Another summer hike

It had been a while since I’d gone for a decent hike (12 months, in fact), so I planned to spend two nights out in the field enjoying life.  As it so happened, however, the two huts within practical walking distance (Watts and Brookes) were both booked out for Saturday night this weekend.  My solution was to book Watts hut for Friday night, then walk to Marine Plain refuge for Saturday night.

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Here we are taking a short break on our way to Watts hut on Friday night.  We left an hour or so before dinner, so we’ve stopped off here for a quick snack and a check of the map.  As you can see, it’s quite overcast so we were pretty keen to get to the hut and get dinner on the stove.

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Speaking of food, here we are in Watts hut.  It might not seem that late going by the amount of sunlight, but we’re still a month and a half away from achieving actual darkness in the middle of the night.  Mark and Rhys are my two fearless (fearsome?) companions.  Gourmet sausages are our delicious dinner.

The next morning we slept in until around 10am, waking only to receive the day’s updated forecast via VHF, and to cook bacon and cheese sandwiches.  We then proceeded to kick back and enjoy life (and eat cheese and biscuits) for a few hours.  Shortly after 3pm we finally got into gear and had an unremarkable and windy walk to Marine Plain.

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Our walk to Marine Plain was quick, and we enjoyed a delicious stew and an early night.  I tend to sleep well in field huts, and both of these nights were no exception.  In the photo above (left is the ‘melon’ containing the kitchen, to the right are the two ‘apples’ that provide additional accommodation) we’re packed and ready to depart.  Finally a sunny day!

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We left early and were making better time than expected and so used the opportunity to take a couple of breaks.  Our path took us via Watts hut again, and we didn’t want to ruin the sleep-in for the occupants after all.  Ideal conditions, as you can see.

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This is Watts Lake.  We sat by the lake for about five minutes listening to the ice shear and make the most peculiar noises.  The noises echoed around the valley, sounding even more surreal.  It was quite magical.

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On the way back we passed a few interesting things, including a strangely hollowed out rock, a penguin who’d died with a stomach full of pebbles, and the group from Watts whom we’d previously passed.

All in all it was a most excellent weekend, and a delicious one too.  I don’t think I could possibly have eaten any more cheese and crackers despite the deliciousness of our vintage cheddar and creamy camembert.  I’m looking forward to sneaking another trip in before the season is out.

Thanks for reading.

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