Rocky Creek Biv
The Remote Huts website (which is awesome) says to allow 3-4 hours from the Taipo Bridge to the Rocky Creek Biv. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! I've got a box of beer for anyone that can do that in three hours... My mate and I reckoned that someone very familiar with the route - and thus didn't miss any of the go-arounds - might do it in 4.5 hours. A nice little hut in a bit of a strange spot. A very fun and challenging trip. With lots of goats along the way.
Au contraire! I was with 6 x 17 y.o. Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award wannabees & they`d do it in that time,I reckon.While I`m not fast,never have been,these young guys were veritable machines.I was with them on the Stag Saddle trip between Tekapo & Mesopotamia & they stretched the leash regularly & could`ve run it with their packs,given half a chance.Another pair of runners we met near Grassy Flat Hut on the Three Pass trip,went from Klondyke Corner to Grassy Flat in 8 hours.That`s insane,I know,they must have been C2C runners out for a stroll.
There's a huge range in the times people will do on this kind of (presumably) unformed, sporadically marked track. Differences in how fast people move across rougher ground, how much they hesitate making all the little and bigger route finding decisions, how quickly they recognise then get back on route after getting off route. Something worth understanding is that track times are an estimate based both on the level of the track, but also on the fitness and experience of the likely users of a track. A track which is well known, formed, maintained and easily accessible will attract people with less experience and fitness. A rougher, more remote track will mostly attract fitter and more experienced people. In both cases posted times will reflect the likely users of the track. So if you usually do 20% under track time on easier tracks, you may well still find you're doing over track time on rougher more remote tracks. I think Honora and Frank did much of the maintenance of this track/hut, not sure if Honora is still around on the forum?
I did that in 3hrs (most recent trip) when aged about 60. Mind you I've been going in there since 1975. Suspect if I went back thru. my diaries I'd find quicker times from long ago. First visited in 1975 and have been in there quite a few times over the years. That Remote Huts time sounds realistic to me.
OK. My mate and I are both very experienced and very fit and reckoned three hours was nearly impossible. Maybe the creek was up (essentially uncrossable in all but a few places on the lower reaches) or maybe we're underestimating the time we spent route-finding or maybe we're just not as young as we used to be...
Not familiar with that particular section of track but I know when I first went down in to the "Remote Huts" area behind Hokitika I found the going a bit slower than I expected. I put this mainly down to being in a much wetter climate than I was used to and I was being much more careful with my footing. I concur with what @Ian_H said in that so much of being a fast walker is being a confident and efficient walker. Moving quickly involves seldom stopping or even pausing to check footing or the route. Obviously the more familiar you are with the track or just the general conditions then the more confident you can be. Most people underestimate how much time they actually spend not moving when tramping. I think I am a pretty efficient tramper and I am generally much quicker than listed track times. However, my GPS still says I spend 20 to 30% of my walking time each day not moving.
From studying GPS tracked times, it has been possible for us to do it in 3 hours but it depends on the condition of the track at the time. It would usually take us an hour to get to Rocky Ck from the Taipo bridge road end and I've got a GPS track that says it took us 3 and a half hours from there to the biv, including an hour's stop for lunch and another half hour stop elsewhere where I guess we were doing track work. Because it's very unstable terrain i.e. floods, slips and windfalls, the times would vary. I haven't been there for ages and miss it terribly. Other people have been doing track work in there and once that happens, Frank's interest in track work wanes as he sees their getting credit for our work. No doubt if we went back, it would have changed remarkably from our last visit. We have worked in the past all along the whole Rocky/Griffin circuit except for a wee stretch in the head of Griffin Ck just beyond the Rocky/Griffin Saddle. It's great that Griffin Ck has become popular with canyoners as that is keeping that end of the track open I hope.
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