Te Araroa Trail – Day 118

Monday March 4, 2024
Distance/ Total: 13.6 km / 8.5 mi

The wind was crazy last night. There were gust that would shake the whole hut. In addition to the wind, the rain started about 3:00am. It was still raining in the morning.

Since it was raining no one started moving around in the hut until about 7:30 am. The people were divided between those who planned to stay there for the day and those who wanted to get moving on. I was in the latter group. I pulled a weather forecast from my Inreach and it showed the rain stopping sometime between 9:00am and 11:00am. Shaun and I got our gear together and started hiking in the rain at about 9:00am.

The trail followed the Timaru River downstream. The river was slightly higher, but flowing a lot faster and carrying a lot of silt. It looked like a mud stream. The trail crossed the river several times and would climb up into the trees for short distances between the crossings.

We stopped about 12:15 for lunch when the rain had stopped. The skies were beginning to clear and the sun was shining through in places. We took off our rain gear and continued down the trail.

The trail continued to follow the river then turned slightly and climbed up high on the hillside for a few kilometers before dropping back down to the river. Reaching the river the trail routed along the edge causing us to have to scramble over some large boulders along the shore. Crossing the river it turned back into the trees until reaching a junction to Stody’s Hut.

It was 2.2km from the junction to the hut and a very steep 500 meter climb. It was a slow and torturous ascent nearly straight up the side of the mountain. As we neared the top the trail a cold wind picked up and the trail turned and ran along the side of the hill and into some trees nestled in a valley. The hut was located just past the trees in a clearing.

Arriving at 5:45pm we were afraid the bunks would be taken but we were able to grab two for the night. A few other hikers arrived later in the day. We had 9 in the hut tonight with 3 on the floor.

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