One of the most identifiable passes around, Giant's Castle Pass is a short, steep and loose pass which is most often used to climb Giant's Castle itself. The gully can be seen from as far back as the lodge and looks fairly bland. Once in the throat of the pass, however, some very impressive buttresses and cliffs tower above you.
* * (5/10)
Difficulty of the pass is rated from 1-10 (10 being very difficult, only to be attempted by the fit and experienced). A subjective quality rating is indicated by the number of stars (1 being low, 5 being the highest). Factors such as scenic beauty and overall experience come into play here, which may differ from person to person.
There are many ways to get to the bottom of this pass, the most direct being the Giant's Ridge which leaves the Bushman's River just past the caves and joins the contour path 2km south of the base of Giant's Castle Pass. The total distance to the bottom is 11 km.
The distance from the contour path to the pass summit is 2 km of 650 m.
Just before reaching the river coming down from Giant's Castle Pass when approaching along the contour path from the south, a cairn marks a very vague path up to the left. This path gets even more faint but with care, it can be followed all the way to the boulder bed where the path becomes pretty clear. The initial path stays on the southern slopes, climbing quite steeply until it levels off and contours to the boulder bed in the throat of the pass. Cross the river and follow the cairns through the boulder section until a clear path is reached higher up. This path is very loose due to all the gravel and it is easy to follow it's steep gradient all the way to the short final gully which takes you to the top at 3000 m.
Finding the pass from the escarpment:
Simply locate the lowest saddle between the main escarpment and Giant's Castle itself. A large cairn marks a clear path down the pass.
There are some plausible camping spots in the river valley at contour path level. Apparently there are some small caves near the top of the pass but I have failed to locate these. Camping at the top is plentiful as always.
The boulder bed has an unreliable trickle in it so top up water at the base of the pass. Once at the top, head down the other side to some rivers which cascade of the escarpment edge.
More info for Giants Castle Pass can be found here: