Day 161 A top 5 day
Friday 19 March Stody's Hut to Lake Hawea Start 8am Finish 5.15pm Distance 22km Total 2,561km Elevation: approximately 800m up and 1250m down Weather: stunning with no clouds and no wind. I can't think of anything that could have made today more perfect. The weather was stunning. Clear blue skies, minimal wind, and not too hot. The trail was challenging, just the way I like it and the view from the top of Breast Hill and down to Lake Hawea was out of this world.
The night in the hut was a bit of a weird one. Our chap on the floor, ended up sleeping on the narrow plinth at the end of the bunks. I don't think it helped him much with the mouse issue as he was shinning his torch all around the hut for a very long time at 4am. He then set the fire going again. Maybe he thought it would scare away the mice. The was a more modest snorer, and all in all a rubbish nights sleep was had. Never mind, life is way too short to waste time sleeping anyway. I was up at a reasonable time. It is now still dark at 7am, so the early starts I used to do are no longer feasible. Out the hut door by 8am and straight into a hill climb. For some reason it felt absolutely fine today. I felt I could have climbed Everest. It may be been the inspiring views and incredible weather. Whatever the reason I felt like Superwoman. We were above the tree line again, and the sun rising across the mountains with its gentle early morning glow was magical. A bit (well, a lot really) more climbing and by late morning I reached Breast Hill. The view is of Lake Hawea, with Mt Aspiring in the background. The rocky outcrops and sheer drops were mind blowing.
I stayed on the summit for about one and a half hours, and was joined after about half an hour by the three lovely women Claire, Thea and Kristy. After finding we had cell phone reception to book accommodation for tonight, I then regretted the intrusion of the outside world and everything pandemic related. So, for as long as I can, I will bury my head and make no comment, other than to say I think I'm probably safer due to isolation than anyone I know. The trail down was crazy. I mean really crazy. The trail notes claimed it zig zagged down. Mostly that is an out right lie. The zig zag was for only about the last 100m of a 950m descent. And that doesn't even count the more than 200m we had already more gently descended from the summit. As with all the best tracks on this adventure, having rock climbing skills would have been beneficial, any fear of heights disastrous, and a little faith that despite appearances the track didn't really go off the edge of the cliff helpful. The nearly 1km vertical drop was 2km in length. I wish I could remember my school maths and tell you what angle that is.
The knees held up very well. My left foot big toe nail however in a goner. Going black already. That's the 5th toenail that I have sacrificed to this cause. I'm in a hostel tonight. Luckily in a room of my own. Strangely everything else in Lake Hawea is fully booked. Who would have thought?