Well, I could be getting old (I mean, I am, every day, though it being my birthday recently it’s ever so slightly more in the front of my mind)…. but… headed off for the weekend to kowhai hut. It’s a tramp I’ve done a few times now, I do enjoy it.. but damn it was hard work!
It’s a 4ish hour walk (slightly more than last time… maybe the heat.. maybe.. too much excess and largesse in my life!) to the summit – which affords nice views of Kaikoura.
It’s also a nice place to Skype your partner? in GERMANY.
This world is ridiculous. I remember growing up with a ZX Spectrum 48K… now you can call someone for free from the top of a mountain on the other side of the planet. Ridiculous.
Anyway, pretty hot work getting to the top. I really don’t fair well in hot weather… and even though I was drinking quite a bit of water I was slightly headachy. I write this in here as I suspect I generally only write that it was a great tramp… and in fairness it was good to be out stretching the legs, but it’s not all roses.
There are a few scree slopes to descend before you get to the saddle. It’s not the nicest scree in the world.. but you do get to descend quite a bit quite quickly, and I’d rather descend it than climb it.
Now, the section of “track” (unmarked mostly) from the saddle down to the hut is supposed to take 2 hours… but it took us three… and we’re not that slow. The route had really deteriorated since last we were there.. we missed the odd shortcut simply because things were overgrown. It’d certainly not be a tramp to do unless you were relatively fit, and a reasonable navigator.
Still, the Spaniard grass was in flower, the river clean and cool, and some funky spiders (which narrowly avoided being squished due to Maaike’s sharp eyes).. It was so nice to eventually reach the hut after 11 hours of walking (give or take).. we had the place to ourselves which was nice.
So, a great sleep (extremely well deserved) and then a shortish walk out the next day. The track down was quite well marked which made a welcome relief from the day before. Again, lost the optimum route a few times, which in one place made for a slightly more dodgy traverse than would have been wished for… but all in all… a good tramp.
Next time I think we’ll do something a tiny bit easier.