On the second day of travel we climbed out of Hauroko Burn and reached treeline. There wasn't as much mud today as there was yesterday or will be in future days. I sank in to the high calf only ten times today which was pretty good all things considered. I came up with a little classification scheme for the different kinds of mud, not so much to be able to avoid the deep ones, just to be ready for them when they come (i.e. they are unavoideable):
- Dry and no footprints = no sink.
- Dry with footprint = sole covered.
- Wet with footprint = top of the boot.
- Wet with bit of a mound where a foot once was = little above the ankle.
- Wet with no footprint and sometimes standing water = calf.
- Any sand = you are okay, guaranteed not to go over the ankle.
- Slippery banks of tiny stream with grass on each side = over the knee for right leg, mid-calf for left leg. Left leg can't get a grip on solid ground because right in too deep. Right hand doesn't have enough surface area so it sinks into the bank as it is trying to pull right leg out. Twigs laid together on the bank are then able to support the pull out. With a bit of a vegetable belay on the left bank one will be able to continue on one's merry way.