A small storm ending 36hrs prior to our arrival at Hunter hut had raised the Wanganui on the walk in, but the river was near base flow by the time we got to the Lambert. Three of us crossed the Lambert safely at around 4pm, linked up, water was about 1m at its deepest. I would not have crossed on my own and would have considered it very carefully given a team of only 2. Finding the Lambert Tops track on the other side was tricky. We followed an old slip up about 40-60m above the old bridge anchors, and proceeded to sidle through the bush back to the north in search of the orange DOC track. The bush bash was slow going with skis and 25kg+ of alpine gear on our backs. After about 2hrs of deer tracks and pushing through bush, we found the track which was in relatively good shape, with some large treefall to navigate around. With a team of 3, we never lost the track with the exception of the few places where treefall required it. We bivvied in the bush with no water source. There was 1 old manky tarn the track passes which we boiled for coffee in the morning (near the ‘b’ in Lambert), otherwise, NO water until tarns ~1400m. Plan accordingly… Was great going, better than expected, and the scrub wasn’t too bad. Note, the actual track (gps location) is consistently 50-100m west of its dotted location on the NZ topo map.
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Mountain Journeys specialises in guided off-track transalpine tramping trips in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.