Day 3 was a much earlier start. The generator came on at 6.15 am and one had to be on the track by 7.30 am. So a quick shower, pack, making of lunch and breakfast. I must again mention how great it is able to shower on a tramp – for the benefits of others, even if not yourself
Today was only 15 kms from Pompolona Lodge to Quintin Lodge, but it is over Mackinnon Pass which is a 700 metre climb with 17 zigzags,
The day started overcast but fine.
However it soon turned to rain. The good part was we got many more waterfalls. The downside is almost no view from the top. Even this photo was only possible for a couple of minutes as it cleared.
The memorial to Quintin Mackinnon near the top. You get some idea of what the weather was like. It wasn’t just wet, but also damn cold when exposed on the ridge.
One of the lakes at the top.
Then on the way down a few crossings.
Some keas who colonised this rock for themselves.
There’s a series of waterfalls you trek down beside which are quite beautiful.
It started to rain more heavily in the afternoon. I managed the main trek in five and a half hours and got to Pompolona Lodge at 1.30 pm. The side trek to Sutherland Falls was meant to be at 4.00 pm but I knew there was no way I’d go back outside again if I dried off. So I dumped my pack and headed straight up to Sutherland Falls. It’s the tallest waterfall in New Zealand at 580 metres. I think also fifth longest in the world.
I was thinking of going under the falls for a back massage but the rain had made the falls rather powerful so I astutely decided not to go in!
Then it was bar and relax time back at Pompolona Lodge. It was also St Patrick’s Day so Adie (one of the guides) dressed up.
Adie is also a rather good skier. Look out for her at the next Olympics in 2018!