We headed for Wanaka over Easter, stopping on the way down from Nelson at Mt Cook. It was a long trip, well over 8 hours, and we were keen to get there before dark. We made it, driving up the valley towards Mt Cook village as the sun was casting shadows while lighting up Aoraki:
We stayed at the Unwin Lodge, a superb new hut owned and run by the NZ Alpine Club. The views from the main living area were great:
The next norning I took some shots of the nearby peaks, including this one of Mt Cook as the sun was rising:
A little later, the view from the valley was different:
The visitors’ centre at Mt Cook village is well designed and full of interesting views (and historic stuff).
One of the exhibits displayed Freda du Faur, the first woman to climb Mt Cook:
(Not a very flattering model, but I doubt whether she would mind too much, even though she tried hard to preserve her femininity in that very male world.) She climbed in a skirt, of course, but with trousers underneath. You can find her book (in ebook format) here.
We met several groups of climbers. “Do you know my son?” I asked one of the guides. “I was at his place yesterday” was the reply. “You know he’s in the mountains right now, don’t you? Not out till Friday.” We did. The alpine world in NZ is pretty small.
More posts to come on the topic of this trip, it was a beauty.