Day 86: St. Arnaud to Upper Travers Hut

Distance today: 32.3km

Distance total: 2230.1km

Time hiked: 10h 01min

Time total: 669h 09min

People who know me know: I have a healthy appetite. This sometimes can be a good thing but on a thru-hike, it's mostly annoying - especially on these long, remote sections. A lot of food to carry, too much actually.

To reduce my food weight, I munch as much as possible, whenever I have the chance, e.g. when I pass through a town.

So today's breakfast consists of 10 slices of toast, a whole 200 grams chocolate bar and two bananas.

Stuffed, I head down to Lake Rotoiti, which I follow southward. To be honest, I expected it to be an easy cruise along the lake. However, it isn't. Mud and roots make progress slower than expected. I should not complain though: compared to the Richmond Ranges the hike is a walk in the park.

Once past Lakehead Hut, the track leaves the bush and follows flat grasslands for a few kilometer. A pleasure to hike with amazing views of the mountains, their tops covered in fresh snow from last night. Out of experience, I know, the new snow won't last long. And sure enough, by noon all the new snow has gone.

Eventually the track enters the bush again and follows the river upstream. Past John Tait Hut, the track gets rougher and steeper. Plainly audible the roaring of the the Travers Falls. An impressive sight.

30 kilometres and with a 900 meters elevation gain... I really feel my legs on the last climb to Upper Travers Hut. They definitely haven't fully recovered from the Richmond Ranges yet.

But the lovely, huge hut with great views down the valley made the climb worthwhile. There are 7 other hikers from all over Europe, who spend the night at the hut. None of them doing the TA though.

What a nice track! The fresh snow on the tops almost gone...
What a nice track! The fresh snow on the tops almost gone...
Upper Travers Hut
Upper Travers Hut

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