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Day 8 of part 4 (last one) – Deception/Mingha route over Goat Pass (27k, 6h40h

Well that was different! Got a lift with Bill from the campground and a load of trail runners (out here to recce the Coast to Coast run route) to Morrisons footbridge, then up the Deception to Goat’s Pass hut and on down the Mingha to Greyney’s shelter. Wasn’t planning on doing it but Bill talked me into it and I’m glad he did as it was an absolutely awesome day. Bloody hard work and occasionally terrifying (some deep/strong river crossings) but awesome! Tagged onto a couple of kind runners who let me shadow them pretty much all the way up Deception, thus going much faster and avoiding route finding. Also got a bit of help with a couple of the sketchier river crossings ( my shorts got a good rinsing and so did my knickers on a couple of deeper ones!) Top section got a bit gnarly with huge boulders to negotiate. Final scramble up a mostly dry stream bed to the hut. Just over 4h up.

The other side was completely different : pristine boardwalk to start with panoramic views, then a crystal clear river and into beech forest for some twisty single track. A few rather steep scrambles up and down to stream but mostly lovely. Short breathless climb up Dudley’s Knob about halfway down, then more beech trails, often boardwalked. Passed by numerous speedy Coast to Coasters all the way down. Popped out about 3K from the end into a wide valley with pines and grassland. Flattish easy running to the end at Greyney’s Shelter, where more kind runners dropped me back at Arthur’s Pass to buy a cold beer. Shower, last night’s left over pizza and bed in my hobbit hole. Finished for another year, and what a way to end it!

View from footbridge at start
Lower part of Deception valley – a few crossings here!
Getting a bit more rocky – often a case of ‘choose your own line’ here
About an hour in and still looking happy!
Valley narrows before Upper Deception hut
Hut
Lots of pools to negotiate and boulders to scramble as you near the top (look for the cairns)
Very top section before Goat Pass hut. I was a bit over the boulders by this point!
Goat Pass hut – a welcome sight!
Stunning boardwalk section at top of Mingha valley – lots of this going down the top section.
Looking down the upper Mingha valley
Very tempted to stop for a swim here!
Rather impressive waterfall just before Mingha bivvy
Lots of boardwalk in the beech forest too. Really good track in the main part, although some rooty/rocky scrambles as well.
View down valley from Dudley’s Knob, the only significant climb
Looking back up final easy grassy section

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