|Walk Facts||Good book about tramping in New Zealand|
|Estimated time||6 hours return (2 days with sleeping at the hut)|
|Hiked on||6-7th October 2019|
|Map & GPX files||See the online map below (with GPX download)
Open the track at NZ Topo Maps
|More books about tramping in New Zealand|
Anna was sick. She was so sick that she could only do one waist-deep river crossing and a 3 hour a hike with a fully loaded backpack with camping gear and food for 2 days. What a bummer. Pinchgut Hut will do.
We started off at end of Taaffes Glen Road. I’d like to say that it was a carpark but it was actually quite far from a car park. Just a small bumpy clearing in the bush. The first task was simple but not easy: cross Okuku River. The water level was quite high and the river seemed to be quite deep. We found that the deepest but the safest spot for crossing was behind some big boulders on the right hand side, which required Michal taking Anna’s backpack and Anna stripping down to her underwear so she could jump across the deepest part.
The hike to Pinchgut Hut was straightforward. There is a section where we had to walk over river boulders but it was alright, nothing that I wouldn’t do with kids. When we came to the hut, there was a tramper who told us that there had been a lot of people sleeping in the hut the previous night. He said that he’d slept on the floor, squeezed under the bottom bunks along with 3 other people, which was hard for me to imagine.
My plan was to leave Anna to her book – which is often her preferred form of companionship anyway – at Pinchgut Hut. I wanted to fly over the tops without a backpack to Bob’s Bivy and back. After a nap, a reasonable number of lunches and the discovery of a few issues of Wilderness magazine, it was becoming clear that I’ll stick to lying on the grass. Well, we can say that I was taking care of my mental wellbeing.
We liked our spot by the hut so much that we ended up camping there. Yes, next to an empty hut. I’m actually starting to enjoy camping more than sleeping in huts. It gives me a greater sense of freedom.
The morning was pretty chilly. We packed up the tent covered in ice and headed back to the carpark without hanging around. It took us about 3 hours to reach the car and just as we did it, another car arrived, a mum and 4 kids. I know that mums can do ANYTHING but still, a tiny shadow of doubt settled on me when I was thinking about how she might be planning to cross the river with pillows under her armpits and bags of food in her hands. I helped them to cross safely and happily and then we drove home to a much appreciated hot shower and omelet.
Max elevation: 420 m
Min elevation: 214 m
Total climbing: 736 m
Total descent: -734 m