Despite not camping, I’m still thinking of Townsend.
Weather is not so bad.
Better do it while I can.
I’d made a pact with myself a few days ago. Either McKenzie Bivvy, or Townsend Hut. At the time I opted for Townsend, and today’s the day.
The other two left early.
I almost left early. At least I left before the guy from Kiwi Hut turned up. I bumped into him maybe 10 minutes down the track.
An easy walk down the valley with a few river crossings. Then I located where to start my climb.
You just charge up a very steep rocky stream that starts without any water flow. Then the creek branches, and you follow up the steep ridge between the streams. The first marker is a short distance up the bigger branch. That was reassuring. After that there were sufficient.
It’s about an 800 m climb. Nothing for it except keep going up.
I did stop for lunch. I made it to the intensely flowering router zone, around 800 to 900 m.
Still plenty more to go.
Eventually I popped out of the forest and after a short walk through the alpine tussock, flax, etc, there was the hut.
An easy afternoon was spent eating, having a shave, and peering down into the valley a long way below. I could pick out Kiwi Hut not so far away.
After three weeks of a lack of inhabitants it appeared that a 12 person group had been here last night. Lucky to have taken my time in the last week. They moved over the hill to Koropuku Hut, and maybe back to Aickens. That would have been a huge day. Then, being a Sunday, they may well have had to retreat back to Christchurch.
I’m just going to drop back down to the valley tomorrow. Then it’s just a flat walk down the valley to the highway.
I was at Steyning Hut over a week ago, my last full rest day.
I’ve run out of puff.