2 Feb. 08:00 departure following Demelza and Rau. First day of real rain, which initially was very light. Temperature was about 20C so it felt close and I didn’t need my waterproof jacket for a while. I passed Demelza and Rau after a couple of hours of grass flats and beech forest and stopped at Harper’s Pass bivvy for a quick snack at 11:00. The track was overgrown with vegetation so shorts and boots were soaking wet. Waterproof on from there as it was a bit cooler with the stronger wind going over Harper’s Pass. The descent was much steeper than the climb, but the trail flattened out to hug the Taramakau River down to Locke Stream Hut, built in 1940 and preserved as an historic hut.
I arrived at 13:30 so that was a 17km 5:30 hour day. Demelza and Rau arrived about an hour after me. Fred and Rachael arrived about 15:00 with Dan and Miriam about 15 mins behind them. Same hut crew tonight. From the notes in the hut log book, the hut is plagued by rats, so hanging food bags from the drying rack is going to be essential. Only one rat was seen, so maybe they had checked out.
My Garmin inReach weather forecast says this rain is set to continue tomorrow with about 15mm of rain. Tuesday’s forecast predicts 69mm of rain, so we need to be out of the valley tomorrow as the route has some big river crossings.