||Home||Photo Gallery||Tramping Tips|
Monday 3 March 2003
Kepler Track (Day 2)
I’ve never felt a hose move before, but waking up today, I could feel the bed and walls shuddering as the hut was buffeted by the wind. Looking out the window next to my bed, I could see the wind ripping through the tussock. It was lightly raining, and it was being blown horizontally. I could also see a sign lying across the track saying ‘track closed’.
At 8:30am it was confirmed – the hut warden had put the track on hold due to the dangerous wind, until 10:00am, when it would be re-assessed. I sat down and had a hot chocolate, and got out my book which I had luckily decided to put in. At 10:00am it was still just as bad, and Jenny (the warden) said the track was closed for the day.
I spent most of the rest of the day reading, either in bed, since it was very cold as well, or in the common room. I wore my down parka all day, and often had my legs in my sleeping bag. At 10:00am we had been given the choice of returning the way we had come, or staying the night and hoping for better weather in the morning. I’d chosen to stay – I’d decided that if the weather was no good in the morning, I’d have to return the way I’d come, so I could make my bus to Queenstown. If the weather was good, I’d hike out the rest in 2 days – staying at Iris Burn Hut and getting the bus from the Rainbow Reach Swing Bridge. I read about 2/3 of my book – I was very glad I’d brought it.
By about 6:00pm, the light rain had turned to light snow. The snow wasn’t settling on the ground outside the hut – there was some rain and sleet mixed with the snow ( all of which was being blown horizontally). The wind was slightly reduced, but still making the hut shudder, as it had been all day. The windows of the hut were all steamed up on the inside and covered in rain and snow on the outside, and there wasn’t much view except of the surrounding tussock. I went to bed thinking it would be easier walking back the way I’d come, as the weather didn’t look like changing