Saturday, December 31, 2016


Ok, things get even BIGGER now.  We said g'bye to Wanaka and headed up to Mt. Cook.  Michael had this circled with "HIKING" on the map when he did his initial research, so I knew I was in for it.  Before getting there, we found the perfect spot on the side of the road to cook a delish pre-hike dinner with a view of what we would conquer the next day.  Our process for finding the right spot: Michael drives and focuses on keeping on the wrong side of the road and I yell out "NO SIGN OR FENCE!  PULL OVER!"

We drove the next morning to the base of Mt cook which is a monster of a beast standing at 12k ft high.  We decided that might be a bit much, so instead we decided on the 4K foot climb. In the guidebook it said our hike was "an unpaved track that will give you beautiful views. And there are some stairs". What it didn't really say is, you will climb up 1k feet by all stairs and then enjoy a scramble that will take it all out of you for 2 hours and THEN you will traverse through snow.  So it looked like this:

By the time we got to the top I had been through every range of emotion and was so happy to get my well deserved snack of canned tuna and banana and peanut butter.  It might as well have been a steak dinner.

The hike completely challenged our bodies and mostly my mind. Lots of points where I hated anyone who had called this a hiking trail.  Oh and when you get to the top you get to do the whole thing backwards and climb DOWN all that scraggly rock and a million stairs.  But, it all is completely worth it when you turn around and know that you could never get this view without really working for it.  I mean, you could hire a helicoptor to get you here.  But then do you get that same sense of completion??  Probably, because then you are just a badass that got a helicoptor ride to the top of Mt. Cook and your calves aren't ready to fall out of your body.  Choice is up to you.

Basically, it was a completely challenging experience that I am so glad we did. I'm more than glad, I'm really proud of us for finishing it in just over 7 hours.  Then we went back to our home and made a giant pasta dinner by a lake.  I will let you know when we can walk again.

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