The tops  Trip evolution in the Kahurangi

With some relief we unlinked from our last four man river fording formation. Now safely on the true left of Ellis River, we knew there was only the gravel of Baton Valley Road between us and a warm shower, dry clothes and a good feed in Nelson.

The light drizzle had become persistent rain on the roof of Flanagan’s Hut the evening before. That morning the surging torrent beside the Hut, in the upper reaches of Baton River, had confirmed that we’d better get out before the rivers rose much further. It was day seven of what originally was to be an eight day tops and valleys wilderness route masterminded by Shaun Barnett. Our early exit was just the latest evolution we’d made in the past week to his plan.

For a route map and more images
Peter Laurenson also publishes a calendar each year using his spectacular images. They can be ordered through his website.