Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 17, 2017 - Big hike at Wanaka, New Zealand

We did it!  Cindy really wanted to do a BIG hike today, and we did one.  The Isthmus Peak trail was estimated to take 3-4 hours one way.  We did it in about 2 hr 40 min going up (including quite a few short breaks), and about 2 hr coming down.  We passed three people also headed up, while on our way up.  I guess we are pretty fast.  The views were spectacular!  The weather was perfect.  We started at about 7:30 AM with no wind, cool temperature, and heavily overcast skies.  About half an hour before we reached the summit the skies had cleared and the sun was out.  A nice breeze had arrived to balance out the heat of the sun.  It was sunny for the entire return trip down the mountain, and it was a lot warmer than when we were headed up.  We are happy that it was nice and cool for our trip up.

The climb was a tough one.  The difference in elevation from the start of the trail to the summit is 3288 feet.  We traveled 4.8 miles each way.  We were on the move for 4 hr 10 min and spent nearly 45 minutes at the top eating some snacks, drinking water, and enjoying the view.  For comparison, Snoqualmie Pass (WA state) has an elevation of 3022 ft at the highest point of the freeway.  So, we climbed more elevation than driving from the Seattle waterfront (sea level) to the top of the I-90 freeway at Snoqualmie Pass, and we did it in 2 hr 40 min!

I am very happy that were able to do this.  After yesterday's defeat on the gnarly Glacier trail, I feel like I let Cindy down.  Today I proved to myself that I can still do things like this at a pace that Cindy can deal with.  I am definitely slower than her, and I can tell that either she has gotten faster the past year or two, or I'm slowing down with age.  Either way, she's the better climber now!

Driving from Wanaka to the Isthmus Peak hike.  

We had to pass through several gates that keep sheep and
cows from escaping.  Some the trail was on private land,
which was used for sheep and cattle grazing.

For parts of the lower section we were next to the sheep.  That made the easier
portions of the trail more interesting.

Nice easy trail.  We will be going higher than that ridges, up some steep terrain.

View from part way up.  The sky is getting brighter, but the temp is still cool.

Gaining altitude fast.  We are now as high as the ridges we were looking up at
just a short time ago.

One of the nicer sections of the trail.  

Typical section of trail.  Basically on old dirt road that has become hiking only.
Lots of loose rocks and steep sections.  There was no shade.

Panorama view from the top.  Click on the picture for a larger image.

Very beautiful!

Victory.  We did it!

Stunning scenery from the summit, 4,563 ft. above sea level
Near the bottom the cows had moved into the shade since the sun came out.
We were pretty warm by the time we got back to the bottom. 

 Two more crazy vans from today:

Kevin, you will like this van!

The right side

And the left side

No comments:

Post a Comment