I’m hiking Te Araroa (again?). Just the south island this time around and are back with ambition. With my pack at a whopping 38L, I’ve cut my teeth from my hike in the north island a few years back. It’s fun, it’s hard, the views can be subpar or they can be grand, but really it’s the atmosphere that keeps me walking.
It was hard trying to condition my body into hiking shape within a matter of 3 days on the Queen Charlotte Track before taking on the Richmond Alpine Track (RAT), and Waiau Pass; some of the hardest sections of the south. The RAT was some of the best tramping NZ has to offer in terms of technicality, distance, difficulty and best of all hut systems. Mountain ridges, steep scree sidlings, rock scrambling up 900m of elevation, it’s everything I could ask for in a tramp.
For me, I enjoy the “type 2.5” kinda fun -is that even a thing?? The type where you hate what you’re doing, while doing it, but recall fond memories from your activity, like going over Waiau Pass with snow still covering majority of the track and doing it in sandals…yeah. –in my defense, my trail runners are bald as f*k from being eaten up on the trail and road walking, where my sandals (read: camp shoes) are the only pieces of footwear with decent tread left, thank you Dan and fam at Bedrock Sandals.
Side note, I’ve managed to do my first 40+km walk in a day, a personal best! It was from Blue Lake hut in Nelson Lakes, over the snowy Waiau Pass, and down the valley into Lewis Pass Reserve for Anne Hut (~43km).
Since the RAT and Waiau Pass, I was on the hunt for more alpine views, so the next target on my radar was the notorious Cascade Saddle, in Mt. Aspiring NP. Since T.A goes pass Glenorchy, I figured, why not get my alpine fix AND skip the clusterf*ckery of Queenstown, I can always go back and do the Mototapu track right?
So, at the moment I’m based in Glenorchy and headed to the Greenstone/Caples tomorrow and spend NYE in a hut (again). Te Anau, prepare ye for the hiker hunger.