I was keen to take photos of the new Casey Hut interior.

The three DOC workers left relatively early. The guy I thought was another DOC worker wasn’t. He had been further up the Poulter River, spinning on Lake Minchin for trout. That left the two younger women who eventually left.

Then I thought it would only be another few minutes before the outside of the hut had sunlight.

Finally, I took off, making reasonable time, smashing out the kilometres on the super easy quad bike track.

A beautiful if not gorgeous late summer day, so that suggested I should divert off to visit a hut on the other side of the river.

So, I spent an age crossing the Poulter River. I wandered back up the river bank and found a place where it was a little over knee height in depth.

More time working out exactly how to scale the lateral moraine. The boulder cliffs were difficult where not impossible, with matagouri to greet me at the top. And bottom as it turned out. A fine Little Adventure scrambling up the loose round rocks.

My destination was Turnbull Hut, a two-bunk hut high on the river terrace. First, I had to find the rescue orange painted hut with the matagouri cutting down on visibility. Scratched up I straggled in and shared my lunch with a squadron of wasps and a few bumblebees. Checked out the water supply but in the end, decided to continue. I was the first visitor for the summer in these last days of February. The previous visitor was three months earlier. Considering the numbers in the valley I would have thought there would be more, but those cliffs were daunting.

Getting back to the river was easier since I discovered a well-marked track, rather than my jigsaw puzzle style route.

I had a deal. If I made it to Pete Creek by 3 pm I would continue over Binser Saddle, but with all my earlier mucking around in the shrubbery it was later.

Why not put up my tent under the mountain beach canopy and enjoy an earlier finish the day?

I can crack out Binser Saddle tomorrow morning. Promise it will be an earlier start.

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