This was probably my favorite day so far on the trail. We had some excellent track that we covered, periodically great views (no rain at least), and made it to our hut feeling good. We started out with a climb up to the ridge we’d been looking at yesterday from the hut. This took about two hours and we were climbing mostly through tussock and clouds with the occasional good view out and back to the hut.
There was a frustrating sign that said 4 hours to our lunch hut 6 hours to our hut for the night. When we reached the summit it said 3-4 hours to our lunch hut and 6-7 hours to our hut for the night. From the summit we turned onto the main ridge and followed that along a ways before descending into bush. The ridgeline was pretty spectacular and the bush was really cool twisted trees covered in moss. There was also a very clear distinction between bush and not bush with the bush being very thick.
We ended up breaking for lunch right before descending into bush as we found a good spot and the sun was out at the time. We continued on a ways through the bush before coming to the small two person hut for a quick break. It was a neat little hut but definitely for no more than two people.
The rest of the track was a mostly nice bush walking following the ridgeline with a few occasional spurts above the bush into tussocks. We had really nice weather for all of this and even a good deal of sun. From some of the notes left in the hut books and the things we’ve heard about the Tararuas we’re very grateful to even have a small glimpse out.
From this last summit we descended a quick saddle and came to the six person hut we’re staying in tonight. Our German friend showed up not long after us (with a broken pole) and it’s a bit of a squeeze but there’s just enough room to move about. A tough but good day and we have another tough one to come tomorrow.