20 Feb, 6km, 3.45 hrs a cool start to a hot sunny day.
The full hut rose to life quietly as everyone went about their breakfast and packing routine.
I said goodbye to Laura, Clo + Sien. They are skipping a hut and heading to the next hut than me and left earlier.
Ginny and Nick are heading to Highland Creek Hut the same as me. I left at 8:30 and started up the hill straight out from the hut.
It was really cold and even colder with wet socks and boots. I had my raincoat, woolley hat and gloves on to start. When I stopped after an hour Ginny and Nick had caught up and stripped off their layers as well.
A beautiful view behind with Lake Wanaka tucked into the back.
Ahead here I come into the mountains. The track is lower on the picture bottom right.
Finally I reach the top of Jack Halls Saddle 1275m.
These are snow berries. Edible and plentiful growing on the side of the track in large clumps.
The gekos were plentiful once again flitting across the track.
The climb wasn’t too bad, it was continuous as it wound it’s way through the hills. Eventually a small river was at the bottom of the gully and I thought it was a good place to stop and take a break. My GPS said 1.7km to go to the hut. I looked up and in the distance on the top of the hill I could see Nick and Ginny way up on the mountain top. I was expecting to stay on the river and than have another climb ahead.
The climb took me into another valley and up and over to where they were stopped for lunch. I walked up and joined them. Fantastic views 360° high above the valley on a peak.
We headed back to the track and meandered around the corner and saw the hut.
It was early afternoon and so we pulled all our gear out and dried it in the sun. Tent clothes bag and shoes.
We had our second lunch and relaxed all afternoon and rested the legs. Mangatapu Track was meant to be a challenge and today mountain pass one of four proved that. I’m pleased I planned to stop at Fern Burn Hut still leaving a big day for tomorrow.
Deb a local lady joined us in the hut a little later.
Come 8:00 pm TA walkers were all ticked up in bed.