When you have a business, of a sort, called bluelake where should I head today?

Err, Blue Lake?

Well, that’s how it worked out.

The weather forecast was finally for rain after lunchtime and I confirm it delivered.

At least the climb up to Travers Saddle was just fully cloudy at the level of the mountain tops, I was out of the mist and could see down the Travers Valley, and, then went over the top into the East Sabine as far as the Forks where it joined the, err, West Sabine.

I was in no major hurry, a slow plod up the 500 m to the saddle, then, with the wind getting up I was straight over the other side, through the tussock, it is well above the tree line. Then there is some rock hopping, more tussock, short stretch of stunted mountain beech forest then out onto a massive slip, a major avalanche route.

That set the pulse racing, a sense of urgency as I contemplated all the house-sized rocks precariously perched high up the slope. You spend some time going down the narrow channel of a gully but eventually, you do climb back into the forest.

Down at the river I had some lunch, I’m the Muesli Bar Kid, and a hunter, complete with a fearsome-looking weapon, strolled past. He was camped just 500 m up the East Sabine, no deer yet sighted but there was deer sign around. He was on his lonesome and hadn’t seen anyone for about 24 hours so enjoyed our chat until it started raining.

From the river it is fairly level, sidling around until eventually, I headed down to the West Sabine Hut.

I chatted to a couple of German guys who were friendly and wanted to know about the Alpine Route that they were contemplating. But after five minutes, a couple of heads appeared through the window, two more, eventually eight in all.

They trooped in and sat down and I discovered they were aiming for Blue Lake Hut.

Humm, the German guys thought there were already 12 people up there, they had come down in the morning. That would make 21.

Okay, time to shoot through. Better go and nab one of those remaining bunks.

The rain had set in which encouraged movement for the next few hours and it was fairly cool, momentum was needed for another 600 m climb.

Super-steamy in the hut but when the other eight arrived there were now five more people than bunks on a dark and stormy night. The floor, where they would be sleeping, was entirely damp.

Cosy indeed.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Blue Lake Hut

Blue Lake Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park
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