Sunday 3_4...Day Three on the Milford Track... View the Slide Show
2080 vertical feet (ascent) 3850 vertical feet (descent)

Today was the hardest day for me.  Even harder that the infamous "Crossing".  We started the trail using our headlamps...7 am not quite daybreak.  The trek up to McKinnon Pass was listed as 2-3 hours and I was pleased to make it in 3 hours.  Since the weather was starting to deteriorate, Anna Marie went on ahead to the pass shelter while I fooled around and took lots of pictures in the rain and sleet.  After using "the potty with one of the best views in the world"  we left the pass hut at 11:30.  We started down a very rocky steep descent that I hoped wouldn't last too long.  Unfortunately the trail never got too much better except for the 1000 to 1500 feet of wooden stairs that ran along the side of Roaring Creek Falls.  The stairs went on forever but they had safe chicken-wire covered steps with level resting platforms every dozen or so steps and hand rails.  The descent was relentless and remained rocky and slippery all the way to the side trail to Sutherland Falls and the guided walkers Quentin Hut.  It was here that I convinced Anna Marie to go on to the hut as I knew there were still others behind me. 

At 8pm...just 10 minutes from the hut, I was met by Brit and his wife and Ross the hut warden and John and Simon.  Brit and wife hiked back to the hut with me and the 3 fellows went on up the trail to find Mary and Enid...two of the gals from Dunedin.  After being the last of 1800 folks to finish the "Crossing"...I was glad that there was actually someone behind me.  Thank You, Enid & Mary!  

I sat down to eat and noticed a rather ripe smell...I was sure it was me...however it turned out to be the last of my eggs, which my friends suggested I dispose of quickly!  Guess I don't have to mention that I was asleep in 2 minutes after stretching out on my bunk!