I ended up having to work over both Easter and ANZAC, but got a solid 3 days recovery post-night shift so headed up to Mt Owen in-between the two holidays, 23rd to 24th of April 2019. Clare Fryer, Romain Albert and Jen Ormsbee joined me for the adventure, after weighing up all the ways in which Mt Owen didn't make an easy loop or shuttle we decided to tackle the problem from the south. The ridge up Sunrise Peak certainly got entertaining near the top and approaching the summit we fell for the Mt Owen classic, by getting tricking into following a line of cairns that turned out to just lead to a hole in the ground!
After a brief regroup though we were back on track and managed to make it to tree line on our way to Branch Creek Hut just before nightfall, and to the Hut not too long after. Note that the track enters the bushline on the ridge and not off to the side as marked on the topo map.
The next day we headed out the Fyfe river, seeing several pairs of Whio along the way, before walking a short section of road back to our car. Please note that both these tracks cross farmland and please make sure to contact the farmer and get permission, help us preserve access to the backcountry.
All up a great adventure and way to explore a fantastic popular mountain from a less popular perspective!