Hours km m ascent m descent

From the car park near the Cass train station, follow the road southwest to the signposted start of the track on SH73 (just south of the bridge over Cass River) and cross the stile into farmland. The route is well marked with poles, and travels along a 4WD track to a large display sign that contains a box with an intentions book. Cass River is just beyond, and you head upstream along the gravel flats, fording from one side to the other as necessary.

After travelling up the river bed for 4km (about l'/i hours), an orange marker appears on the true right (south) side; next to it is a well-defined track. You make an immediate climb, which is steep in parts, and after 3km cross Cass River on a bridge. The track then climbs another 90m in the next lkm to reach Cass Hut (three bunks). As far as biwies go - most being little more than a mattress in a tin box - this one is not bad. It's near the bush-line, with a small table, a stove and some space inside.

Within minutes of leaving the hut you begin climbing towards Cass Saddle. Once you break out of the trees there are views everywhere. During winter this area is avalanche-prone, and in summer it's easy to see why - there are steep scree slopes on both sides of the alpine route. Poles and boardwalks lead through open tussock to Cass Saddle (1326m), 1.5km from the hut; the pass is marked by a large pole. You can look down into the Hamilton valley and,

See Arthur's Pass National Park Tramps Map (pp222-23)

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