This tramp has gone off the rails. I never anticipated getting into the D’Urville again but I must have started to need some solitude.

There had ended up being 21 people in the hut last night, another damp body turned up long after dark, he only left West Sabine at 5 30 am or so and spent most of his travels in the dark.

When I made it to West Sabine I did mention in the hut book I might head over Moss Pass. That makes some sense when you are at the lake because you are able to look back down at the blue wonder and get the full visual experience.

I was up early, 6 30 am, went down to the lake still in the dark, where N was watching two blue ducks. The male duck did his recognisable whistle and I was then left wondering what the female sounded like, umm, immediately the female duck started with some distinctly duck-like grunts.

While Moss Pass may make some intellectual sense in terms of getting from A to B, physically it is a different story. You climb 500 m in height, most okay but the last hundred metres is just straight up a rock chute filled with avalanche debris and on the other side is 1100 m descent that is mostly steep. Real steep.

On the way up the clouds rolled in but it was totally clear up at the pass, at least on the D’Urville side. There was David Saddle clearly, I came over there a year ago as part of my wayward Te Araroa. I had a magnificent view of the upper part of the D’Urville and sat up there for a while contemplating. Then I met three guys plodding up from George Lyon Hut, and later a guy on his own having come from Morgan Hut, who hadn’t realised it was the full 1100 metre climb, but didn’t really mind.

I stopped for a chat each time, realising that I didn’t want to catch up with the party of five going to Morgan Hut who had left half an hour before me. George Lyon Hut would be fine.

Eventually I made it down to the swing-bridge, it’s a very long way down, and then a spectacular section of mossy forest on the way along the valley floor to the hut.

No one else there which was no surprise.

Looks like I’ll finally have a night on my own.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: George Lyon Hut

great setting beside the D'Urville River | George Lyon Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park
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