David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
10/30   Right is Left
10/31   Omeru Scenic Reserve
11/01   Omamari Beach
11/02   Waipoua Forest
11/03   Mail Boxes and a Magic Orange
11/04   Cape Reinga
11/05   Ninety Mile Beach
11/06   Haruru Falls
11/07   Russell Forest
11/08   Bus and Ferry
11/09   Thames
11/11   Castle Rock
11/12   Hot Water Beach
11/13   Owharoa Falls
11/14   Thompson's Track
11/15   Rotorua
11/17   Rotorua Rain
11/18   Haku Falls
11/19   Pureora Forest Park
11/20   Waitomo Glowworm Caves
11/21   Marokopa
11/22   New Plymouth
11/25   Pukeiti Rain Forest
11/26   Boring Highway 3
11/27   Boring Highway 1
11/29   Switching Gears
11/30   Hitchhikie
12/01   Abel Tasman National Park
12/02   Rawhiti Cave
12/03   Mount Robert
12/04   Glaciers
12/05   Mount Aspiring
12/06   Milford Sound
12/07   Stirling Point
12/08   The Catlins
12/09   Tunnel Beach
12/10   Sandfly Beach
12/11   Mount Cook
12/12   Cave Stream
12/14   Long Day Home
Kayak Trip 2017

Mount Cook

2016-12-11

tl;dr: I visited Mount Cook. There was a lot of climbing.

I was gone from the hostel long before anybody else was awake. Well, except for the cat. Their cat really likes chunks of egg yoke. There were free-range eggs for sale on the kitchen counter. New Zealand takes eggs seriously.

The trail up to the Mount Cook lookouts was empty save for me and a lone Japanese girl I eventually caught up to. She looked shy, but anybody could tell that she REALLY wanted some quality selfies. I just offered to take some pictures with her camera. We ended up walking back to the carpark together. She had been working in Australia for a year and was headed back to Japan in a couple weeks to find a career (a term that took a bit of work to translate). She said she really enjoyed photography and working with children, but she needed to plan for when she was 60 years old (yes, she actually said this -- I doubt she is 20 years old now), so she would probably just get an office job. I proceeded to lecture her on how she'd already done so much more than her peers, and that she should pursue work she enjoyed. She made that humming noise particular to Japanese girls that I think means: "I hear, and I acknowledge, but I question."

After that I hiked up to Mueller Hut. There are two tracks here. The Hooker Valley track was an easy hike. How hard could the second track be?

Hard. The sign said it would take three-and-a-half hours. I did it in under two. Two hours of climbing stairs and then rocks and then snow. I should have brought my sunglasses.

Near the top you could occasionally hear thunder. This was the sound of avalanches throughout the mountains. Some you could see; some you could only hear. Unfortunately, by the time you actually heard one, it was already half-way down the mountain. Stupid speed of sound.



On the way down I met up with Nate. He's from Milwaukee and is studying in Australia to be a physical therapist. Nate is in crazy good shape.

I drove on, but soon found myself way too tired to drive. I stopped at the Rawhiti House hostel in Geraldine. I was the only one there the entire night. It was great.

There were more bicycle tourists today, but I came across no more hitchhikers.

good morning begging cat


good morning Lake Pukaki


on the way to Mount Cook


There are a lot of rabbits here.


Mueller Lake




Hooker Lake and Mount Cook




a few of the hundreds of stair steps up this mountain


Stairs turn to rocks. Follow the orange markers.


Rocks turn to snow. Almost to the top.


Don't slip!


almost to Mueller Hut


avalanche


panorama from Mueller Hut


me




I can see my car from here.




The Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Tekapo surrounded by Chinese tourists. You must take a picture. It is a rule.

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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