4 day solo trip (Kepler Track)

Wentworth

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Hi All,

At the end of October I flew over to NZ to walk the Kepler Track.

We had walked the beginning section along lake Te Anau back in 2011 and I had been wanting to do the whole thing ever since.

October isn't quite the great walks season, so I went over knowing that the weather might be a bit unpredictable. But as I hadn't managed to get over to Sweden to do a walk as planned, I booked a last minute NZ flight.

Stopping in to the Department of Conservation, I was told that the alpine section may not be possible without snowshoes and crampons, but that the first hut was stationed and the hut warden would be giving weather forecasts and track conditions that night.

Day 1 was beautiful walking track through mossy forest and lake shore before a series of switchbacks climbed up above the treeline.

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On night 1 I chatted to the hut warden, who said that some walkers had made it through the alpine section that day while others had turned back.

He said that winds would be reaching as high as 90km/hr the next day.

Day 2
The 90km/hr forecast did seem pretty accurate the next morning, with sideways sleet and torrential rain blowing in.

It's not possible to stay really dry in that kind of weather, but I did keep warm enough while walking.

Unfortunately I didn't get to snap any pictures of the alpine section, as I only had my phone for photos and didn't fancy taking it out of the pack in that weather.

Some of the sections did have snow above knee level which made for slow tromping, but nothing that would have warranted snow shoes.

When crossing one knife edge ridge, I felt a particularly strong gust of wind coming, so squatted down to avoid being blown down the side of the ridge.

Descending out of the wind from the alpine ridge to hut 2 was a big relief!

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At the second hut, I met a young guy who was doing the track in the opposite direction. He had been waiting at the hut all day for the rain to stop before he started the climb up to the alpine section. The rain finally eased around 3 30 that afternoon and he packed up to set off. A couple of other walkers tried to talked him out of it, explaining that he would be finishing the days walk in the dark by head torch which would be dangerous given the conditions.

After he did set off, we realised that he had left his sleeping bag behind in the hut. Hopefully he was ok.

Day 3 was less rainy that the previous day, and a great opportunity for more photos:

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Day 4 was an even better opportunity for photos:

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I finished up the walk back in Te Anau and went to town on hot chips and chocolate to celebrate.

The next day I headed up to Glenorchy for a few day walks which was equally great:

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All in all a great trip. In hindsight I would take 3 days instead of 4, but did enjoy the downtime in camp each day.

Thanks for looking.
 

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Mozzie

Richard Proenneke
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hey Aris, what a trip, i just keep loving that NZ country and air, really enjoyed your photos and trip report.

We are heading back to Christchurch via Queenstown next July for two weeks and the snow in Mt Cook,
this will be trip 12 :p also this may show you how MUCH we love the place :love:
 

RottenHopeless

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Oh, those pictures make me want to get back out walking sooo much. If only all these bushfires would go out.

Might have to head to NZ too just to be able to walk in fresh air :LOL:
 

Chigger

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Stunning country, how lush looking. A stark contrast to the dried out burning landscape there is here.

Thanks for the excellent photos.
 

Wentworth

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Thanks all.

With Wollemi NP, Mt Solitary, Kanangra NP, Nattai all gone, my local walking options are limited this summer.

I think a quick trip back over to NZ next year is in order for another walk!
 

Mozzie

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Thanks all.

With Wollemi NP, Mt Solitary, Kanangra NP, Nattai all gone, my local walking options are limited this summer.

I think a quick trip back over to NZ next year is in order for another walk!

Aris, i have been listening to the ABC radio most of this week while i paint walls here at home,
its just devastating to listen to, the whole place is just going up, :oops::oops::oops:

How are you doing at home, you still in the same local?
 

Wentworth

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Thanks Deb, we're at the foot of the mtns now.
I woke up and checked the RFS app to find that a lot of the Asgard plateau at Mt Victoria had also gone.
Hoping the Grose Valley doesn't get too badly hit.
 
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Chigger

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By the time the bushfires finish which one day they will I feel there will not be any bushwalking or camping areas left unscathed.

Am not planning any outdoor activities at all for the moment.

Absolutely dreadful and my heart goes out to those whom have lost their homes.

Not to forget those whom sadly lost their lives one way or another.
 
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