Not much sleep during the night.

Maybe my back was sore. Maybe the minimal sleeping arrangement where it was not possible to move much, but I could fully stretch out.

Most probably it was the thought all the rockfalls with plenty of small boulders newly position around where I was set up.

Nowhere else in the vicinity would be better.

Perhaps it was the degree of climbing during the day leaving me overtired.

At least today I was attuned to the landscape and while the hillsides were steeper, the path was clearer. Particularly after the 1100 m saddle.

It only took an hour or so to get up there, mostly climbing, then it was down all the way. No hope of me getting here last night in retrospect. It turned out to be a decent day’s effort.

But I managed to dry out my tent and boots, and had a much needed nap.

Highlight of the day: sitting up on the top of the saddle and having an amazingly fine day, being able to see back as far as Ferny Gair, and still being able to pick out where I descended to Penk Hut. Plenty more to see on that side. Goats. A pig. Some very smashed up countryside with Mount Malvern, 1426 m, forbidding and dominating the west side of the saddle.

It’s great to see where you’ve been, with the view of where I was about to go was impressive. It was a hugely steep drop to the valley floor bit, that’s where the pack trail came in useful with numerous switchbacks helping with my ailing knees. The Chalk Range really stood out due to the chalky colouration. Over the top of the range, hills on the other side of the Clarence River looked formidable. One of the 2000 m mountains of the Seaward Kaikoura Range still had some snow, but that was way in the distance.

The Chalky Range is a long barrier to get around tomorrow. Looks fairly steep and grassy, but there are cliffs on the other side along the ridge.

Been given a hint to sidle around the worst of Mead Hill, 1068 m. A lake has formed behind a slip that needs to be avoided as well.

So, maybe a better sleep tonight for this last major day of off-track adventure before popping out onto the Clarence River bulldozer tracks for quite a few days.

More distance should be made then, and not many days of 1000 m climbs remain.

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