Fern Burn Hut to Roses Hut – 16kms
Total – 941kms
From the hut I followed the track further up the Fern Burn and up on to Jack Halls Saddle. That was the first of three big climbs today. My calves were a bit stiff from hitting that straight out of the hut. I descended down a ridge to a creek before arriving at Highland Creek Hut. I stopped there for a snack and refilled my water bottles. I could feel the heat from the sun turning up as it rose high enough to fill the deep valleys.
From there it was a long ascent up a steep spur which gave me good views down the Motatapu Valley. Then all the way back down again to a creek that was running through a strip of beech forest at the bottom. I stopped for lunch there in the shade and filled my water bottles again.
I had only been walking for five hours but it was challenging terrain and I was already starting to feel a bit tired. Another long climb immediately followed up towards a major ridge off Knuckle Peak. I took my time getting up there. I turned around to see views right the way back through the valley to Lake Wanaka and ahead down Golspie Burn in the valley below. I had some reception up there so sent a few messages and got a bit of admin done but did not hang around for too long as it was hot and I wanted to get to the hut and finish for the day. The final descent was hard on my knees and it felt like it took forever to get down into the valley floor and across to Roses Hut. It felt good to get out of the sun, get my boots off and have a wash and get a clean set of clothes on. Now I am just relaxing for the rest of the afternoon in the hut.