Friday, July 26, 2019

A Beautiful Day For It: Kea Point Track

The stars pierced our dark sky last night with a flourish of Milky Way. Today dawned cold and clear. We made the drive a few kilometers north to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, the national park headquarters. They also have a large variety of lodgings, from motel rooms to self-catering condos to backpackers (shared bunk rooms).

The visitor center is handsome and informative.

We decided on the Kea Point Track, a couple-hour trek with minimal elevation changes that starts, as most of the walks do, directly from the village. Out the door and onto a path. I like that.

So let's walk. Try, as we did, to keep an eye on the rocky path while gawking at the grandeur.

After a couple of miles we see the turn-off for the DOC campground we considered staying in, so we take the spur and head there to check it out.

Wherever you walk in this park there's a stunning view, the destination secondary to the journey.

 White Horse Hill DOC campground. It's a beauty, and there are a lot of campers here.

Like Art's old long wheelbase Land Rover, only with a slick camping kit attached to the top for sleeping. This outfit rents Rovers set up for touring.

Back on the trail to Kea Point, your correspondent is shocked by how many people we've seen. Four years ago on the Hooker Valley Track we saw two people in four hours. Today we see 100 people if not more. I'll be honest: it's obnoxious to feel pressure on narrow paths from loud groups coming up behind you.

We wondered the numbers on this route increased because the Hooker track is closed.

Silence is an essential part of being in a glorious space like this.

When we finally arrive at Kea Point, it's magnificent, though I'm not showing you the 20 people standing nearby. Here's the lookout, with a key in the following photo.

Mueller lateral moraine (heh)

Turning back for the return, the sun better positioned for making pictures. Once we started walking in this full sun a couple of hours ago, we felt far overdressed.

An enchanting, several-hour trek.

It felt good to be sitting in the Rover as we headed back to Glentanner, the views continuing on the road.

Time to hit the cafe.

And a large flat white

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