5 jan Thursday. Te Araroa 96

River crossings, the Deception River, Arthur’s Pass

Morrison footbridge 2,150km to Goat Pass Hut 2,163km

Last night I tented and it was very cold, probable the coldest I’ve been on the trail so far, it felt I hadn’t slept at all, touching the outside of the sleeping bag was really cold and even wearing everything from my dry bag I had, still I shivered. But the good thing was that it stopped raining not long after I put up the tent which I’ll have no problems with the river crossing today.
I haven’t mastered the process in putting the tent up in the rain so when I put up the inner lining that keeps the mosquitos out, it’s exposed to the rain and in this case everything got wet, including the floor. Takes me a couple of more minutes to put on the outer skin that’s protects me from the rain.

Only 10 minutes into my walk I had my first river crossing, it took me a while to find a suitable spot to cross, the current was strong but easier than the one I had yesterday. Thank goodness it’s to be a blue sky day but it wasn’t until 9am that my freezing hands got the first rays of sun, by that time I had crossed this river 6 times.

Passed Deception hut and continued on for another hour changing from one side of the river to the next, as I climbed to the pass, the crossings become much more easier with less water.

Deception hut

While travelling up the valley, the mountains on each side have snow which make for a great view

Come Feb 10-11th there’s the annual coast to coast run and as I made my way at snail pace, I would have runners passing me doing the same section in 3 hours that it will take me 10-11 hours and in this case over two days.

Normally I wouldn’t stop at Goat Pass Hut as there’s still plenty of sun light in the day at 2pm. But Tony is going to meet me on Saturday and try again to do a segment will me, he was meant to be with me now but after 5 hours leaving St Arnaud, he had to turn back due to various injuries such as dislocated shoulder, sore back and swollen ankle. So as you can imagine, I have my concerns Saturday.

But anyway, the weather is really brilliant and it nice to just sit and relax for a while.
Only negative is that the hut is like a ice box.