Today – 8km from Nichols Hut to Waitawaewae Hut
Big kms today haha! Reading 8kms makes it sound like a walk in the park but really it was still a 4.5hour hike.
The morning brought wind and a bit of rain but the wind was looking to be dying down so I packed up and got going with Iben, Ralph, Laine and Casey, as it was a safety in numbers exercise on the ridge in wind and poor visibility.
The ascent this morning flew by, we were climbing Mt Crawford. The views did not do it justice, only about 20m could be seen in any direction.
I was sporting the conehead rain fashion , and it was great that it wasn’t really raining, more just really windy.
Had to be careful in a few places and really lower the centre of gravity, but I never felt I would be swept off the ridge. I hate to have thought what it was like yesterday!
Got to the summit and celebrated with a quick swig of water and a summit snap then kept going to avoid cold hands!
Soon after traversing a ridge for a while we entered the forest and then it was a pretty brutal downhill, classic NZ style with lots of mud and roots.
I really enjoy this type of tramping but it definately is hard work and you have to concentrate at all times.
A few fallen trees made for some obstacles, and we all did a few slides along the way.
Near the hut, Waitawaewae, Casey and I heard a huge scream from behind and we went back up to help Brianne, who had fallen a few times a got a bit spooked. Luckily she was okay and no injuries.
Coming down to the hut I decided to call it an early day as it was already 3 and the next route may take 5-7h hours as it is an alternate route to avoid a huge slip.
After a wonderful wash and swim in the river, I had a chilled out afternoon with Iben and Ralph who also decided to relax as everyone was feeling in need of some rest.