Such an easy easy easy easy day today. Came pretty close to just heading on past the hut, but I decided not to. Tomorrow is going to be a long, challenging day. I want to rest up and get an early start and that’ll be a lot easier in a hut than in my tent.
But back to today. Again I am bad with the photo taking but as I was walking along a guy on horseback and his 2 horses came up behind me and we chatted for a bit. He had two beautiful horses and was out exploring the area for a month on horseback! It was so cool! He had some really interesting stories about walking into towns on horseback and having people come up to him and show him where he could park his horses. Such a neat thing, and I’m intrigued by the idea of wandering around the backcountry of New Zealand on horseback.
No rain today but cloudy all day and pretty cool. Some river crossings and one of them I got pretty chilled by to the point I almost stopped to take my wet shoes off and such. I kept walking and was fine.
Tomorrow is the big day. Waiau pass. I’m still pretty anxious. Mostly that tomorrow is going to be an 11+ hour day. Ugh. I doubt it will be. And if it is, well, that’s fine, I’ll be at blue lake hut and be comfy afterward. Hopefully it won’t be packed full of people, but it’s a weekday so it should be good hopefully.
Weather forecast this morning from DOC said there could be snow down to the 1000m level on Friday. Waiau pass is 1700+, blue lake hut itself is at like 1100m, and on Friday I’m set to go over travers saddle which is also 1700+. And travers saddle is an avalanche risk area, so, that could be interesting. Fortunately the track down from blue lake is all down hill along a river, and before I head up to travers saddle I’ll arrive at West Sabine hut which is the biggest hut on TA with 34 bunks, and I can decide from there if I’m going to continue on to travers saddle or if I’m going to instead take the Sabine River track downhill into St Arnaud. Both routes lead me into town, both routes will take 2 days, so it’s just a matter of if I can or want to attempt travers saddle. I’m hoping by the time I’m ready to leave west Sabine, some southbounders will have come through and said whether or not I should try it.
Anyways, that’s all later. Today was just an easy day. Honestly I was expecting this entire section to be super hard, but really it’s all been super easy, just lots of distance. Tomorrow and the next day are the only 2 hard days, but I’ve heard they are very rewarding. Also the forecast seems to suggest I’ll have good, clear weather tomorrow afternoon, so I’m hoping it holds true!
Here are some pictures. Despite it being cloudy all day, I think the scenery here was quite lovely.