Elijah went on a tramp with two other men over the past two days. He arrived home last night, tired and footsore, but elated to have climbed a mountain, and the tallest one in the area, at that! He wanted to show me the pictures he took on his phone, so this afternoon we connected it to my computer and I enjoyed an armchair climb up the mountain with him. He’s happy for me to share his photos here, so you can do the same thing! Someday, I want to climb a mountain–but he says not to try this one. He says I wouldn’t handle scrambling over and through and under (yes, he said that! Then he said not really under.) the rocks very well.
I asked Elijah to help me caption the pictures. From here on, all the text is his words.
Notice the waterfall in the distance there?
The mountain you can see down the valley there is Te Kinga, it is a very popular climb right next to Lake Brunner.
The little lake is called a tarn. There were several of them up and down the mountain. A tarn is a small rain fed lake. The water is pure enough to drink just straight.
I found the rock formations fascinating. As you’ve probably noticed, most of these pictures are shrouded in fog. We ascended through fog, but the decent was a lot clearer.
This was the second tarn on on our route. We ate lunch here on the way back down.
This is a glimpse into the Taramakau River Valley.
Another glimpse into the Taramakau River Valley.
Here I was trying to get a picture of something on that ridge in the cloud. That is J to the left.
There were several of these rocks spines around. It almost looks like they’re petrified wood.
This is J again. Notice how the rock has been sheered off flat in the foreground.
These sorts of rock formations were all over above the 1450 meter mark. Right under the peak they were constant.
Sorry about the fuzzy picture. These are three or four tarns in a row off on another ridge of the mountain. We did not visit them.
This is a panoramic view of both sides of the ridge we were climbing up. Off to the left half of the picture are the southern alps.
The only thing we could figure this to be was a mountain grasshopper. Underneath the back legs were bright red patches that you can only see when it hops.
The Taramakau River as seen down a boulder slope. Yes that is the Otira River off to the left.
As you can see, we were right up in the cloud layers.
The picture is a little bit too fuzzy for most people to make out, but that bright white streak at the base of the mountain of to the left section in the picture is the trans-Alpine tourist train. During the summer it generally does a trip over and back every day I believe.
This would’ve been at around 1700 m. Once again it was of the only clear side of the mountain, the Taramakau River Valley.
This is the only patch of snow we found on the mountain that we could walk in . It was pretty solid but we still had a little bit of a snow fight. I decided I needed to get myself in at least one picture.
E decided to cool himself off a little bit while we were at it.
The final summit! We were at an elevation of 1958 m (around 6,000 feet) here. Pictured are some old anchor points for some scientific instruments that has been taken down.
Me in front of the Taramakau Valley, and no, the mountainside isn’t as steep as it looks there.
That’s the Taramakau River valley to the left and a bit of the mountain peak to the other side of the picture.
Yes, it does get pretty steep off this section of the mountain. We were following the ridge line above that precipice, but it was plenty wide enough to make for reasonably safe walking.
These flowers are pretty hardy, being able to grow right up the top of the mountain.
J thought at first at this was something like parsley until he smelled it. Then he decided not to taste it.
Another flower growing near the top of the mountain.
You can’t see it in the picture, but these flowers actually have a slight purple tinge. Sorry about my dirty old boot in the picture.
Another view of Te Kinga (in the middle left of the picture) with Lake Brunner peaking around behind it, and the Arnold Valley to the middle of the picture.
A better view of Te Kinga, Lake Brunner, The Arnold River, and Kangaroo Lake in the right portion of the picture.
That was Te Kinga to the right of the picture this time, the mountains in the left half are right behind Lake Brunner as viewed from Moana.
All in all, this was a wonderful hike, and I would definitely do it again if I had the chance.