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South Island 6 The Grand Traverse Part C

South Island 6 The Grand Traverse Part C


Postby past my sell by date » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:21 am

Date walked: 19/01/2003

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Continued from part B https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=100603[b]
Day 5 Mackenzie Lake lodge to Routeburn falls Lodge[/b]

day 5.jpg
Day 5 map
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Early morning at Lake Mackenzie
The day starts with a steep climb through forest to emerge above the tree line and then by a series of zig-zags to Ocean Park Corner (ca.1200m) where there are views in all directions, and you can see all the way down the Hollyford to St. Martins Bay on the West coast
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White Marguerites in the forest
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Looking back to Lake Mackenzie and the valley above

Views from Ocean Park Corner

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Looking back up the Hollyford valley - the way we have come. Key summit and Point 1543 are both on the ridge behind and just left of the figures
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A final view back to Lake Mackenzie and the mountains behind it
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Brigid - one of our guides: she looks a bit overweight, but I think it was mostly muscle as she charged around carrying huge loads of food for lunch etc. :lol: :lol:

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The route now traverses more or less horizontally around the hillside to Harris Saddle - today's lunch stop
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New Zealand flax
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A fearsome Horrid Spaniard ( Aciphylla Horrida)in full flower - the leaf spikes are hard as steel and razor sharp - quite scary :shock:
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A clump of mountain or Marlborough Daisies
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Two species of Hebe - just below Harris Saddle
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Cushion daisies
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Harris Saddle and Mt. Xenicus(1912m). The shelter which lies just below the 1255m saddle was built after a winter in which two people died of exposure in this area
From the Saddle it is normal to make side trip to another splendid viewpoint 1513m Conical hill. The track starts quite steeply from the shelter

Views from Conical hill

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Looking across the Hollyford valley to the Darrans - wreathed in cloud
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Slightly further Right - Lake McKerrow and St.Martins Bay can be seen faintly on the Right
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Map of the area around Conical hill
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Looking back over Harris Saddle to Ocean Peak (1820). Harris Lake and the track down to it are bottom Left
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Mount Erebus (1975m), Mount Xenicus and Harris Lake
GT58----Mt-Erebus-and-Mt--Xenical-from-Conical-Hill.jpg
A wider view: Lake Wilson - whose waters drain into the Routeburn - lies in the high snowy valley just Left of centre
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Harris Lake: Mt Xenicus on the Left and the Routeburn track on the Right
We descended from this amazing viewpoint - this area really does give Scotland a run for its money :D and descended past Harris Lake into the Routeburn valley
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Looking up the valley above Lake Harris: the waterfall that feeds it from Lake Wilson can be seen just Left of centre
GT62---Lake-Harris-from-the-track.jpg
The track passes above and to the South of lake, giving a fine view of Mt. Xenicus
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A last look back at the lake: as we descend, Hebe bushes start to appear in the landscape
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Descending the Routeburn valley through an area of shrubs and large boulders
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Another view - Tree Daisies in the foreground
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These yellow Maori onions - Bulbinella Hookeri - grow in great profusion in the valley below Lake Harris
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Further down the valley - approaching the narrowest point
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Another Spaniard flowering among the Hebes
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New Zealand willowherb - Epilobium crassum
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Looking down to Routeburn Falls hut and the Routeburn flats. The North branch is straight ahead but tomorrow we shall head to the right - down the valley
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Routeburn falls from the track beside them

Day 6 Routeburn Falls hut to the Road End

day 6.jpg
Day 6 map
This was a relatively short day as we followed the valley down, stopping to try and find Jade in the river at lunchtime. There were a few bits of green rock to be found - but any good stuff must have gone aeons ago :lol: :lol:
GT69---Looking-across-the-flats-in-the-morning.jpg
Early morning view across the flats: the ramparts of Somnus (2273m) an Momus (2148m) tower above the North Branch valley
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In the grassy meadows of the Routeburn Flats
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A glimpse into the Routeburn Gorge. After heavy, rain water levels are much much higher!
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Another view into the gorge - three years later
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below the gorge
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The track runs beside the river
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Finally we cross a bridge to the Road End and it's a bus back to Queenstown :(
Overall one of the most scenic walks I have ever done :D :D :D - And I can also thoroughly recommend Ultimate Hikes
past my sell by date
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