You may find that feeling creeping in up there.

With no easy path out, that meant others were unlikely just to appear. Limestone Hut is certainly used more than Fidget Bivvy due to having four bunks, therefore, more space for a group. An actual toilet is a bonus.

The forecast was still good: fine for the whole South Island, so I should take the opportunity to wash a few clothes, rest my knee, and sit around at this sun trap. I still had enough food for at least four more days.

A day of rest to contemplate my options.

The obvious way out is direct to Warden Hut via Point 1615, which means an 800 m climb, then 1000 m down and along Cold Stream. I would need to take some water.

The major negative for this is the wild roses that may require negotiation. That way, I’d be back in my car the following day and probably in Christchurch for the night.

The alternative was to scurry back down from whence I’d come, a couple more hours through the gorge over those jagged boulders and out to Forbes Hut, maybe camping on the way. That would take either two or three more nights. Once past that gorge, it’s easier to travel on the gravel stream banks and then the well-known four-wheel-drive track.

I could cope with that. My pack was lighter, but I wasn’t as frisky as someone who had reached this hut directly from the Mount Fyfe car park via Snowflakes and Point 1984 in a big 11-hour day as others had. Their route back to their car was more arduous, hopping over to Dubious Bivvy, then clambering up Manukau, 2608 metres, and Uwerau, 2213 m.

Others just sit at home watching Netflix.

But what I was doing was sufficiently engaging for my stage of life. A sunny day to contemplate, but mostly, being Day 10 of this expedition, a day to clean.

First, the rest of the hut, the mattresses, my body, and my essential clothes.

A shave was hacked out, using my phone camera as a mirror, and Braille. I was almost presentable should any hut companionship arrive. I realised that was not likely, with visits happening on average on a three-month basis.

I read a racy Jeffrey Archer thriller with suspended belief about some of the plot. I did need to read the ending to make sure it turned out okay for the good guys. No surprise, it did, but the number of deaths to get there was astonishingly high. Not so good for them.

Very windy once again, which was great for drying clothes and my boots.

It turned out to be just the lax type of day I required.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Limestone Hut

Splendid summer scene. | Limestone Hut, Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park
← Day 9 | Limestone Hut, night 1 Day 11 | Cold Stream campsite →