FATMAP difficulty grade
This classic itinerary is the main approach to the Colin Todd hut (if you can't afford a helicopter!).
It can be split into two days staying at either the Aspiring hut or bivouacking at the head of the valley or on the way up to Bevan Col.
This approach is recommended in good weather when the scrambling is dry and visibility is good for route finding.
Colin Todd hut is an alpine hut with no booking required - spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. From the car park follow the popular footpath to the Aspiring hut.
You can also mountain bike this section and leave your bike outside the Aspiring hut which provides a quick return journey.
From the Aspiring hut continue along the well marked and signposted valley track through beautiful woodland and open meadows.
Stick with the valley path beyond the suspension bridge and follow the left fork in the path where the French Ridge hut path veers right. From here the path begins to climb more steeply through woodland before once again flattening.
The quality of path begins to deteriorate here as you enter bushy scrub - be careful to follow this path as carefully as possible because the bush to either side is almost impenetrable! Once you've burst out on the other side of the bush descend to the river bed and follow this for a short distance before veering off left following cairns to the base of a scree field.
Follow the scree up to the left of the cliff and waterfall and follow some cairns leading horizontally right to the top of the small waterfall. From here the route finding begins to get more difficult.
A vague path sneaks up the right arete of the slabs above.
Follow this with easy to moderate level scrambling and good exposure to an easing of angle and flat ground at the top.
Veer back to the left, pass comfortable bivouac sites to the large gully which is followed for two hundred metres to an easier angled scramble leading out right towards Bevan Col (cairns but difficult to see).
Rise up and rightwards on snow slopes to Bevan Col. From Bevan Col descend onto the glacier and cross it at its flattest point to a rising traverse along snow slopes to the Colin Todd hut and some much needed rest!