Patches of blue sky. Looking good.

After 9 am when I left, no point in getting to the hut early. I’ve had sufficient sitting around in them to last me a while.

The first section of track up towards the three-wire bridge was a delight. Sunlight doesn’t get down on the valley floor for long, even in summer, so there was plenty of moss and lichen about. Even then the track was very clearly marked with those orange DOC isosceles markers clearly visible on the trees. Quite a few birds out making the most of the fine weather.

Once out of the forest the track was generally well marked with numerous snow poles, with a clear track where others had gone before. Yeah, and I should mention steep at times.

On the unnamed pass, a few tarns up there, I contemplated other options for my route out. Over Mount Boscawen, 1780 m, looked altogether too gnarly, although the north side which is apparently easier to sidle around to the more rounded hills to the east was hidden.

Mount Barron, 1806 m, looked serious mountain climber material. The hills all around were also gnarly, the close ones majorly so. Looks like it will be down the Robinson River then.

While the climb to the pass had the odd steepish climb, once on the ridge I needed to descend from 1420 m to 720 m in a hurry.

I had spent a few hours doing not much on the pass, so it was getting on when I started my descent, never my preferred direction due to generally poor agility and somewhat dodgy knees.

At times the track was, well, steep, at times I had to turn around to be certain of my footing. Younger bodies will bound down if they have the balance of a chamois.

At the bottom another three-wire bridge, and then only a short walk to the hut that could well be missed if not for a huge sign affixed to a red beech tree.

The hut is very similar to the Lake Christabel Hut, although it looks purpose-built as a 10 bunker rather than converted from an NZFS S70 six bunker like the Lake Christabel Hut.

Top Robinson has extra and bigger windows that look out to some decent red beech trees. And it gets 20 or 30 parties a year through, but the Forest Service clearly anticipated more. Some are from ranger training at various polytechs around the South Island, which makes sense with parties of eight to ten passing through. Visit an area with few other trampers, but with decent physical demands and great facilities.

The small clearing where the hut is located is somewhat overgrown with bracken and the red beech trees are slowly encroaching.

No surprise, I’m on my own. It’s now mid-week and that rain, the whole rainy summer, will have put many people off tramping this year.

Man, almost 1000 m climbing for the day. Should sleep well.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Top Robinson Hut

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