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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 5 (August 1, 1935)

Over the Pass to Westland

Over the Pass to Westland.

But the two young explorers were bent on another Alpine reconnaissance. page 24 They must see what lay beyond the Rakaia river head. So, on the last day of January, 1861, they rode out from the Mesopotamia home, taking with them the necessary packhorse. Crossing the broad and swift Rangitata, always a nasty river to ford, they passed Lake Heron, and in three days from Mesopotamia they reached the foot of the snow pass they had seen. This pass, though discovered by Butler and Baker, was afterwards called the Whitcombe Pass, after the surveyor who crossed it, and was drowned on the West Coast. The two mates were successful in reaching the summit of the pass, and they went down the other side until they were within about twenty miles of the West Coast.