Mt Fyffe - Kowhai Saddle circuit
Seaward Kaikoura Range
Monday 13th February
I dropped Camilla off at her conference, stopped at the DOC office to get a hut ticket, then drove out to the bottom of Mt Fyffe. I did the short Hinau loop walk, then headed off up the road around 10.30am. With the fog coming in soon after I started and visibility down to 20m, there were no views, just occasional chairs and markers at 500m, 750m, and 1000m elevation. And at one point I saw what I think was a ferret run across the road.
A couple of New Zealand trampers from Wellington turned up while I was cooking my pasta. And then it started clearing, and at 7pm it was bright and warm, and we could look down on a sea of clouds.
Tuesday 14th February
I was up at 6.45am, off by 7.50 after taking photographs, and at 1600m at the top of Mt Fyffe by 8.40. But I did the ridge descent to Kowhai Saddle too fast and pulled a muscle. This slowed me down in the steep boulder clambering down the upper Kowhai, but after the hut it was easier, cris-crossing the river on shingle banks. Most of the day was overcast and windy, but I had a fierce sun at my back for the final haul back to the car. I was soon back in Kaikoura.