Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Copeland Track and Gillespies Pass Circuit

A couple of weeks ago I did two different backpacking trips with one day in between.  The first one was a portion of the Copeland Track, which is the track that connects the West Coast with Mt Cook.  The portion I did was the first 18k to some natural hot springs.  The hot springs were so amazing after a long day of hiking.  The crystal clear river and steep rock walls made the hiking pretty enjoyable as well.
On the hike in
At the campsite
One of the hot pools
View from the hot pools
Hike out
I just loved the color of the river!!
Next I tackled the Gillespies Pass Circuit, which is a 58k trail that can take three or four days.  I chose to do it in four.  It starts with a river crossing, then you hike 22.5k along a river valley to the first hut.  The second day you hike up and over a pass gaining and losing 1000 meters in one day and in only 12k.  The next day some people get helicoptored, flown, or jet boated out the 26.5k.  I consider that cheating.  I chose to just break it up into two relaxing days to hike out along another river valley.  I camped outside of backcountry huts the first two nights and met some fun people.  Even played some Euchre.  This trail was actually probably one of the hardest trails I had ever done.  The trail was just in really poor condition, so it was  a lot of walking up huge rocks and roots.  To get over the pass was extremely steep, it was a 10 hour day for me.  I got a ride back to my car and left my trekking poles in the car.  It was a beautiful hike but I wish I still had my trekking poles.
From the hike to the first hut
View from the first hut - I was hoping to go for a swim but the sun was already setting
On the way up

Still going up, took a lot of breaks, you know for photos
Found some cool plants
Summit pic
On the way down
View from the next hut
Waterfall near the hut
The hike out

1 comment:

dom said...

Sounds incredible Melody. You are going to come back with so many great memories.