Day 108: Weather Zero in Arthurs Pass
Sunday, February 25, 2024 8:37 pm
Location: Morrison Footbridge / Arthurs Pass / Arthurs Pass Lodge (2211.5 km)

After heavy rain overnight, I took the day off in Arthurs Pass to give the Deception River time to settle.

View from Arthurs Pass Lodge
View from Arthurs Pass Lodge
  • I slept very poorly last night. I’m almost certain now I have a cold.
  • I got breakfast at the cafe, pancakes. They were quite good.
  • I stopped at the DOC visitor center. They said that the Deception River was definitely in flood, and might even be tomorrow. They recommended I do this section northbound, going up the Mingha (which is a smaller river than the Deception), and then coming down Deception, trailing behind the receding waters. I don’t think I will do this, but will keep it in mind. I also gave them some maintenance notes, including the issue on the Hurunui River swingbridge, a getting-full privy at Hurunui No. 3 Hut, and a full logbook at Camerons Hut.
  • I am considering extending my stay an extra night and slackpacking the remainder of the section. I’ll decide tomorrow whether to do that or not. The climb up the Deception River will be a lot easier (especially on my ankle) if I don’t have a full pack.
  • Apparently, the heavy rain last night reached a crescendo with a thunderstorm, which I totally did not hear. Today, the weather was beautiful, if a bit cooler out.
  • I returned to the lodge and took a short nap. It was nice. I probably should have spent the whole day trying to nap.
  • I returned to the cafe for lunch, and got a cheeseburger. I took a more thorough look at the resupply options in their general store. The options are extremely thin, and I could make a resupply work if I really needed to, but fortunately, all I need to complete this section are some extra snack bars.
  • There were four keas (the world’s only alpine parrot, unique to New Zealand) at the cafe. In spite of signs saying not to feed them, someone let a kea get bread from their plate. Three other keas then proceeded to chase it around a tree for the next several minutes trying to get some of the food.
Two Keas Fighting Over Bread
Two Keas Fighting Over Bread
  • I had dinner at the Alpine Parrot, across the street from the cafe, which I didn’t even see yesterday. (Though I’m not sure I’d have gone there in the evening with the rain.) Joining me were Irit, whom I last saw in St Arnaud, and Russel.)
  • I again went to sleep early, hoping that would be enough to clear my cold at least enough to hike tomorrow.