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Day 49: Mt Rintoul Hut to Starveall Hut, 17 km
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:29 PM
Jane walked across the tops today over the highest point Mt Rintoul on the Richmond range route. The weather was better than expected so managed to get all the way to Starveall Hut. This puts Jane ahead a bit so should get out to Pelorous Bridge on Saturday night, I will meet Jane at the end of the road. The forecast for tomorrow night and Saturday morning looks like a bit of rain, it sounds like Captain Creek can be difficult when the river is up so Jane may need an extra night at Middy hut if this is the case.
I could see some lights down on the Tasman Plains this morning.
Storm with rain and wind last night, anyone's guess today. Talking with Shane and looking at forecast rain looked less likely but plenty of wind, which became very true. A later start, gossiping on my phone takes precious time. Straight into climbing Mt Rintoul, up scree, with a nice broad top (1731m) so I was not too frightened about being blown off. Down and up more technically difficult Little Mt Rintoul took time but the sun was out so I was warm enough with gloves, balaclava and parka. Being blasted by the wind continued all day, especially and when coming off Mt Starveall at the end. I was only rained on once to get really wet for about 30 minutes and the rest of the time clouds and sun came and went. The clouds on the Mt Rintouls were black as the ace of spades looking very menacing for a while.
Bellbirds were happy singing in the stunted beech forest on the ridge I followed all day, a bit like going around in circles. I saw 6 wild goats on Ada Flat, 3 being youngsters. A hard day with much climbing was made easier by having cellphone reception, and seeing Nelson, Blenheim, the Abel Tasman and nearly the North Island in the distance. Freezing tonight, I have my clothes on. Beautiful first quarter moon and clear sky.
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Jane's Tramp on the South Island portion of the Te Araroa Trail in January/February 2011
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