The Pods do the Milford Tramp...Day Three - Part One -Uphill
This entry was posted on 12/23/2006 10:47 PM and is filed under New Zealand.
We started early today at 7:30am because we knew it was
going to be a very long day. It was another clear and beautiful
day. We felt so blessed for this incredible weather. This
was going to be our hardest and most challenging day of hiking the
trail first leads us towards the head of the Clinton River. We
begin climbing up and up and up through a series of zig zag
switchbacks. We can see St. Quintin Falls on the right side of
the canyon as we climb higher.
Here's a look at some of the paths we were on...
the 12th mile we notice that the terrain looks different. Lots of
snow avalanches during the springtime leave the area looking
fact, we heard numerous rumblings and saw avalanches happening before
our eyes. We were glad to be on the other side of the canyon
while they were occurring.
We passed Mirror Lake and
continued climbing Practice Hill leading us to Lake Mintaro at the
top. We crossed more suspension bridges and kept climbing.
Our legs were aching. Thankfully the sun was still shining.
We would have been miserable in the rain.
The suspension bridges shook like crazy when you crossed over them. Made us feel a bit like Indiana Jones.
Here's another view of the valley where we started and how far we climbed!
On the way up we saw lots of beautiful mountain plants and flowers that we have never seen before.
On our way to the top...
finally reached the top where Hiro-san was waiting for us with hot
chocolate and hot tea in thermos. He instructed us to quickly put
on our jackets because the temperature had suddenly dropped at the top
and the wind was strong. At the top was the cairn memorial to Mackinnon
and Mitchell constructed in 1912.
Here we are at the top...
We had hiked all the way up from the bottom of this valley...
Here's a movie of the last part of our climb up - where we were looking
toward the bowl where the avalanches were occuring, and then the top of
the pass. The sudden increase of background noise you will hear
is the wind at the top - which was ferocious - as it was the meeting
place of all the air streams coming up from both sides of the
mountain. The span from side to side across the narrowest part of
the pass was about the width of a football field. Come along on
the climb with us...
Here's a panorama shot from the top of the world...
of small mountain ponds (called tarns) are spread along the top of this
pass. We continued hiking up a little ways to the Pass Hut where
we stopped to devour our lunch. We met up with our new best
friends from Australia. Mark, Tracy, Lena and Darren.