Routeburn Track – Day 2

I mentioned in my last post that I last walked this track over 20 years ago. While I enjoyed the walk and it was a beautiful part of the country, I was also overcome with how the passing of years and the inclusion into the great walks list had changed this track. I must admit I kept comparing it disfavourably to last time. But that aside, I was up in the mountains of NZ and having a grand old time. Though this 20 year gap did cause me to take a few photos I otherwise wouldn’t have. Including this one of the huts before I left for the day. Back in the day, this was a single one building, one room hut with a long drop outside.

I also took a shot of the lake that this hut takes it’s name from before starting off up the mountain.

As you can see, the cloud cover was low. This would impact the climb up to the saddle once above the tree line. But first, a lovely walk through an enchanted forest.

Once clear of the trees, but still below the cloud, there was a great view back to the lake and hut.

The climb was a lot easier than the Milford Track as it wasn’t nearly as steep and before long I was in the cloud

Which, while obscuring some of the views, did add to the atmosphere

There were still a few little waterfalls

Before long I was approaching the saddle (up ahead is the optional side trip but given the lack of visibility I didn’t feel the need to add in an ultra steep climb to see the “view”).

This is not quite the highest point as we still have a bit of a climb to go up before descending into the valley below. But there is a shelter to stop and recharge.

Before climbing to and passing Lake Harris

And getting a good view of the way ahead

It’s a steep-ish drop down into the first of those valleys you see there (the one in the background where the sun is shining is for tomorrow). But that just meant I was almost running down the hill, with several stops for photo ops

and stunning views

And before long, I was hitting the end of that first valley and Routeburn Falls

Just below which was the hut for the night. Still at 1000m so we have more of a drop on the last day before heading out that valley you see below here

Selected shots from day 2 on Flickr.

This post has been reconstructed from the web archives of my old blog. It was originally posted on 14th Feb 2014, and I walked the Routeburn Track in December 2013.

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