Talk about windy.

That’s despite the hut being fairly sheltered as it is located down from the ridge, giving some intervening topography to the immediate south and west to block the strong southerly blast. And the Blairich Ridge runs another 400 m higher to the north, so it’s a little sun pocket with a decent view down the valley and over to Seddon and the Pacific beyond.

Despite the length of my overnight repose, I sat around for a few hours, soaking up the sights and sun, noting that the snow line had moved up the hills, and now the hut area was snow free.

Eventually, I packed up and shuffled off.

Up on the ridge was an experience. Some of the most blustery conditions I’ve ever encountered, with occasional blasts coming close to bowling me over.

Since it wasn’t dark, I could make better note of my surroundings. The hills are impressively steep, with plenty of base rock on display.

Once in the forest, the trees waved around a bit, and during the chunk of my descent. Some remnant beach trees remain, although wind sheared, with the low canopy. Almost at the level of the manuka.

Down in the valley it’s all manuka, or is it kanuka, and the experience of the wind was seriously discombobulated with the branches swishing around, and the light and shade also swirling. It felt almost like being in a small boat in a storm.

Eventually, I staggered out, with my limbs feeling moderately stiff and sore from this first tramp for two months.

Plenty more of this in store in the coming weeks.

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