Time: 4-5 hr
Distance: 6 km
Type: Tramping track
Check out the DoC site - this is an alpine environment and conditions can change quickly. Experienced Trampers only. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/otago/wanaka-area/aspiring-hut-to-cascade-saddle/
Cascade saddle in New Zealand's Mount Aspiring National Park is an amazing location, it's one of those places you can just sit and admire the scenery for hours. There are a two marked tracks leading to the saddle one from the Dart river valley and another from the Matukituki valley.
Cascade Track - Aspiring Hut - Cascade Saddle.
Aspiring hut is located in the Matukituki river valley, 2 and half hours up the valley from Raspberry Creek carpark. From Aspiring hut it takes about 4 hours of steep ascent to reach the high point of the track at the pylon, this is actually higher than the saddle itself at 1835m. Once at the pylon you will have climbed over 1000m so fortunately the hardest part is over but there is still another 2 hours to go before reaching the saddle. This route can be very slippery so great care must be taken.
Cascade saddle is at an altitude of 1524 metres. It offers brilliant views. The Dart glacier is nearby rumbling frequently as it gradually shifts. The Matukituki river winds it's way through the valley some 1000 below, you can see water falls cascading off the near vertical drop to the valley floor. In the distance you get a superb view of Mt Aspiring on a good day. At 1500 metres you have to watch the weather ... thick cloud, snow and strong winds are possible at any time of year.
The Cascade Saddle will take your breath away ... that's if you have any breath left to take after the ascent :-) So choose your route and get into it!
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