Day 24: Roses Hut to Fern Burn Hut

I think this has been my favourite day so far. My legs and feet are aching, and I can’t wait to go to bed, but I have accomplished so much today!

It was a full on 9 hour day, travelling only 20 kilometres or so, but climbing three major hills, each around 1200m in altitude . The first two hills were done by lunchtime, and the last one was done slowly afterwards.

In the morning, the cloud still clung to the mountains, so when the track climbed higher than the cloud level, it was hard to see 50m in front. This was great in one way, because it meant that the steep drop-offs on either side of the ridge track didn’t seem so scary, but it also meant that just as I came to what I thought was the peak, another climb loomed into view.

Eek.

During the second climb, the clouds began to clear and the view was amazing.

A glimpse of Lake Wanaka in the distance!

Walking along ridge lines.

Halfway up the last climb, I noticed a Kaka sitting on one of the marker poles. I managed to get within a few metres of it before it took off.

I’m impressed with myself today. That was by far the hardest day so far physically, but it was really rewarding. Walking with James was great, we helped each other along and motivated one another. It was also really nice to have someone to celebrate the achievement of the last climb with, even if he had been waiting at the top for me for ten minutes already!

As soon as I got to the hut tonight I had my first swim of the trip, getting in and very quickly back out again of a small freezing river. I’ve opted to stay in the hut tonight even though it’s pretty full, because I’m just too tired to set up the tent! Hopefully I’ll be tired enough to sleep through the inevitable snoring!

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