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Maps L31, L32, M31 and M32
Snow White and Her Seven Dwarfs up the Nina Valley
Snow White and the Seven dwarfs left Friday night and tented out at the Sylvia Flats in Lewis Pass with quite a few more neighbours then they had envisaged. There must have been about 10 tents there! Andrew managed to park his 4 wheel drive completely off the ground on a rock next to the campsite but the dwarfs banded together and managed to lift it off. Andrew's comment "What a stupid place to put a rock anyway" was repeated at various stages during the evening by anyone who wandered across the camp site in the dark and fell over it.
In the morning peels of laughter were heard from one tent after Andrew held up Snow White's lacy black bra and asked "Is this mine?". Realising too late it was not his black sleeping bag cover Andrew promptly dropped it like a hot potato! The merry band headed off in sunshine up the lovely Nina Valley past the Nina Hut to Nina Biv. This valley is really nice on a sunny day and I for one was seeing it in sunshine for the first time. Once we reached the Nina Biv and had put the tents up Andrew (Sleepy) promptly dived into one for an afternoon nap.
The Nina reverted to true form and it absolutely bucketed down all night. Over breakfast Snow Whote decided she should really cut her toe nails and before any of the dwarfs could check their packs for scissors Todd (The Toe Sucker or "Sucky" to his friends) offered to chew them off! Although this generous offer was declined it provided much mirth for the rest of the trip (and I gather on trips that followed!!). Upon discovering two minutes up the track that Nina Biv had become Nina Island it was decided to abandon our plan to head over the tops and drop down to Lake Christabel Hut and instead beat a well organised retreat to the Nina Hut through the side creeks (waist deep for some, knee deep for others—dwarfs pretty short!) and spend the day in the Nina Hut. A relaxed day was spent eating, joking and watching the Nina Creek rise to a foot below the swing bridge! Someone had the brilliant idea to play 500 to fill in time and of course after a totally anti-percentage run of luck Bill and Snow White GRACIOUSLY accepted defeat in the name of good sportsmanship amid raucous gloating from the winners! In the second game, of course, Snow White and Bernard (Lucky) won convincingly and after they had made a few quiet, modest comments about the last hand John (Wicked Witch) and Todd (The Toe Sucker) had the audacity to not only throw Snow White in the mud outside the hut (did I mention it was pouring with rain?) but to also decide to create a designer look T shirt by cleaning the floor with it while she was still wearing it! Hence Snow White rather rapidly became Nina the Mud Princess and they were promptly renamed "Bad" and "Sport"! Despite her rather sordid condition the Wicked Witch managed to convince Bill (Happy) to double bunk with the Mud Princess and any rumours about a marked increase in zest in his step the next day are totally unfounded.
The next day dawned, the river went down, and we followed the terraces up Duchess Creek to the Brass Monkey Biv. It was a beatiful sunny day and perfect for traversing the Lewis Tops along to Rough Creek with a fantastic view down to Lake Christabel. Here our illustrious leader Steve (Speedy) left us and shot ahead to hitch hike to Maruia Springs to get the van. It was a sharp drop down and upon reaching the road Dave threw his pack down and declared passionately he couldn't carry his pack another foot! However, when Speedy appeared minutes later with the news his van was parked down the road with ice code beer in the back, Dave (Thirsty) miraculously found a new lease of life and sprinted off to the car.
After a relaxing hot pool (and yes, you can fit seven little dwarfs, a witch and a now pristine Snow White in a private hot pool although Mr Bug got a bit soggy) we were all clean and ready for the trip home. Thanks for a very well organised and "entertaining" trip Steve!