Good weather initially, not so favourable this afternoon, but anyway I’ve ended up spending a second night here and having that look partway up the Three Tarns Pass route I traversed a few decades ago on a Lewis Pass to Lake Rotoiti rampage.

I only went up the valley for about 2.5 hours before returning: there’s a fairly visible trail to start, back down the track to Billy Goat Gruff bridge and then some walking through open grasslands next to the other branch of the Mariua River that has not quite deserving of that status. There’s a climb over an old shrubbery infested avalanche route, lots of invasive rowan with vivid green leaves, hinting that the possums have been well hammered in the area, it’s the fringe of Nelson Lakes National Park, the rowan would be a preferred entree for any introduced marsupial seeking to dine, and a stretch through some mid-size beech forest, not marked but clear enough on the ground. Then once again out in the open the sharply spiky Aciphylla again in number, hugely in flower, drawing blood just by looking at those razor-sharp points at the ends of the leaves, leather gloves and overtrousers come in handy and not just as a fashion item. The overtrou would be useful in leather as well.

Eventually I make it to the big rocks you can spot from the hut and get a view of the next section of the route, and looking back to the hut way down there. The weather threatens to close in as promised, I’ve heard a weather report on the only radio station I could pick up, Christian station Radio Rhema, and you have to believe that. Actually I can also pick up a racing station clearly, that’s mainly horseracing, weather forecasts they’re specific to where races will be run, usually in Australia, I guess I’m not waiting to find out. Those glaciated valleys are deep, either that or the mountains are high, reception’s not so great out here.

It’s quite the transition from civilisation in, err, Westport, solitude abounds, the two blokes from last night have departed, work for them tomorrow in Christchurch and Wellington.

With the incoming rain I’ve refrained from proceeding further, not too much point to go on, the view is indeed fabulous looking over to Zampa, a peak just across the valley, I’m up near the tree line, and with the steepness of the surrounding hills, there’s a couple of water small waterfalls visible, the odd avalanche peels off any large shrubbery or forest, leaving tussock and that now occasional aciphylla which must require a more substantial nutrient laden soil to flourish.

Back at the hut mid-afternoon I’m now on my lonesome, might stay this way for a few days, ie, solitude, it’s sure quiet, just the nearby stream doing it’s rushing sound and the rain dripping from the roof.

← Day 1 | Ada Pass Hut: right in those mountains Day 3 | Christopher Hut: and some more faces appear →