The fire was out by morning but we were warm all night and slept well. The rain had kept up on and off all night and was still sporadically going in the morning. Seems like we might be in for this sort of on and off weather for the next few days in the ranges. We had planned to only do two huts today so started out a little later at 9:15. Although this was before the other girl left still. The route (I won’t call it track as it’s no longer a track but specifically “route” meaning marked poles with no specific trail in between), continued on around the side of a mountain and gradually climbed up and over Old Man.
We could hardly see in front of us to the next marker at times and the cloud would come and go, although we never got a clear view. The route itself was also mostly shale on the final ascents so going up and going down were guessing games for foot placement with every other step causing a mini landslide. Despite all this we made it to the intersection for Old Man hut in two hours under the time the notes had suggested it would take, we were obviously very happy with this given the bad conditions and decided to break here for an earlier than usual lunch.
After lunch we climbed over a new high point for us on the trail, the 1,731 meter Mt. Rintoul. This was a much tougher summit than Old Man and had multiple false summits, climbs and descents, and shale landslides. The weather certainly wasn’t any better on this portion and we were starting to get pretty cold. We stopped briefly at the summit to get some service and call ahead to our resupply point to book a room and then quickly dropped down into bush and to Mt. Rintoul Hut.
We reached the hut about 4:30pm and decided to call it for the day. We could’ve pushed through and gotten out a day early but decided to stay and enjoy the hut instead. We’ve already knocked one day off our planned time in the Richmond’s so have plenty of food. We’ve been hanging out by ourselves in the hut and start a fire to dry things out and keep us warm.