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Dealing with the Devil

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March 2022 Issue

Devil’s Den Bivvy, Lake Sumner Forest Park

The Devils Ramparts tower high above Devils Den Bivvy, which, despite the name, is a neat two-person hut perfectly situated for a weekend adventure. 

It can be approached three ways: up the Nina Valley, over from Slyvia Tops, or from the Doubtful River, all off the Lewis Pass Highway. The route over Slyvia Tops is an easy alpine traverse with views over the surrounding ranges and is the most spectacular of the routes. 

Those views have to be earned with a steep grunt up from the Nina River to gain the tops, but if the weather is fine this is a ‘must’. There are plenty of tarns to refill water along the way. 

From the bivvy itself, a steep side trip leads to The Devils Ramparts for further views of the Nina and Doubtful valleys. 

If you’re running out of daylight never fear, the bivvy’s location on Devilskin Saddle is a great place to watch the sunset. The local kea may even visit. 

For the more adventurous, the bivvy can be linked up with Lake Man Bivvy and the Harpers Pass route for a multi-day trip.

Total Ascent
6-8hr over Slyvia Tops
Devils Den Bivouac (free, two bunks)
From SH7 near Palmer Lodge