This turned out to be quite a day.

An early start, and I was away by 7 am, stalking up the valley at a considerable rate of knots. It certainly helped not lugging a pack.

Plenty of stones had been moved around by flowing water in recent times, the landscape was quite devastated.

In the first half of my stroll up the valley to Park Morpeth Hut, plenty of gravel of a type that wasn’t so bad to stride around on made for easier going than might be imagined, sometimes on areas of river flat that remained. At Giffords Creek, some boulder hopping was required with a few deep gullies to get around.

Despite all this, and wet feet once again, I just marvelled at the steep hills either side, and for much of the time at the huge wall of Browning Pass. It must have a strange parallax, or shortened perspective as it didn’t look climbable, whether when sighted from afar, or up closer.

I only went as far as the hut. It was built a couple of years earlier than Urquhart’s Hut, but has been extensively renovated and is now a great place to find lodgings. Being part of the popular Three Passes Trip means it gets much more used by trampers.

Then it was time to turn around and headed back. Home at Urquhart’s Hut by 1 pm, with a decent look around at Park Morpeth Hut.

Time to don my pack and point towards home, or at least my car.

Better make a quick trip up to Weka Burnet Bivvy that seemed to be in great condition for something built in 1965. It still has canvas bunks, but the open fire has been removed. A feature is that the bog is across a bog.

No point in staying, because that would be a massive day to walk out to the car park, so I thought cutting out three hours would be useful to keep going to Moa Hut.

It was hot, and the sun was beating down.

Lots of boulders in places, but I found some gravel bottom spots to cross the Wilberforce River. After the recent dry spell that was calf-deep.

All this wet foot tramping with the daily creeks, streams, and rivers to cross was losing its appeal this summer. As had the river bashing.

Another big day the next day, but I was hoping I would end up in a bed in Christchurch, rather than in my hot and sweaty tent.

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