We’d set ourselves up to start the Deception-Mingha track early this morning. It’s a 15km track that’s part of the Coast to Coast race and the notes suggested it’d take 8-9 hours (the fastest runners fo it in three), so we wanted to allow plenty of time. The rain had actually stopped during the night and while not dry we weren’t much wetter than yesterday to start. A runner passed by pretty early while we were packing up. He was heading up and over trying to beat his record best of 6 hours, it was his fourth time over and his parting warning was that we’d get our feet wet. He also said there’d be rain later in the afternoon but we’ve come to expect that at this point.
The track started out with an immediate river crossing so we were instantly fully wet again. From there it was a lot of bouldering and climbing straight up the river bed. It was a really nice hike and quite well marked given the usage. The going was slow because of the terrain but overall we were making good time.
We made it to the Upper Deception Hut for lunch and stopped to cook some couscous as we had extra time. As usual during our lunches rain started to roll in, we were in the clear but it was getting cold and we could see it chasing us up the valley after lunch. It was another hour up to the top but this was probably the steepest and toughest part of the climb.
We hit the hut at the top and after a brief pause we decided to continue on. Going on put us in Arthur’s Pass a day early so we’d be able to take a zero and the hut had no fire place and we were cold. Arthur’s Pass was only another 10km downhill so we got going on what was a much nicer trail. It started out with boardwalk over the top of the pass and then descended by the Mingha river and with plenty more rock fields to cross.
We hit the main road just before 6 and hitched the 5km off trail up to Arthur’s Pass. From there we checked into the hostel and headed straight to the Wobbly Kea for dinner.