Man, did I sleep well last night. I was totally tired after the large pack hauling, and the rather poor sleeping conditions on Night 2.

There was a vast amount of reading material in the hut that slowed my exit. And my body was telling me something.

There is no question the pack is heavy: a tent, sleeping mat, and still 12 days’ food did not make for a speedy journey. And it’s a 1100 m climb from Frew Hut to Frew Saddle.

The old track had been recut by DOC a couple of years ago. Look!! Even a decent cut trail with unnecessary standard triangular orange track markers.

After a short grunt to start it eased back in steepness and went through some fantastic mixed Podocarp forest: rimu, miro, totara, etc, rata and kamahi also featuring. I heard the unmistakable sound of a parakeet/kakariki, then there were quite a few. I stopped and listened for a long while as they flitted about in the high treetops. Three flew lower and I could make out their long tails, and short wings fluttering rapidly.

Much of the trail was a steep sidle, with the old swamp-on-a-slope thing, including various obstacles, boggy patches, mossy rocks to slide down, damp gullies to cross with little to hold onto, etc.

A couple of chasms were dramatic enough to require steel trestle bridges that had been helicoptered in.

Later, it was just rock hopping straight up Frew Creek. I might get plenty of practice of that on this trip.

I could almost see the bivvy, 800 m ahead and another 200 m to climb. But my enthusiasm for additional effort waned.

It was now late in the day and an almost flat area that could just about fit my tent presented itself.

The weather is good, there is a fine view back down to the Hokitika River, Rapid Creek clearly visible.

No hurry.

But my body is unimpressed by all this activity, particularly lugging that still huge mass on my back.

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