Snow­shoe­ing in the Two Thumb Range

Go Travel New Zealand - - Wanaka -

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.

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