The Hooker Valley – Buy
The walk through The Hooker Valley is rated as one of the best walks in the country and it’s not hard to see why. Starting at the White Horse car park, the track begins by passing the Alpine Memorial and Freda’s Rock before the Mueller Glacier comes into view. The track crosses the Hooker River, it ventures into the wider valley and open tussock which includes three swing bridges that need to be crossed. After passing over the third swing bridge, the path leads to the source of the Hooker River and amazing views of Hooker Lake.
Dusk In The Mountains – Buy
After walking all day in the snow to a distant lake, then having made it back feeling tired and sunburnt, I took a well deserved rest. Later, with the sun setting and the light changing in the mountains I summoned the energy to walk around Mount Cook’s alpine village in the fading dusk.
Mount Cook and The Hooker Lake– Buy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery
Covered in deep snow, the track led up the Hooker Valley towards Aoraki/Mount Cook. It started by passing close to Freda’s Rock. It’s named after Emmeline Freda du Faur who was the first woman to climb Aoraki/Mount Cook. This amazing accomplishment she achieved in 1910 and remains forever immortalised in New Zealand mountaineering history. I happily followed the snowy path, kicking snow and trying to decide if it would be socially acceptable to throw snowballs at strangers when Mueller Glacier and the first swing bridge came into view. The path crossed the Hooker River and carried on to the second swing bridge.
It was somewhere between the Mueller Glacier and the second swing bridge that I suddenly had the overwhelming feeling that I might be getting sunburnt. I rummaged through my bag but soon realized that bringing sunblock really would have been a good idea. resigning myself to the fact that I was going to end up very burnt, I pushed on.
Passing the second bridge, the track opened to the wider valley floor, and even deeper snow until I arrived at the third swing bridge and headed for the glacier lake.
Upon arriving at my destination I came across a view that is pretty well unimprovable. Mountains, rocks, snow, ice, a glacier and lake in every direction. The last 20 meters of the track is a gentle incline until reaching the top of the path where it opens out to an amazing view of Aoraki/Mount Cook, Hooker Glacier and the Southern Alps. This is one of the beautiful things about Aotearoa, if you are prepared to walk then you’re in for some spectacular scenery.
I stood and daydreamed for a bit, ate my carefully packed sandwiches, explored the different vantage spots with my camera before turning my attention to the walk back. By this time, under the hot sun, the snowy track was turning to slush and I had 5km of splashing through puddles ahead of me.
Sometime later, upon my return, I fetched a Speight’s from my improvised ice bucket fashioned from rocks and snow and settled on my bed. My legs aching and my face burning, I started the process of uploading flash cards to my computer.
A Walk In The Snow
Buy & Order Print
Some people are blessed when it comes to clothes shopping. They have an innate ability to trust their inner voice and listen to intuitive hints when shopping. Somehow, without trying, they understand both fashion and style. Unfortunately, I possess neither of these. I have a long history of poor choices that prove my hunches and gut feelings should not be listened to. I am not allowed to shop by myself. It’s not that I can’t, it’s just that my fashion judgement can’t be trusted.
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