I have stayed at Warden Hut for five nights already in 2022, and twice in 2017 and 2018, so this will be my eighth night. Surprisingly it’s turned out to be one of my most popular huts in recent years. It wouldn’t make many people’s Top 10 lists.
My next one, Forbes Hut down at the Clarence River, also has been well used.
Once again, I’m on my own, and having a 12-mattress hut to yourself is always great.
I guess being Christmas Eve means many have other things to do.
As usual, I was away late despite packing yesterday. I went out for a decent breakfast with a coffee kick-start in Kaikoura. Engaged in electronic correspondence of the festive type.
The weather was great early on but clouded in. By the time I’d made it to the Kohutara car park, at 180 m, the mountains were fully foggy.
I guess it could feel grim climbing almost exactly 1000 m on an at times steep farm road with my head in the clouds, at times quite limited visibility, but I’d marched over a few times, and I just switched off and listened to some music.
The climb goes on and on. When you think you’re at the top, Blind Saddle, there is still another 100 m or so of climbing.
Then the 600 m drop to Warden Hut.
Fortunately, the road had been recently graded from the top of the climb down the other side.
Man, it felt hard going down. At least some rivulets across the road, so water was available. It rained on occasion but cleared up by the time I reached the hut.
The water levels at the two crossings of Seymour Stream were down, and I dashed through, keeping my boots dry.
Time to use some of that food I’ve been carrying.
14 days’ worth, along with my tent and sleeping mat, is just ridiculous to lump on my first day’s effort.