We started today later than usual as we were debating for a large part of the morning whether we wanted to take a rest day here because of my ankle. In the end, Judy offered to let us slackpack through the forest and then pick us up and drive back here after and drop us off again tomorrow morning. It was a great option to take as the forest ended up being a really good walk that was certainly more enjoyable without our packs. Either end of this track starts with staircase summits up about 250m. At both ends we passed day hikers and runners going up and down (some twice), none of them ever smelled quite as bad as we did. It was a nice break from the typical muddy vertical ascents and by the time we got up to the ridge we’d worked up a good sweat. We were rewarded with great views North across the river and Huntly.
The track across the ridgeline was less used and went back to the traditional root and mud mix. Thankfully, due to the recent heat, we were spared any major mud portions. There were however a lot of roots, to the point where the trail was entirely root at times.
After a few hours of this sort of undulating ridge (without views) we arrived at the start of the next set of stairs down and a great lookout platform across the surrounding area.
We do often seem to come out of trails and see signs like the one below warning about going where we’ve just been. It’s a good reminder that we’re about to encounter some day hikers.
The stairs down were steep but pleasant and we arrived at the bottom to get our ride back to Remember Then. My ankle is looking pretty swollen (we had it wrapped so it looks extra disfigured in the image below) and we’re thinking of doing some more shuttling and a break day tomorrow to get into Hamilton.