Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

The Pods do the Milford Tramp...Day Three - Part One -Uphill

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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 Milford Track. 



Enjoy the clicking off of the miles with us...

The Miles of Day 3


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...



After the 12th mile we notice that the terrain looks different.  Lots of snow avalanches during the springtime leave the area looking devastated. 





In 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.



Waterfalls were everywhere... click on...Waterfalls abound

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...




We 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...

The ascent to the top of MacKinnon Pass

Here's a panorama shot from the top of the world...



Lots 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.



We saw Wiki birds here, along with more Keas.





 

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