What a great day! Today we had to do a steep climb of 1.100m to Mt. Cedric at 1.450 for the beginning. I could feel how light my pack was without the food and only the empty bottle of wine as extra weight. I was flying up the mountain!Since the entire climb was in the forest I couldn’t see which scenery built up around me.

 But when I hit the tree line I was firstly welcomed by a nice reminder of my “old life:

And then the astonishing view over several mountain ranges and valleys including Lake Rotoroa. I took a long break just inhaling the view and atmosphere.

The climb continued over an exposed ridge line which circled around the end of the valley – so beautiful and it reminded me on various climbs in the Alpes in Europe.

 I think I really like the Alpine terrain more than the flat parts. Weather was perfect and the gusts blowing over the ridge line were only between 40-50km/h and by this not really an issue. The rocks though are very loose and break off easily – very different to our rocks back home. So careful selection of your steps is required.

After another hour on the ridge line I could see down into the valley of Lake Angelus. Wow. I can tell why this is so spot is highly recommended.

After another long break and a chat with the warden of the hut who told me that I would probably not need the estimated six hours to St Arnaud I decided to just do the stretch in one instead of the originally planned two days. The path down went again over an exposed ridge climbing another four peeks between 1.900 and 1.700m before finally descending to St. Arnaud.

Fitness is back on track. After 3:15h I was down in the valley which gave me a total time of 6:30h instead of the estimated 12h! Yiehaaa – rock or bust!

Difficult to say but I even think that today was a little bit better than Waiau Pass and with this the best day on the trail so far! Loved it!

A nice group of young Germans gave me a ride into town with a short swim stop in the lake. And then: the first real hotel room since Auckland and 2 month with a kingsize bed, own shower and toilet. King of my castle! 155$ well spent ??

The rest of the evening – no surprise for the careful reader. Steak & beer ?

Tomorrow will be rest day with a lot of food, laundry, blog update and unfortunately another night in a six bed dorm since the hotel is already fully booked…

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