Styx River, West Coast Greasy canyons, deep forest, and lots of wet are par for the course on any tramp into, or out of, the Styx River on the West Coast.
This beautiful valley is actually part of the famous Three Pass Route, across the Alps from Canterbury to Westland and we were heading out of the catchment after a five-day hike through the mountains.
We had come in over Hokitika Saddle, the upper Wilberforce Valley and Browning Pass down to Styx Saddle, and had just spent the night up at the nicely situated Grassy Flat Hut.
The track down the Styx is well-marked, but has a moderate ascent through some gorgy sections, particularly in the mid regions, and there is even the odd fixed chain to guide trampers safely above the boisterous river.
Climbing over and around these large slabs and boulders in a tributary of the Styx is what makes tramping in Westland a great adventure and part of the challenge. We were just grateful we didn’t have to negotiate flooded rivers as well.