Today the weather was stunning and the view from Top Forks Hut to Mount Pollux and surrounds was breathtaking.
I headed first to Lake Castalia at the top of the north branch, where I met up with the German family once more.
I wasn’t feeling game for the chilly swim but enjoyed sitting by the lake’s edge and taking in the atmosphere whilst chatting away.
Heading back down the valley again I stopped first to admire Lake Lucidus from the less visited vantage point and was rewarded with another impressive avalanche just across the lake from me!
A group of 3 kiwi gals (Nina, Jess and Lillian) joined us up and we all went for a chilly swim in the deepest and clearest part of the river we could find.
All up it was a great, relaxing day.
Back at the hut I was now starting to get eager to find a group to cross Rabbit Pass with. I didn’t fancy the idea of walking back out the way I’d come (though the thought of a helicopter ride from Siberia Hut was tempting. Apparently they take hikers back at a bargain rate after dropping tourists off). I was asking lots of questions (to see if I could do it solo. The DOCS staff had refused to give me info when they found out I was on my own). A couple flew in to Top Forks Hut that afternoon (they’d retired from epic outdoors adventures) who had crossed Rabbit Pass about 10 or so years ago and they told me not to do it and then described the terrain to me. There are three technical parts to the crossing and the man told me that the first one can only be traversed in one direction. This was concerning news indeed… it meant if I got stuck further along I would not be able to go forward or back. Something I definitely didn’t like the sounds of. Hmmm!
At about 8pm 3 very loud guys burst into the hut, dropped their packs and went screaming and hollering down to the river for a swim. I was to learn shortly afterwards that they were planning to cross Rabbit Pass the next day. The older couple breathed a sigh of relief that I would have someone to go with. Yay for a group… though they didn’t seem like the type of company I would usually pick …
When they returned I grilled them to find out their experience. Turns out they knew nothing about what the Rabbit Pass was so I told them all I knew and said we best get started early the next day (which, being Spanish, they didn’t like the sound of!). They did a group huddle and decided to pull the pin. They would return to Kerin Forks and exit with a jetboat! Whhaaaat!
Rabbit Pass was calling me and it was difficult to resist and keep a level head. I still had a spare 1.5 days worth of food on top of the 2 days I was still planning to hike so I hatched a plan to satisfy the safety-ometer within.