Up, up, up to the views of the Routeburn

 I woke up to a beautiful day. Had my oatmeal breakfast (with reconstituted dried fruit) and coffee and prepared for the longest walk of the trek.   

The hike started up the mountain and entered a forest that looked very much like Fanghorn from the Lord of the Rings movies. There were big, dark forestsand the path was lined with stones climbing into the forest. 

    

The path  was mainly uphill with the views getting better and better.       

The trail climbed up toward the pass called the Saddle. It was much colder.  At the Saddle was a side hike up Conical Hill.  I switched to long pants and my warmest shirt and headed up. The trail was steep and much tougher than before. But at the top the view was incredible. Through the mist I could see the ocean. While I sat a few snow pellets started to hit me. 

  

The path was marked my solid iron  post many bent by the force of the winter storms. 

  

Once down the trail continued through amazing terrain until I could see off the other side of the pass.     

Tonight’s hut was by a big waterfall.    

This was the most impressive building of all the huts. It had a long wide deck looking down on the flats. The hut was big, a great cooking and eating area and the view was unbelievable. 

      

After resting I  decided another swim was in order. I made my way down to the falls, found a pool and took the plunge.    

It felt great, oh yes and a bit cold. 

My dinner was beef bourgeon pretty good (4/5 stars). Then I headed to bed at 8:30. Luckily tonight’s hut was all single bunks. First rate. 

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