Upper Travers Hut to Blue Lake Hut – 16km (1980km total)
Today was also a lot better than I expected. As I walked out of the hut this morning I was greeted with a sign pointing the way to Travers Saddle which we had to go over. Underneath it said ‘are you prepared for Travers Saddle?’ The fact that they had to write something like this made me wonder what in the world I was about to do…’No, No, I am not ready to ascend to the heights of hell!’ At least that is what the sign seemed to imply I was about to do. It also didn’t help that a north bound person had written in the hut book that Travers Saddle was hard.
So it was with trepidation that I started the climb, 450m over 2km. Yes, it was a constant up, but it wasn’t too bad. There have been steeper sections of the trail and I just slow and steadily continued to climb until I eventually was at the top. Since it was early in the morning the cloud had yet to burn off. Even with the cloud, it was still pretty. The cloud was lying in The Valley and cleared enough to see the tips of mountains at times.
The descent was constant and we were soon back in tree line, but again. There have been steeper parts of the trail. It was just long and constant from 1787m down to 600m .
A few kilometers before the first hut for the day the trail started following the river again and continued to follow it for the rest of the day. The afternoon in particular was beautiful as the track followed a very picturesque river to Blue Lake Hut.
The Blue Lake is apparently the clearest in the world with a visibility range of 70-80m. Crater Lake in the US is second at around 40-50m. I went and took photos before settling in to the hut for the night and attempting to eat until I was stuffed in order to make my pack lighter which is still too heavy for this leg.
Today I am thankful for track that was easier than predicted and beautiful rivers.