Te Araroa Trail – Day 123

Saturday March 9, 2024
Distance/ Total: 16.6 km / 10.3 mi

Shaun and I were up early this morning in order to get an early start hiking. It wasn’t a really long day, but there were 3 big ascents and descents and those can be pretty tough on the TA.

The trail from camp started out ascending 500m up toward Jack Hall’s Saddle. The trail was in pretty good condition, but there were lots of steep ups and downs making the hiking slow and tedious. We reached the saddle in about 1.5 hours and started the descent to Highland Creek Hut.

The descent was equally as steep and full of ups and downs. We soon arrived at the hut and ate breakfast there. Finishing breakfast we continued up the trail. And up it went, another 400m climb almost straight up the side of the mountain.

This was a tough climb and we reached the saddle about 12:00 noon and decided to eat lunch on the leeward side of the mountain out of the wind. Finishing lunch it was another steep descent as wee worked our way into a valley.

As soon as we reached the bottom the trail started back up for climb #3 – another 400m climb. After completing the first two climbs this one seemed even harder and longer. We trodded to the top and took a break on the saddle to recover from the climb.

From here it was all downhill to Roses Hut. Ok, not really all downhill, it followed the ridgeline down and there were some ups and downs as it descended towards Motatapu River. The trail crosses the river and follows a stream across the valley floor to Roses Hut.

We arrived about 4:30pm and were the 3rd & 4th people there so we claimed our bunks for the night. I collected water, changed into camp clothes to let my hiking clothes air out and cooked dinner. Several other hikers arrived through the afternoon and evening and we ended up with a pretty full hut and several tents in the front.

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