Hut Bound – Aparima Forks Hut (Part Two)

“On a Mish” #71 Hut Bound (Part Two) – Aparima Forks Hut. Upper Aparima River. Takitimu Conservation Area. 22.5.2018. To sit and listen to heavy rain pounding the roof of a mountain hut is a feeling difficult to describe. Excitement , nervousness, wonder, and respect for mother nature all flood the mind like the water flooding the rivers around you. Experience gained guiding in Aotearoa has given me a big appreciation for the awesome weather we get in this wild land. However a rather big difference between guiding on the track and being held up in Aparima Forks Hut was no shower or drying room!

But I was happy that there was dry firewood and I had the chance to remove my soaking wet boots, socks and pretty much every other item of clothing. As the little hut began to steam up with the heat from the fire mixing with my damp gear, the storm began to rage outside. Aparima Forks Hut shuddered that night to the tune of thunder, and as I attempted to get some sleep I would see the flashes of lightning through my eyelids!

I did eventually get to sleep, and I woke early-ish the next morning to the sound of rain still pounding down on the hut’s roof.

A Snow Covered Aparima Forks Hut

I went to check the river after breakfast and it was pumping much higher after the top up overnight, so I knew I was now officially trapped at the hut. Having your escape route taken away may sound like something to get worried about, but I look at it as a guarantee I will have the hut to myself for the day / night.

I spent the day collecting and chopping firewood and also watching the river level slowly drop as the rain began to ease. This was very reassuring for leaving the next day. I managed to top up the hut woodshed, and as the afternoon neared evening the wind turned to the south and the area got very cold. No worries for me as I had had the fire cranking all day, and the little two bed hut was toasty warm. After dinner and just before retreating to the warmth of my sleeping bag I poked my head out the door of the hut to see millions of tiny crystals falling from amongst the trees. The pure silence told me snow was going to be on the menu tomorrow.

I woke to a bright white winter world, with a lot more snow than predicted. Excited to see what the area looked like covered in snow, I had a couple of quick coffees before leaving the sanctuary of the hut. It was hard to say goodbye to my home for two nights, but the excitement of snow was enough to drag me away.

The wander out was very inviting to the eye with a snow-covered beech forest all the way back down to Aparima Hut. From the hut it was a less inviting snow cold drizzle for the rest of the way back to Dunrobin Road. Not a problem for me as I was still very chuffed about the last couple of days chilling up at Aparima Forks Hut.

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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