Routeburn is beautiful in any weather. Any weather. Including a forecast of 40mm of rain with 100km gusts kind of weather.
Which was the reason why I persuaded Nora to wake up at 5:30am to start walking at 6:30am so we could pass the main Saddle early enough before the main front settled in.
So we started ...
and arrived at Routeburn Falls hut at 7:30am in the morning for an half hour stop. And then the rain set it for the rest of the day.
The last photo is Nora climbing up the only snow left on the track. This part before the saddle was closed for a few weeks and a helicopter service was offered to Bypass the knoll forming the ridge to the left.
Thankfully the snow has melted and we could walk across, with the DOC officers making steps. In the snow. Thank you DOC!
As we came off the saddle and coming back to the tree line to McKenzie Hut the best view of the day were before us.
After McKenzie hut we hit some incredibly heavy waterfalls, bolstered by those big gusts of wind forecasted. Nora and I decided to use our river crossing skills to cross the largest waterfall for a thrilling 15 seconds of cold dripping awesomeness that I didn’t capture because I was more conscious of my safety then recording the moment - sorry.
And the lichen dripping forests of Fiordland did what they do best.
Just before we got to Mackenzie Hut - we got this little beauty.
We arrived at 1:00 and we stayed for 45 minutes before the journey to Howden Hut and then on to the Divide, where we ended our 26km day at 5:25pm