What a day!!

It started with a short early morning stroll to the river in case there were any whio/blue ducks in residence.


It looks as if a pair were currently making the pool their home.

Then I left early on, for me, 7 30, I knew it was going to be a big day and was soon chugging up to Wangapeka Saddle. Then the climbing really began, getting up onto the tops. Fortunately I was in the shade until I popped out of the forest around 10 am.

The rest of the day was just walking along the ridge, which varied from wide and grassed, like at the start, to very rocky and steep shortly afterwards.

The wide grassy stretches I can deal with, the steep rocky not so much.

The most gnarly bit for the day was the low point before Nugget Knob, a short sidle was needed to get around a bluff, then along a rocky knife edge, dropoffs both sides required negotiation. Plenty of handholds but my palms were sweaty.

There was a lot up-and-down, getting over Nugget Knob one, my GPS totalled up more than 1600 m climbing for the day.

The route isn’t exactly A to B either but what did I care, I had the whole day to get to the tarn, I could pick out its general location from the map, it wasn’t visible until I was almost on it.

I maintained reasonable momentum, just as well, it took longer than anticipated.

Towards the end, there was a bush bash, I tried to keep to the ridge, the vegetation was stunted and the track not obvious, after all there have only been 12 parties come through in the previous five years according to the Stone Hut, err, hut book.

The last bit of forest had a more obvious track and suddenly the tarn was stretched out below.

All in all it took around 11 hours, not all in motion. You need a little time for contemplation.

Clouds had slowly taken possession of the sky and they lowered to below tarn level, wisps just doing their speedy wispy thing.

No rain or drizzle though, it looked like a great night to be up above the tree line.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Matiri Ridge tarn campsite

That's Nugget Knob on the left and the ridge that's just been travelled. | Matiri Ridge Tarn campsite
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