The rain started in the early morning, as forecast, but it was only light when we left Roses Hut at 7.45am. As promised, the track up the first hill went “straight up the guts” but we made good progress and stayed ahead of Johan and Tara. Hoera stayed at the hut, tempted to try her luck on the road. Looking back, it was terrific to see a rainbow – with it’s end on Roses Hut. 

Once we got to the ridge, we encountered the wind and once or twice a gust blew me off balance and into the reassuring fence line. We hurried along, only pausing for a snack when we were out of the wind. Then began the Great Descent. This was made easier than the way up by being a zig zag down the hill.

We reached the half way point at 11.30am and stopped for our first lunch. It being a gluten day I enjoyed the change to Vitawheat crackers, with the remaining cream cheese and some lettuce. Johan and Tara overtook us and we asked them to save us a bottom bunk.

Then it was steeply down to a creek where we met an English couple who have to return to UK in June. We are so fortunate here in NZ! The ascent up from there was incredibly steep. I was worried that my feet would slip back down the extreme incline. But we persevered and eventually overtook our new friends, who had stopped for lunch.

We walked along the ridge and then began to drop down the other side, where we stopped on a stile for our second lunch – with a view out over Mt Aspiring and Lake Wanaka. The next bit of siddling was pretty exposed but again we made good progress and soon we had reached the second major descent of the day. Time for another treat of carob bar!

500m up, 500m down, 500m up, 500m down – with a couple of ridges and some siddling in-between. The final approach to the hut was an absolute killer, with two steep gullies to negotiate. We paused at the second creek, let Johan and Tara pass by and then enjoyed a river bath before battling our way up out of the gully and to Highland Creek hut.

Dinner of pasta, lentils, nomato and  kumara was  consumed while enjoying this view. This meal used to be a favourite, but I fear we have had a little too much of this good thing. I’ll try using brown rice pasta next time.

I am so loving being in the mountains.

Later that evening, around 9.30pm when everyone was snuggled in their sleeping bags, there was a noise outside. Martyn whispered “Hoera’s here” and I replied “No way!” for the second time.