee McGregor and in streams draining the Wee McGregor Glacier at the 1740m contour.

POINT (170.715351 -43.337352)
BW17 148 992

Follow up moraine on the Colin Campbell Glacier (travel is easiest in the ablation valley on the true right) and access the true right branch leading up to Perth Col. A depression at this corner junction can sometimes be awkward. In recent years schrunds at an ice bulge between 1800m and 1900m in the original direct gully under Baker Peak will sometimes cut this route off.
There is an easy alternative route via the Wee McGregor Glacier, though slots there can also give problems occasionally late in the season. Leave the main gully under Baker Peak at the 1760m contour and scramble up easy shingle and minor bedrock to the ice of the Wee McGregor Glacier at I35 253608. Ascend the Wee McGregor Glacier then cross about 10m of rock over a minor col at I35 250607 to the neve under Perth Col itself.
Above the col, to access the Garden of Eden, either sidle snowslopes on the western side of the Divide ridge above the Perth (more direct and less climbing) or climb onto the Divide and follow it to the low peak of Baker.
On the former route, it is best not to stray too far from the slopes of Baker, as schrunds grow further to the west along the Plateau border. On the latter route, bypass an initial gendarme up a snow shoulder to the east. Above the gendarme, the ridge is easy walking to the low peak of Baker and onto the Garden. See upper Perth notes on approaching Perth Col from the Perth.
Cormack, Wilson, Dec 1933.
There is reasonable snow camping immediately east of the Col in the neve basin, but water will need to be melted. There is also a tiny, nifty but exposed bivouac spot on top of the rib between the Wee McGregor Glacier and the gully under Baker Pk to the north.
Higher up, there are also a few established campsites about 20m below and to the south east of the low peak of Baker. This is not a bad place to be based, with great views, good exit options and water available in several small pools in the rock, either roughly 70m along towards the high peak or the same distance over towards the north east. Be aware all camping on the Gardens can be exposed to ferocious wind at times.

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