Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kepler Track

We finished the Routeburn/ Caples on Sunday morning, making it back to our van in time for lunch.  We ate, unpacked, and went back to Queenstown and the DoC office to check the weather to plan for our next adventure.  What's that?  Another break in the weather?  If we left the very next day, we could start the Kepler Track outside Te Anau, and we'd have good weather for the climbing day and the alpine traverse day!  Were we crazy enough to start another four day trip, after six consecutive days on the trail?

That's a stupid question.  Of course.

Here were the highlights of the Kepler Track:
  • Dave's turn to get sick.  He got it worse than I did.  He's still sniffling.
  • The alpine section of the Kepler wasn't as magnificent scenery-wise as the Routeburn, but I liked it even more.  Instead of traversing the ridge on the slopes, you spend a lot of time walking across the tops.  You get to see both sides and feel a bit of the exposure.  
  • The second night, we enjoyed really nice evening conversation with the other folks staying in the hut.  It was all young people:  Canadians, Germans, Aussies, a Brit, a Kiwi, and us Yanks.
  • We ended up doing the Kepler in three days.  The last day, it was supposed to rain and I hadn't washed up at all after nine consecutive trail days.  I was ready to be out of the woods.  We were going to combine the last two days (17 km x 2 = 34 km, or >21 miles), which was completely do-able, as it was through a flat river valley.
  • In the end, our last day was about 25 km/ 15 miles.  We came out at a different trailhead and hitchhiked back to the start.  Dave ended up getting a ride with some of the Germans that had been in the huts with us.  He picked up the van and then came to get me.
Here are my favorite pictures:

1 comment:

  1. Love the pix...and especially your comments! I often check out this blog while i'm forever waiting for software to download.
    Why were you wearing a bandana on the hike?