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1969 - 1990 Blue Lake

masonbee Te Araroa

Today was one of those days where you just can't get any energy up. This was unfortunate because quite a bit of energy was needed. In this case we needed to get to Blue Lake.

Firstly, we went to Upper Travers Hut just below Travers Pass and surrounded by tall grey peaks with remnants of snow on them. Then up to the pass itself looking all the while for any sign of clothing or whatever that might lead to the remains of someone who died there last year but was never recovered. All they found was his pack. They think he took it off to take some pictures and then got caught in a snowstorm.

The pass itself was relatively easy to get up to but the other side was a long hard slog down a steep and slippery ridge to the valley floor.

By the time we had made it to West Sabine Hut I was reasonably shattered which was OK as that was where we were going to be staying. But plans change.

Silvan decided that West Sabine Hut wasn't the greatest option for ending the day, especially as we want to go over Waiau Pass tomorrow. So onwards and upwards we went.

The sign said 4hrs but I think we did it in 3hrs and there was some pretty amazing stuff on the way. Since the last hut we had passed through 10 or so avalanche zones but on the track up to Blue Lake there was a piece where giant boulders had come down the opposing scree slope, somehow bounced across the river and then taken out swathes of full sized trees on our side. When I say giant I mean about the size of 3 or 4 vans in some cases.

Finally we made it to Blue Lake. And I have to say that now I am here it was worth it. We've set up camp down by the lake, it's a clear night and already getting cold, and will be able to head over Waiau Pass tomorrow morning. This is good as it hopefully means the winds will be calmer.

Good scenery today though.


  • If you can go on past John Tait, Upper Travers Hut is really nice.
  • Sometimes you can't figure out where the path goes. You just go from marker to marker.
  • There is an amazingly deep chasm on the other side of the pass with a river running through it.

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