The Five Pass Trip   

This is a classic four or five day tramp at the Head of Lake Wakatipu. It crosses Fohn Saddle, Fiery Col, Cow Saddle, Park Pass, Sugarloaf Pass, so two saddles, two passes, and a col, but five passes sounds better.

Time Total Refs Comments
Lake Sylvan car park 0h 0h
a Beans Burn 3.5h 3.5h
b Beans Burn bivvy rock 6h 9.5h
c Olivine Ledge bivvy rock 5h 14.5h Cross Fohn Saddle
d Cow Saddle 5.5h 20h Cross Fiery Col
e Park Pass 5.5h 25.5h
f Theatre Flat 2.5h 28h
g Routeburn car park 5.5h 33.5h Cross Sugarloaf Pass
h Lake Sylvan car park 0.7h 34.2h


(07.12.15) The bridge over the Rock Burn below Theatre Flat is in a very dangerous state. It may be possible to bypass the bridge by fording the Rock Burn at one of the flats lower down and bushwacking on the true-left or by continuing to Theatre flat on the true-right and fording there.


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Lake Sylvan Beans Burn Olivines Park Pass Park Pass


The descriptions in Moir's Guide North (2005) are generally accurate.

The track in the Beans Burn above the bridge was well marked (in 2007), except where you need it, namely, where it re-enters the bush. To some extent, you can just follow deer trails, but there are places where you need to be on the track.

The "red/white permolat marker" was missing from the creek in Hidden Falls valley where you leave the valley and head to Park pass. Also, the ground trails were misleading. However, there were blazes and a good rock cairn. Once you are sure you have the correct creek, simply head in the direction of Park Pass, and pick up a track on a spur.

There was still snow on the route in February 2007, but it was soft and not a problem, which was fortunate, because my iceaxe dropped off my pack while I was lost in the Beans Burn.

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Copyright © 2013 J.S. Milne.