Day 77. Cautious or Chicken? January 18, 2016.
O km at Blue Lake Hut
Waiau Pass has me paralyzed. It is described as a fair weather pass only. It is a route marked by orange wands. There isn’t an actual trail so you need to be able to see the next pole. In the Richmond Range and over Travers Saddle there were plenty of times that it was hard to find the next pole in the fog. In the rain and fog with my glasses fogging up it would be worse. Up and over the pass is steep and exposed. It’s 7km and estimated to take 6 to 8 hours. So I need a good chunk of good weather.
Last night I woke to rain. That continued thru the morning. That made the decision easy. No pass today. I was the first one up at 8:30.
It stopped raining but I kept thinking of the forecast for heavy rain today. I walked back over to Blue Lake (5 minutes) as my big outing of the day.
Jess, Cass and Harriet from Christchurch took a walk up to the next lake. When they came back they treated me to the most awesome wraps for lunch. Trail magic!
Plus I got to charge my phone and battery pack with Cass’s solar charger. There is no cell service but I use my phone for gps, blog and camera. That meant I could finish reading my book…. Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, by Timothy Egan. That helped pass the time. Jess gave me an orange which I had after dinner. Fresh fruit is like gold.
Most of the day was pretty nice and I kept thinking I should have gone over the pass. It started raining hard in the afternoon which helped justify my choice. But tomorrow I am just hiking.
The hut is almost full. 8 other TA walkers and 3 others. We have a fire again because the French like to make them and everyone else walked in the rain today. And I love fires even if it does make the hut hot.