Uncle Roddus tramping diary: Tramp No. 143
Casey Hut 6-7th February 2014.
The best laid plans of Mice & Men. Thursday 6th was a public holiday, the extended forecast for the four days from Thursday to Sunday for the Canterbury High Country was for fine with light winds. I decided to take advantage, take the Friday off work and visit two huts that are on my list. I left home fairly early in anticipation of a longish day. Loaded with a four day pack, I set off from the Andrews Shelter, heading along the Andrews track to Casey hut, which was to be my lateish lunch stop before the big climb up to Ranger Biv, My first nights accommodation. By the end of the first couple of hours walking my boots were starting to give me trouble, oldish boots that had given trouble in the past but my feet had survived several trips in them with little discomfort over the last couple of years. I had even wet them before leaving home to soften them up a little. After 3 hours I stopped just over Casey Saddle and spent about 40 minutes eating and dealing to the blisters on my feet, using up my last blister blocks and Lectoplast and starting in on the contents of my first aid kit, but the damage had been done and even with all the padding, things got worse as I approached Casey Hut and by now I had a pretty good idea I wouldn't be too keen to carry on. I limped into Casey Hut after about 5 hours 20 minutes from my car and was so relieved to remove my boots. The pain in my big toes, where they had been pressing into the front of my boots eased and fortunately showed no physical damage but my heels both had large blisters. It was only about 2:30PM so I had lunch, scored a bunk in this 16 bunk hut and settled in for the duration, knowing that others would arrive in due course as this is a pretty popular hut. I wasn't at all in the best of moods knowing that my weekend wasn't going at all to plan. To make matters worse, the hut was stifling hot and due to there being only two windows with insect screens and the sandflies outside being ravenous and in plague numbers around the hut, we couldn't really open any other windows. Another 6 trampers arrived over the course of the afternoon, we chatted about the weekends plans, I mumbled about going back out and home in the morning and then I went for a short walk to the Poulter river and tried to stay a bit cooler outside, but the aforementioned sandflies were equally ravenous no matter where I went and seem to develope a very rapid immunity to the insect repellent I was using. Sleeping in the hut was particularly difficult due to the heat and I seriously considered grabbing my bivvy bag and sleeping outside at one stage but I must have drifted off before I got motivated enough to do this. Things finally did cool down enough in the night to actually allow me to sleep under my sleeping bag instead of on it. The next morning every body slept in till about 9am. After breakfast and packing I attacked my sore feet with what I could scrounge from my first aid kit to try and pad out the sore bits for the trip out. It worked well enough and the first climb out from the hut went fairly well. I made good time in spite of the pain and stopped for lunch just past Hallelujah Flats. The feet were getting sorer as I got to the climb out of the Andrews River and I was finding that my legs were getting more fatigued because I couldn't relax with the pain of walking and the last big down hill part was a killer. I was sooooo relieved to finally arrive at the car but had to make a very quick getaway as I was swamped by more ravenous sandflies. I think I managed to get back out in somewhere between 5 and 51/2 hours. Considering it is only about 14KM from the hut to the car, My legs were quite sore the next day. A combination of the heavy pack and the strain of walking with the pain. Not one of the better tramps I have done. Below are the photos I took on the first day.