Mt Cook

Trip Start Jan 20, 2005
1
14
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Trip End Sep 10, 2005


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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

In my quiet backpacker in lake Tekapo three Israelies that I knew had just arrived. They looked all worn out and tired , barely standing on their feet. Then I was informed that they had just descended the famous Mt. Cook. They said that they came with almost no water , the climb was very difficult (6 Hours) but the views from the hut were worth it all. Another tip was to get to the Department of conservation office early because the hut is usually all booked. With tons of water and my game face on , I arrived at the DOC office at approx. 8 AM sharp to guarentee my space in the hut. To my surprise I was the first and only one there but I had my hut ticket so I began hiking up the mountain.
The estimated time to the top is three hours and there is a nice place smack in the middle for a short break. After an hour and a half I arrived in the half mark and nashed a meuseli bar with a carrot (yum , yum ), expecting the next bit to be the really tough part that I was informed of the other night.
The track was steap and I could see why , if the weather was bad, it would be extremely difficult to find the way up. After a steep part , I arrived at a lookout to a huge mountain covered in ice that was cracking and falling down. A glance to the left revealed my hut and another glance and my watch revealed that the track only took three hours and not six. After the nice surprise and relaxing a bit in the sun , I headed for the hut. It is possible to go up and down the mountain in a day but the sunrise and susnset on Mt. Cook were recommended by everyone so the Meuller hut was my accomidation for the night.
The hut had views of the cracking ice on the mountain and of Mt. Cook. Luckily , it was a nice , clear day and everything was visible , not a cloud in the sky. At seven the next morning , after half an hour climbing , I was perfectly situated for the sunrise. At that moment I understood why everyone says that it's worth the climb because Mt. Cook turned a shade of purple and the sun rose over a string of mountains. Could have stayed there for hours but the little voice in my head was saying 'Coffee... Coffee!!!' so I returned to the hut.
Going down was not easy either because of the stairs that were meant to help people go down but actually ruin your knees. Luckily , there was a cute British couple who entertained me the entire way down so all was not lost.
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