Okay, so I overachieved in the heating department last night.

I loaded the fire up with a couple of big logs before we retired last night and closed the flue and air intake vent, cutting down the oxygen supply. It was warm in the hut, not the full complement of clothes required, as per previous evenings. No socks and only two wool top layers.

We rolled around sleeplessly for a couple of hours, eventually I opened a window to let the place cool down, 30° C according to my thermometer, no wonder.

After five minutes I just left a small gap and dropped immediately to sleep. It was finally a comfortable temperature. Fortunately B closed the window while I was sleeping, in the morning it was 0° C. My temperature regulation, an even 12° C would have been excellent, had dramatically failed.

B was cheery enough, no complaint, but maybe he will enjoy my lack of company tonight, he’s staying a second night and spending the day climbing Mt Patriarch, just 1656 m, so a 1200 m climb.

I meanwhile just had a 7 km wander down the valley to the Lower Goulter Hut. Mostly on or near river flats, not much in the way of climbing to be done.

This was my “rest day”, not much energy expenditure in view of the big day tomorrow, up and over Bushy Top, 1257 m, then down to the Mid Wairoa Hut, back on Te Araroa and the Alpine Route.

The sun was still shining brightly, no clouds around, although big-time frost whenever shade was encountered.

The highlight was the considerable tranches of mature kanuka forest. The valley must have been burnt off at some stage, maybe as part of the Wairau valley burning by the moa hunters some centuries ago.

Big day tomorrow, quiet night tonight. Not actually looking forward to the frosty barefoot river crossing first up in the morning. Might sleep better, however I’m not going to create another inferno.

6 30 pm. Tucked in bed. 16° C.

Might read a book for a while.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Lower Goulter Hut

coming down from Bushy Top you see the hut way below | Lower Goulter Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park
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