Rangitata River to Royal Hut – 25kms
Total – 644kms
We had bacon and eggs for breakfast and started on the trail at 8.30am from the Bush Stream carpark. It was cold, overcast and drizzling. We followed the Bush Stream river up a narrow valley before a steep climb up to Crooked Spur hut and stopped there for lunch. The hut had the initials E.H 1954 engraved next to the door. I had heard about this but didn’t know which hut it was so have been keeping an eye out for it.
The river walk was fun. There was no track as such and so we made our way upstream, picking where and when to cross as required.
We carried on climbing for an hour or so to the top of a saddle. It was still overcast and cold and walking through long and wet tussock so I was wet through. I normally enjoy going up-hill but I can’t say I enjoyed that one. As we came down the other side it warmed up a bit and I started to dry out. Getting below the cloud and out of the wind. We got to Stone hut at 5pm and decided to do another 5kms to Royal hut. Glad we did as it is a nice spot and in a good position to start the climb over the Two Thumbs range via Stag Saddle. The clouds finally started clearing so there was some sunshine and warmth at the end of the day.