Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Waterfalls, More Waterfalls, Wekas, Keas & Something Missing!

Woke in gloom during the night, constant rainy sounds, so track certain to be impassable. On going out to the loo (inevitable if you go to bed as soon as it gets dark) found it was only waterfall & river noise. River levels significantly down, so off & up. 600m up through rainforest, beech then scrub,  grass and alpines. Stopped to photograph rock wrens and rifleman, tiny busy birds, both with legs too far back and almost non-existent tails. We were first to the saddle and McKinnon memorial, amazing views of the world, mountains & glaciers, many waterfalls all around. Thanks to all the people who wished us rain to see them at their best, we certainly did! After another short ascent to avoid the cliffs below the saddle Kea-squawks warned us of the hut. Highly intelligent and mischievous parrots, they dismantle anything, and seem to get a thrill from nicking boots. On down a total of 1100m, passing the spectacularly beautiful Anderson's Cascades, a series of crashing waterfalls, then the 580m Sutherland Falls: big, wet & noisy. Nosey Wekas followed us on&off. An hour's easy walk to Dumpling Hut, sadly the promised 300m thigh deep wade had fizzled to a small puddle and some mud. We are the first people in three days to get through.
And missing? Didn't rain all day!

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