Te Araroa

15.3 Another saddle to climb

We weren’t really camping at the Royal hut. Between the hut and us was a stream that we had to cross. So it was refreshing to start the hike with cold and wet feet. We passed the Royal hut and continued to Stone Hut.

Royal Hut

The sign said it takes about two hours so we thought it would be the perfect spot to have a lunch break. With all the river crossings it took (at least for us) longer than two hours. In the end we were really looking forward to have a break. Just a few meters after the last river crossings we saw the hut and we also saw a bridge so we knew this is probably the last river crossing for today.

Lisa during the last crossing before lunch

After the break at Stone hut and reading the hut book we noticed that Mike and Sue are only 2 days in front of us. And we also read about some Nobos less than a week in front of us.

A safe river crossing

We continued over the bridge and ascended real gentle. The sun was shining nearly the whole day even though the weather forecast from two days ago predicted some rain for today. We couldn’t see a cloud but suddenly it started drizzling. Since a few hours wind started to blow so we couldn’t see the clouds but the wind got the rain over the saddle. This time the rain is even worse because it’s most likely that the Rangitata (the big river we want to cross tomorrow) is rising.

It really drizzled here

Once we were over the saddle it was easy to get down to the hut. We’re not always checking the hiking times but this time we were even under the times given in the trail notes. Today we just saw 3 SOBOs walking together. We believe it is getting less because most of them starting last year should be already behind us.

We had a good view to the Rangitata valley.

Around the hut there was some space but because the forecast predicted bad weather for Friday we believe it is good to be out of the wind. We headed down to the Bush Stream this time the river was a lot stronger than a few kilometers before at the Stone Hut. Just behind the first crossing we pitched our tent on a nice flat spot of grass.

Last river crossing today