These crossing trips all involve travel above the bushline. Make sure that your gear and route-finding abilities reflect the possibility of alpine conditions.
- Severe conditions may be expected at all seasons of the year.
- Winter crossings will need ice axe and perhaps crampons.
- Be prepared to turn back if conditions get too tough – the hills will still be there next weekend and you will be better prepared.
- But don't forget your sunscreen and camera.
The Middle Crossing is generally considered to be between the road-ends of Otaki Forks and Holdsworth, and several routes may be used. None are described in detail here, but the route segments are listed under respective valley or Main Range routes. Two reasonably fit days or three more moderate ones.
The traditional route was through Waitewaewae to Anderson Memorial Hut for Saturday night. From here, either the ridge at the back of the hut or the next stream S gives access to Waiohine River. This section of the river is not difficult in normal water. To mount the spur to Isabelle, travel 300 metres up Francis Creek until past the bluffs – the pool is passable. The spur to Isabelle is delightful.
Nowadays the route via Mid-Waiohine Hut is an option, but is a couple of hours longer, as the range must first be travelled to Aokaparangi before descending to the Waiohine and the bridge below Mid Waiohine Hut.
Interesting variants for the more fit are via Park Forks in the north, or via Hector Forks in the south.
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