Well, that wasn’t a surprise, it was forecast. Around 10 cm covered everything in the morning, 1° C inside the hut.
No more falling, but it was on the balcony, roof, steps, handrail and decorating the trees. Yeah, that looks like winter.
I decided that Browning Hut was all I needed for exercise for the day, only four hours away. I could sit around in my sleeping bag, listening to the morning news, read the hut literature, drink a few mugs of coffee.
I could see over to the main face of Mt Richmond and there wasn’t much snow over there, as I thought there should be, but eventually the cloud parted for a few minutes and I could make out the completely iced up top slopes. Sure was blowing over there, but fortunately the hut is well sheltered.
Eventually I packed up, some sun streaming in, hitting the little clumps of snow I had traipsed inside.
It was an up-and-down afternoon, 500 m of climbing, then dropping down to Totara Saddle with the hut not far away. There’s been plenty of windfall that DOC has cut a path through, from an April 2014 storm, but a few have fallen subsequently so I found myself crawling in the snow under a giant trunk, or clambering over if at all possible. A few I skirted but then finding the track on the other side in the snow wasn’t straightforward.
No, it wasn’t four hours, being slowed with the snow meant once again it was late in the day when I crashed in. Almost fully dark.
I’m on my own once again, might be another early night.