1864 – 1878 Rintoul Hut

That was a seriously amazing day. Currently I am at Rintoul Hut with a small herd of goats but I started out at Slaty Hut at 7:00am walking along the ridge line on the Richmond Alpine crossing.

(I do believe I have broken my record for the most photos taken in one day as well.)

Why was today wonderful? Well, let me see…

  • The weather was great.
  • The views were magnificent.
  • I survived.

In order of appearance.

The weather today has been blue skies and no wind in the morning building to blue skies with some puffy clouds and gentle wind this afternoon.

In other words, perfect walking weather.

The views were of the Pelorus Valley when we started, with the Richmond Ranges on the other side of the ridge, but as we travelled we got the Wairoa Valley, the Nelson Valley, the Red Hills, and always as a background the Southern Alps and whatever mountain range lies to the south-east of Blenheim.

As for survival that might be a bit of a heavy word. All I really had to deal with was one small traverse over a 100m drop, lots of broken rock ascents and descents, a little bit of scree and that was it. More constantly nerve-racking than survival.  I’ll try and find a good photo. 🙂

1850 – 1864 Slaty Hut

We began our day by walking to Hackets Hut which was only an hour off and then up Hackett Creek to what was supposed to be Pyramid Rock on our way to Slaty Hut.

I have no idea whether it is (a pyramid) or not as I never found it. One gps check I was halfway to Pyramid Rock and the next one I was halfway past it on the way to Starveall Hut.

Starveall Hut lies just at the top of the treeline on Mt Starveall and was a good little six bunk hut. If I have my directions right, the view from there was across Nelson to the hills before Takaka.

Speaking of views, it was hard to walk with any speed due to them. At the top of Mt Starveall we could look ahead along the Richmond Ranges, left down a long forested valley that possibly meets the Pelorus Valley, or backwards towards Nelson and Motueka.

From there it was only a 1.5hr walk to our ‘hut du jour’ Slaty Hut.

1835 – 1850 Browning Hut

The 700m climb was easier than expected and we arrived at Rocks Hut at around 10:30am for a cup of tea and then off toward Browning Hut.

Giant boulders are littered in the forest which was rather nice but the biggest surprise of all was the utter destruction along the ridgeline.

Massive trees have simply been pushed over. Hundreds of them. The track winds it’s way through chainsawed trunks and debris.  It must have been an incredible wind.

Having arrived at Browning  Hut the sun has decided to come out so I think the rest of the day will be spent drying things. Did I mention it was raining?