|Rivercrossing skills are not usually needed on the Kaituna track to Packhorse hut|
We'd been trapped in town by bad weather for two weekends in a row, with the long range forecast looking like it might go to three. We were desperate to get out tramping for at least part of a day. But what to do when the weather was so bad?
The walk to Packhorse Hut is right at the bottom end of what qualifies as a 'tramp'. So that was the mission.
There was little traffic on the highway to the Kaituna turnoff. Sheets of water stretched across the road in places. And curtains of rain were being blown up Kaituna valley by the strong south west wind. But we weren't deterred.
Honora carried her plastic climbing boots in her pack, to put on after the four stream crossings. It was so wet I wasn't going to bother trying to keep my feet dry.
The first crossing was the deepest - just over my knees. We did that one linked up, though not the full MSC method. The next three were almost to knee level.
|Crampons might have been useful on the muddy track|
After crossing the streams I just wanted to get up the hill and into the shelter of the hut, so I just went for it.
The top part of the track is completely open to the weather and was being lashed with near freezing wind and drenching rain, but I still arrived at the hut steaming.
The hut was dry, and for the whole time we were stopped there we were entertained by the antics of scuttling mice. But it was cold and we only stayed long enough for lunch and hot drinks.
So, it was just back down and home again, making it a 4 hour round trip. But it made for a much better day than if we'd stayed at home indoors
|The flooded stream made the Kaituna track much more interesting|