Day 78. Monster Day Over Waiau Pass. January 19, 2016.
Blue Lake Hut km 1986.5 to Anne Hut km 2028.
It rained last night but had stopped when everyone got up. I left the hut just before 7 and almost immediately started walking with Rachel. She is 49, from Christchurch and is walking to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis which her brother died of. We stayed together until the track flattened out on the other side of the pass. It was very nice to have someone to share the day with….. and have a hiker in some of my photos.
We could look down on Blue Lake.
The day looked like it might clear up.
We climbed up to Lake Constance. This was a lot of up and down boulder scrambling.
It started to rain just as we started up the steep scree to the pass.
The rest of the day alternated between rain, no rain, clouds lifting and then sinking. I saw my shadow several times and kept hoping for more. Even though it stayed overcast it was the most beautiful day on the trail.
The descent was steep. We slithered down on our backsides much of the way.
There were a few water crossings mentioned in the trail notes that I was worried about. The hardest one was the first one at Upper Waiau Forks. We tried to cross one place. Too swift. Down stream we found a better place. I was really thankful for Rachel’s helping hand for the last 2 steps.
At 3pm we got to Caroline Bivy, an old 2 person hut. I can’t even imagine how bad a storm would have to be to make me sleep in there.
After that the track flattened out and I was on a mission to get to Anne Hut, another 28 km away. Rachel saw no reason to push that far. Immanuel from France was at the bivy when we got there. All 3 walked together for awhile then he pulled ahead.
Later I caught back up to Immanuel and said “let’s get to the hut.” He picked the pace back up, then decided he wanted to camp. The last few kilometers were hard but I finally got to the hut at 9pm. 14 hours of almost continuous motion. Mathew, Clement and Leo were there to greet me and said “we have a fire going!” Awesome.
I was almost too tired to eat and immediately started to stiffen up. Was this really a good idea? Why do I think pushing myself like this is fun? Because I can!