Venus. A sliver of moon adjacent.

An ultramarine sky with an increasingly large or expand across the horizon. One of the best sunrises seen for a while, considering the lack of clouds.

It wasn’t even overly cool, despite being almost at 1300 m.

The orange streetlights agglomerated to indicate Blenheim’s location.

Yeah, a pretty special start to the day.

I mucked around for a while, drinking coffee, but eventually I headed back on my tracks towards Mt Fell.

No, that’s not quite correct. Rather than take a slightly indirect route via the track, as I had last night, I cut out some of the official route’s wanderings and made a beeline for the ridge.

Not a cloud over to the west with a full vista from Separation Point to Mt Owen on display. In the Pelorus at low level was a stuffing of cotton wool. Quite the picture.

Few clouds on the horizon to the north, but Taranaki was still occluded. It was there somewhere, I’ve seen it last Easter, but hiding today.

From there it was just the big tramping day, dropping down, mostly, To the Pelorus along the ridge. I’d abseil down the chain couple of times before since my return to Nelson, and once long ago down the wire rope that preceded it. To me, it’s much better going up than down. On the ascent you look into the slope. Descending has your vision out into the abyss.

At 3 30 pm I was still needing almost 700 m of descent to get to the hut. Basically my knees took a bashing, although for once I was carrying little.

Almost 5 pm when I staggered into Middy.

I’d had a few nights without seeing anyone so had a surprise with three DOC guys fully kitted out, generator and electric lighting, chainsaw, real milk etc.

And a random guy.

So big night talking about various concerns, wilding pines, Te Araroa, etc.

Despite that, I still listen to the 9 pm news in my sleeping bag. That’s more normal than the 6 45 pm entry to the horizontal of the preceding evening.

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