Sponsors: Macpac.au, Strive food (Tassie), Safelaces, Moxigear, Hothands
The Trek: 64km over 7 days, 20kg pack, hut to hut through the rain, wind and snow.
Staying in the warm Waterfall hut was a god send in this blizzard condition. Yes, the hut was packed, overcrowded due to lack of regulation during the winter months but that was part of the experience.
After finally reaching the hut, the girls helped me shed my cold drenched clothes and get warm in my dry thermals. After about 20 minutes of warming up, I was able to set about cooking a small assortment of hot meals for my lunch/dinner.
The She devils started covering any bare wooden ceiling raft with wet clothing, sleeping bags and tents to dry. Even going so far as to tie up rope for more additional hanging space to dry out everything else they owned. Jane obsessed over evenly drying the clothes over the electric heater, teaching others that came in to help maintain it overnight.
Note: The heater has a 45-minute timer and requires 2 people to prime the heater and turn it on. These are available all most huts on the Overland trail. The heater will only work in 10 degrees of less on the build in thermostat.
That night over 30-40 people slept in the hut, many crammed on the wooden platforms, and any available floor space. The following morning, I found someone sleeping on the veranda that just had enough walls cover to kept most of the night’s snow storm off him.
Note: There was the older waterfall hut that could fit a smaller portion of people but did not contain any heating.
The next day, an 8km hike to Windemere Hut crossing gorgeous open areas covered in fresh snow. Mostly flat trails with the occasionally non-chicken wired platforms that made everyone take shuffling foot steps to cross.
Arriving to the hut and finding that most of the available sleeping platforms were taken. Three of us (Meg, Gill and I) were able to share a double sleeping platform but the rest of the group would have to sleep on the floor. That is until, we disturbed an old couple that did not want to deal with our ruckus and decided to the sleep in the tent outside, freeing up another double for Janet and Jane to share.
That night we drank, played card games and listening to music on the Bluetooth speakers. Glad to be in another warm hut away from the snow fall outside.