Butler River

(0 routes)

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Type: 
Valley
Access: 

A DOC-maintained track leads up to the head of the Butler, but remember this is the West Coast,
and even with tracks travel can be challenging. A bridge across the South Branch has improved access
to Ice Lake. The mountains up here are awe-inspiring in height and grandeur. The Mawson Glacier
is sometimes used to approach the Main Divide and Neish Plateau from here, and the stream below
Ice Lake and the spur on its true right used to approach Grey Pass. Great transalpine lines. The Butler
gives access to peaks such as Mt Huss, Dog Kennel Peak and Mt Victoire.
Butler Junction Hut to Ice Lake
From Butler Junction Hut a marked DOC track (recut in 2009) leads up to Top Butler Hut. To continue
to Ice Lake, cross the Butler River South Branch on a new bridge then follow a cut and well-marked
track (initially high above the river) to good camping at the south-west end of the lake.
Times: Butler Junction to Top Butler Hut, 2 hrs; Top Butler Hut to Ice Lake, 2 hrs.
Butler Junction Hut to upper Gunn River
From the Butler Junction bridge over the Whataroa a maintained DOC marked route climbs to the
scrubline on the Gunn Ridge, with big coloured marker poles near Pt 1203 metres. Above here markers
cease, and the spur up onto the range is scrubby, narrow and eroding in places but negotiable. From the
old cairn where the spur meets the Gunn Ridge, follow the ridge up to 1700 metres, then descend the
valley that heads north from Pt 1854 metres to about the 1560-metre contour. From here sidle mostly
west, crossing streams and climbing to 1700 metres again before swinging north-west down broad
tussock slopes to lower flats in the upper Gunn basin. There are good campsites in the upper basin of
the Gunn River to climb from.
Descending from Gunn Ridge to the Whataroa, some have found the top of the tracked spur dangerous
under loose snow and instead used the ridge over Pt 825 metres, which is less steep. This was
reported as scrubby but reasonable going, as is McCormick Creek lower down.
Time: Butler Junction Hut to cairn on Gunn Ridge, 5 hrs

Lat/Lon: 
-43.416520000000, 170.430050000000
NZMS260: 
I35 019 513
Topo50: 
BX16 919 897
Attribution: 
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club

Places

Type Title Edit link
Valley Butler River South Branch (0 routes)
Range Price Range (1 route)
Mountain McFetrick Peak (1 route)
Mountain Junction Peak (1 route)
Pass Grey Pass (2 routes)
Mountain Seymour Peak (3 routes)
Mountain Mt Frances (2 routes)
Mountain Mt Sutton-Turner (1 route)
Pass Unnamed Pass (0 routes)
Mountain White Pyramid (1 route)
Mountain Mt Victoire (3 routes)
Mountain Gorrie Pk (1 route)
Mountain Cumine Pk (1 route)
Mountain McKinnon Pk (1 route)
Mountain Mt Ariki (1 route)
Mountain Mt Rangatira (2 routes)
Mountain Mt Whataroa (2 routes)
Mountain Tohunga Peak (2 routes)