Snowshoeing in the Two Thumb Range
Last winter my friend and I decided snowshoeing would be a new adventure worth trying. It would keep us “young” and get us up into the snow-covered mountains, away from crowds. As we hiked three hours up to a private hut above Lake Tekapo we were completely surrounded by snow-covered mountains, and the silence was beautiful! A supply of sleeping bags at this very cosy hut had meant lighter packs for us coming up, and the potbelly stove quickly warmed us. As we downed copious cups of tea and nibbled cookies and chocolate, we watched the late afternoon sun provide an ever-changing light show over snowy peaks. The dawn was crisp and clear the next day, and we were soon looking up Camp Stream Valley, with ‘Snake Ridge’ leading on up to Beuzenberg Peak. As we ascended, Mt Cook, Mt Tasman, Elie de Beaumont and Malte Brun came clearly into view and some spectacular clouds had me pulling out my camera every 5 minutes! The 2070m summit of Beuzenberg Peak felt like a real achievement – it’s the highest point on the Te Araroa Trail. It was lightly snowing when we headed out next morning. Being well-clad we remained warm and dry, but marvelled how the thickening snow could confuse our senses, and changed the spectacular scenery from the day before to a surreal white world. At times on this trip we were just three tiny figures in a vast, spectacular, pristine wilderness. I had a sense of never being more ‘alive’.
Abridged from an original article by Lois Mcartney.