Started off too damned steep for too damned long. Granny-chuff, til it settled down a bit and it was greasy. Icey or greasy. Couple of kereru spotted on the more settled bit - good to see! From the big pool the up gets steeper than steep and walk is all we could do. Walk walk walk, ride a bit, walk a bit, ride a bunch, walk a bit, ride more, then finally descend, wicked descent on crunchy snow. What a spectacular day it was, sun shining, bugger all wind, not cold. Fantastic. Climbing again, up and ever up. Met a couple of runner women, climbed some more. Met an old woman walking. Climbed some more. And more, legs getting pretty tired by now. More and more snow encountered as we climbed higher, the other two's tire treads ever present. Nearly at the top we encountered a group of hunters with a small piggy on one of their packs. Then finally we were on the last stretch to the summit of Richardson, finding the other two guys awaiting, and having had been there for 35 or 40 minutes... all up 2 hours, steady going to the top.
Ate some, changed layers, admired the insanely perfect day and incredible view, then it was time for the descent. And what a descent. Landmarks just came back to us soooo quickly. In no time flat you're 'there', then 'there', then that place where it seemed like ages from the top. So fast. Awesome sketchiness in places, brilliant. I had one close call on a wee rut, no biggie. The final couple climbs killed our legs, then it was the final descent. On the way up, Nelson had moved a big hanging hunk of lawyer out of the way. On my way down i rode straight into it. Thankfully I was going fast enough that it didn't get a hold of me. What a blast. So fast, and down so quick, it seemed. At the muddy pool, practically at the bottom, when I stopped I thought I could smell a fire somewhere nearby, like a campfire. Then we realised it was the hotness of our brakes. but finally out the bottom, after taking it pretty easy on the final lower stretches, it was an hour since we'd left the top, pretty much.
All up, an excellent ride. Perfectly finished, post shower and feed, with a couple of O for Awesomes and a Hopwired with my lovely lady at Pomeroys.