A large gulp, and a firm foot were needed as we struck out into the moor land after lunch. Those walls of rock were hard to ignore as we strode out onto ‘the tops’ – the gradual slopes leading to our first ‘taster peaks’. Breezy but sunny I was thankful of visibility after the white-outs of the Tararuas, but in another way I wondered if it were better not to have to ponder the severity of what may lay ahead. Either way. We were here now, and it was beautiful, if rather ominous, and we were going to give it our all. Checking the hut books, and all the Te Araroa hikers ahead of us had managed it ( as far as we knew ) and so, if they could do it, so could i… It probably just looks menacing from a-far right?
Our first peak of the Richmond Alpine Route was pretty easy, and a relatively short day by Alpine route standards. We just have to follow this ridge below to get to our hut for the evening, nestled on the northern slopes of Slaty Peak ahead.