Nov 11 day 72 Rocks Hut to Slaty Hut 25 km 6:45-4:00
All business today, not that it wasn’t a pretty walk. It was, with varied surface– a little mud, a lot of stream crossings, some high elevation scree to slip and slide on, and even some rock climbing. Mostly it was a lot of elevation change–up, for the valley floor to about 1400 meters in four kilometers. Exhausting. At some point a few years ago, a storm or tornado came through this area and knocked down innumerable large old trees. The have done a good job clearing and/or rerouting the trail, but it is still eerie to walk through all these upturned giants. After my experience in the Tararua range, I was curious about how hiking time and distance will play out in the next week or so, as much will be above tree line and very exposed. It rained a little today but is supposed to be clear tomorrow. I am hoping I don’t get stranded in a hut because of weather, but also hope I will be able to make reasonable hiking distance over the peaks. Today was hard, but I got my 25 km. Tomorrow is the Rintoul peak, supposed to be the hardest part of this section. Here’s hoping for sun and no wind. Early to bed, really tired.