As usual I was first to wake and first to get out of bed. I was conscious to make as little sound as possible. Not everyone is a morning person like myself. Quietly I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee. I packed my gear and started hiking before most people were awake.
Dark clouds settled on the high mountain peaks until they were no longer visible. There was a quiet calm before the storm. An hour of hiking and the clouds liberated their moisture. The rain was light at first then heavy enough to put on the rain jacket and pack cover. This was the first rain of any substance since Christmas day when I was stuck in a hut, oh so long ago.
10am photo below
I arrived at the first hut after 3 hours hiking but didn’t take time to rest. Just long enough to eat a couple of granola bars then off again.
The trail followed a clear mountain river, crossing it several times on small wooden bridges or large swing bridges. Since I started hiking on the south island I haven’t filtered the water. These clear mountain streams are pure. The kind of water people pay good money to drink. I think it unlikely that I’ll get sick drinking this pure untreated water. The further I climbed up the valley the smaller the river became.
By 1pm I reached my final destination for the day, Upper Traverse Hut. With sketchy weather it just wasn’t worth pushing over the exposed mountain pass. Besides, I could see smoke rising from the hut, there was a warm fire going inside.
The hut was busy. People and wet gear everywhere. I found a place to sleep and set about finding a place to dry my gear. A cooked lunch was followed by a long and lazy afternoon siesta. Hopefully the weather is clear tomorrow for the high mountain pass.