Craig and I drove to St Arnaud after work on Friday evening. We parked near the west bay and set off in the dark. A bit under two hours and we were at Coldwater Hut. Annu had walked in at a more sensible time and met us there.
On Saturday we set off early along the track towards John Tait Hut. It was a fresh morning and the sun was out but struggling to get into the valley. We took a right and started ascending the Cascade Track to Angelus Hut. After quite some time in the forest the track emerged and we stopped for some warm sunshine and wraps by the track. Continuing on the track got steeper turning into a poled route. It was amazingly perfect weather, a fresh crisp winter feeling. There were patches of snow and ice on the route to navigate but it wasn’t too difficult to reach the top. DoC hadn’t yet taken out the bridge crossing the stream, which the website promised they would do.
We arrived at Angelus Hut and spent the afternoon outside in the sun drinking the whisky Craig had brought with him and sitting up on the hill behind the hut.
On Sunday we walked out via Robert’s Ridge. It was another amazingly sunny and still day. The route reminded me a bit of Europe. I’d forgotten how nice a autumn/winter day can be. It was great to be out. We dawdled along the ridge arriving at the carpark late in the afternoon. We said goodbye to Annu and I drove Craig to the airport for his flight back to Wellington.