Lake Daniell, Pell Stream and Nina River blog | November 2017

After the busiest week in my recent working career the following week was a change of pace. I had an important social engagement in Christchurch mid-week so I had a few days, a car, and some enthusiasm to check out a few undocumented huts on my way south from Nelson.

There are four huts in the Lewis Pass region that I hadn’t visited in recent times: the Manson-Nicholls Memorial Hut at Lake Daniell, Nina Hut, Devils Den Bivvy, and, most awkward to get to, Pell Stream Hut.

I had three nights, and four possible huts to visit.

And on the last weeks of my annual Backcountry Hut Pass from DOC, so I didn’t need to pay extra for my accommodation.

The weather? Excellent.

The days were long. I was thinking, if I don’t get to Pell Stream this time around it’s unlikely I ever will. It’d then be the only hut at that end of Nelson Lakes National Park, or the Lewis Pass I’d missed out.

Better give it a crack.

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

Day 1 | A flat stroll to Manson-Nicholls Memorial Hut

The very picturesque Lake Daniell. | Lake Daniell, Lewis Pass

Yes, feeling like a reasonable day’s effort with another 15,000+ steps, even if most of them were on the level.

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

Day 2 | Over Point 1201 to Pell Stream Hut

At least the ridge is clearly defined, even if no easy track exists. | Near Point 1201, Lake Daniell, Lewis Pass

If you need a tramping itinerary I’d suggest you avoid Pell Stream. Particularly via Point 1201.

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

Day 3 | Out to Marble Hill carpark then off to Nina Hut

Coming down the stream, with a few obstacles ahead. | Pell Stream, Lewis Pass

I ended up with more than seven hours on the move, and almost 27 km. Considering a fair chunk was getting down the officially trackless Pell Stream my body was now officially tired.

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

Day 4 | Down the Nina River, and off to Christchurch

View from the swingbridge. | Nina River, Lewis Pass

Just a pleasant morning wandering through the beech forest.

Sun out. Cloudless sky. Surprisingly warm.