23 Jan, sunny, warm, 14km
I’ve built up the hours I walk over the last 4 days as a plan to build fitness after spending 3 weeks off the track.
Starting in Nelson I walked 3 hours along the Quay and to and from Nelson CBD. Then my first day back was 3hrs, yesterday 5hrs and today 12hrs.
Today was a big walk up the Travers Valley and over the saddle to the Sabine Valley.
From John Tait Hut the climb began a gentle forest walk to the end of the Travers River. The climb was in bush and was quite cold until I reached Travers Hut.
From here there were some boulder hops and a few small streams to cross. Several walkers NOBO or northbound, the opposite way to my route. Each had good supportive advice for what was ahead for my walk today. The best info you can get from experts.
I missed the Travers Falls sign so missed a side trip. But I made good time to the Upper Travers Hut, left the hut at 7:00. I was a bit unsure about missing Travers Hut and continuing on to the next. The advice was good all round yep I would make it so off I went.
A really enjoyable climb through the valley. A Geologist at the camp last night talked about the structure of these valleys when they were once glaciers. He explained if you would imagine a bowl of ice being held at the head of the glacier half way up the rock hills. What’s left is the rock basin.
Avalanche warnings advise from May to November areas marked avalanche areas for each of the mountains. The rock that makes up the boulder walks and climbs come from falling rocks.
Mt Travers is 1787mtrs, the guide states the climb is a steady 450mtrs. I followed snow poles up and over the saddle and across the avalanche fields. The climb down was a long steep descent across avalanche risk zones. The route to the Sabine Valley and river was almost straight down over rock slides and in the forest 1145mtrs.
It was a long and slow descent after the pass. I stopped for a snack in the first shade since before Upper Travers Hut. It was a cold early walk until reaching the hut and a hot sunny walk until this break.