Merivale Hut to Martins Hut

17 Mar. It was a very cold night and with the rain yesterday, my tent was soaked with condensation. Richard and I were up at 05:45, and the hut occupants were up soon after. We all got away at about the same time, 07:25.

The first 12km was a 700m climb to Bald Hill, initially gravel road and forest roads, then finally muddy forest tracks. Mud was the theme of the day. Just before we got to Bald Hill at 11:00, one leg sank up to the knee in a muddy patch. My long gaiters stopped mud getting inside my boot.

Al and Grant passed us on the way up and were having a snack on the hill top at the radio mast as we arrived. After an hour for our snack lunch and cup of tea, we were off again to our next high point which we could see in the distance, Longwood. After a few km on forest roads, it was forest and ridge top tracks, all very muddy. The afternoon was Richard’s turn to go in up to his knee. The overall day was 29 km in 10:35 hours with 1200m climb.

Arriving at Martins Hut (4 bunks) Al and Grant were already there and had the fire going. Martins Hut has the reputation of being rat infested and we were planning to camp. But the track we had walked had no camping areas and we were unsure how far we would have to go on to find one. Rat company didn’t seem too bad an option at the end of a long day. John came in later and slept on the hut floor. Dinner was beef stroganoff dehy. Everyone packed their packs and hung them from the hut rafters. I had a top bunk and needed to clear the rat droppings from the mattress before putting my sleeping bag out. However it did give me a good view of our nocturnal visitor, I think there was only one. Rope is useless for preventing rat access to hanging packs. They are good climbers. Wire is the only thing. Rats have a good nose for food. Al had his pack chewed through. I have been fortunate with my pack made of Dyneema fabric which is harder than nylon.

A cold start.
Initial forest road.
This deep.
Goblin forest.
View from Bald Hill.
Bald Hill radio mast, stop for lunch, Richard, Grant, Al.
Across the Longwood tops.
Richard’s turn to go knee deep.
Longwood, 754m.
Martins Hut.
Rat on top of centre pack.

9 thoughts on “Merivale Hut to Martins Hut

  1. julia read

    I’m loving the idea of a “tat infested hut” – the mind boggles 🙂 btw it occurred to me in the current panic (I won’t mention the word as your blog is nicely free of the worldwide panic spread) – it occurred to me how aptly named your blog is. I was listening to a podcast from Rabbi Daniel Lappin in which he mentioned the book “Crowds and Power” by Elias Canetti, the hypothesis of which is that crowds act as one mind when they panic. We are indeed operating as one interconnectedview in the world at the moment it seems.


    1. I left a sane world, and I am just about to come back to a crazy one!


  2. Jessica Syms

    Mud certainly looks like the theme! Glad you avoided rat invasion of your pack. Not long to go now until you’re out of the rain and in a rat-less bed!


  3. Di Graham

    Great that NZ is leech-less!
    It may be time to plan a reversal of the TT Richard. It’s not a good time to come out of the bush at present 🙂


  4. Sharon Brandford

    Hi Richard

    I remember school trips and camps at Longwood. It was raining then too!


  5. Hi Richard, your GPS lead is in the bunkhouse. What do you want me to do with it?


    1. Thanks Gail. Keep it or donate it to someone who needs it. It is just a normal micro USB cable.


      1. Hi, Aliss is walking to Invercargill tomorrow, I’ll walk to Riverton. We’re staying at Colonial Motel, Invercargill Fri night. We or she can carry it with us and give it to you tomorrow eve?!


      2. Thanks again Gail. See you in Invercargill. I have Aliss’s NZ number so will contract you Friday night.


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