There are several ways to Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus - see tracks and routes below.
Walking times are a guide only and will vary with fitness and weather conditions. Weather and snow conditions are most favourable between October and May although in some years winter snow persists into late November on the alpine passes.
Pinchgut Track, Robert Ridge Route - 12.2 km, 6 hr
Robert Ridge is highly exposed to wind and rain. High winds have blown people off their feet - turn back if you have to.
From Mt Robert carpark, a steep zig-zag track (the Pinchgut Track) climbs up to the junction with Paddys Track (Bushline Hut 30 minutes from the junction). The Pinchgut Track ends and the route along the ridge is marked with poles. The route follows a broad ridge to Julius Summit (1794 m). From here the route has some sharp and rocky sections. Care must be taken here in icy or winter conditions as accidents have occurred on this section with those not properly equipped and experienced. Continue past the junction with the Speargrass Creek Route (30 minutes from Angelus Hut) onto the ridge overlooking Angelus Basin. Follow the poles down to the lake and hut.
Rocky outcrops require a lot of scrambling - good footwear and balance are needed.
There is no water along the track/route so remember to carry your own. Be prepared for snow and ice during winter and spring. Robert Ridge is very exposed and is subject to high winds and poor visibility at any time of year.
Robert Ridge Route profile
Speargrass Track, Speargrass Creek Route - 11.2 km, 6 hr
From Mt Robert carpark follow Speargrass Track to the Speargrass Creek Route junction approximately 5 minutes before Speargrass Hut (1060 m, serviced 12 bunk hut). From the carpark to the track junction takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. From the track junction it is a poled route with many unbridged stream crossings up Te Horowai/Speargrass Creek, to intersect with the Mt Robert Ridge Route 10 minutes short of the view overlooking Angelus Basin. Follow the poles to the lake and hut. Expect muddy sections below the bush edge. This way is often used in bad weather.
Speargrass Creek Route profile
Travers-Cascade Track/Route - 9.4 km, 6 hr
From St Arnaud the option is to either take the water taxi or walk to either Lakehead Hut (9 km, 3 hr) or Coldwater Hut (12 km, 4 hr).
From Coldwater Hut to the Cascade Track junction it is 1hour 30minutes. From Lakehead Hut it is also 1 hour 30 minutes to the Cascade Track Junction.
Note this includes crossing the unbridged Travers River (if the Travers River is in flood a swingbridge is located 1 hour 30 minutes upstream).
From the Cascade Track Junction it’s a steady climb for 4 hours 30 minutes alongside the Hukere stream. The track ends at the bush edge. Climb steeply following the poled route to Angelus Hut. Snow and ice can create hazards requiring suitable experience and equipment to safely negotiate this route.
Travers-Cascade Track/Route profile
Angelus Hut campsite
Mt Cedric Track/Route (from Sabine Hut) - 6.8 km, 6 hr
This is a very steep route to Angelus Basin which is exposed above the bushline. The track begins behind Sabine Hut (serviced hut, 32 bunks) and climbs very steeply and steadily to the bush edge. Poles and cairns mark the route from here, which eventually drops off the eastern side of a high ridge of Mt Cedric (1532 m) and descends to Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus. There is no water along the track/route. Snow and ice can create hazards requiring suitable experience and equipment to safely negotiate this route.
Mt Cedric Track/Route profile