14 Dec, 8km
We started out at 7:00 to beat the rain forecasted that would make the river crossings impassable. There were 8 river crossings as well as numerous streams on the tramp today.
The first climb was out of the hut and went straight up before sidling the Wairoa River. It wasn’t long before I was walking on my own, a pattern forming here for me as a slow sure footed walker.
The river is a fast flowing river and a lot of water passes quickly. The track was up and down along the river side on steep and rocky banks.
The first obstacle was a huge rock to shimmy around, this one had a rope to help maneuver around. The footing was very narrow.
As these tracks start and finish in and around huge rocks with roots and mud a challenge is for sure. I found this mentally challenging to work out the best way more wasted time and energy. There were roots and footmarks to follow but slippery and unstable either up or down. Argh!
Each river crossing was deep fast and rocky. The markers gave a guide but you often had to scramble over large rocks to find a spot and direction to get to the marker on the other side.
Finally the last river crossings over an avalanche of large rocks heading to a rock bank. The climb was about 75m straight up and tricky. At the top was the Top Wairoa Hut.
I knew the 6hr tramp would take me much longer and it did. When I arrived at the Top Wairoa Hut Tess and Louisa had walked on to Hunters Hut 5 hours ahead across more open alpine area.