What is the condition of the popular (unofficial) trail up McDougall Creek now that a few years have passed since the 2013 flood? Undoubtably, the flood waters did a number in the valley, spreading cobbles and flood debris across the floor and eroding the banks.
I can report the going is pretty good to the Y-junction with the southwest ridge route to the helipad. In the V-shaped valley beyond, though, you need to keep a sharp eye out for flagging and cairns of all sizes indicating bypasses, a few of which are quite substantial, like the new walk up the cobbles of the creaked. Most notably, the traverses across first and third banks have been abandoned, which means four creek crossings and stints along the east bank. The first east bank bypass has a trail, the second no trail and hikers are either pushing a route through deadfall close to the creek or wading inland through more open bush. Second and fourth banks are crossable, but care is needed. The end result is that all the changes eat up more of your time, so start early if you want to get to the top of Old Baldy.
Alf envisages a new trail that completely misses out the problematic lower creek by using the burn and the forest of the east bank. If we had to start all over again making a trail, this would definitely be the route to go. Question of the day: If a new route is flagged, will people follow it?