Not so much to report. A second full day at the hut. I might as well stay up here for another day, I have plenty of food and a comfy bunk.

I drag the sleeping mat over the top of my threadbare sleeping bag to assist in warmth. All in all no complaints.

For some reason I’m not keen to get out the hills for New Year’s Eve in town. Accommodation would be an issue once I reach civilisation, but I have something booked for January 1. In the meantime I’m happy to spend time up here, away from it all, even if there is little walking involved.

Well, I did walk to the ridge in speak to the outside world about the shuffling of my plans. I didn’t detail my adventures too specifically but the weather thing was understandable.

There’s been about six hours of sunshine since I left Bluff Hut, half of which was on my climb up from Toaroha Saddle and I’m aware I need to change my itinerary substantially.

The plan now is to return to Nelson to dry out and prepare for the next stage of my summer’s wanderings. Maybe start in St Arnaud and head west to the Lewis Pass. That at least has a few easier days to start while my pack is full. On a well beaten track where tramping as popularly defined is possible.

Since I left the farmlands, well, the Hokitika Cableway there have been few stretches of even 100 m where walking has been easy. And the continual gloom is causing vitamin D deficiency.

Meanwhile people in Nelson have been talking about how summery the weather is.

I wrote some blog, and notes about the huts encountered so far, and wandered back up the track in my jandals to get a view of the surroundings, the cloak of cloud hung around the tops. Still plenty of grandeur and smashed up mountains to take in.

There was a 20 minute period when the low cloud completely disappeared and I was surprised to see the Rescue Orange coloured dot of Adventure Bivvy clearly discernible on the other side of Zit Creek, right at the same level. And the steepness of the climb to Zit Saddle, 1468 m, was obvious. I’d have loved to climb there on a good weather day, but it would be unfortunate to put in all the energy required to get to the top if there was no payoff in view.

Finally there was a view back up from where I’d come over from Crystal Bivvy and I climbed some distance back along the track in my jandals. I could see down the Toaroha Gorge which I will need to climb around on the way out, but due to the haze the Tasman Sea wasn’t visible.

No, I’ve come to the conclusion that despite the decent length of daylight at this time of year, it might be more sensible to visit the West Coast river valleys in the more settled weather of March.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Yeats Ridge Hut

Looking over to Mt Reeves, Adventure Ridge and Zit Saddle. | Yeats Ridge Hut, Toaroha River, West Coast
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