Gertrude's Saddle and Ben Lomond Track
15.03.2017 - 17.03.2017
Wednesday March 15th-
Last time we left off we were peacefully kayaking the Doubtful Sound. On the way to our campsite that evening we stopped at a gorgeous lake and cooked dinner right on the water. We've found some pretty spectacular spots to enjoy a glass of wine and some homecooked dinner.
Well, we've moved on to more intense experiences- We decided to hike Gertrude's Saddle. It was a fairly short hike (about 10k total) but extremely steep (more than 2,000 ft of elevation gain) for an average slope of 15%. I made it about 90% of the way until the steel cable that you were forced to hold onto while traversing the steep incline to Gertrude's Saddle. My anxiety took over and I just couldn't go any further! Graham did go all the way after heavy convincing on my part that it was ok to leave me enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. Though the views from the (almost) top were spectacular, the photos he brought back were even better.
Thursday March 16th -
We spent the majority of the day exploring Queenstown and walking around downtown. The city is very laid back and the weather was fantastic.
Friday March 17th-
After a fun day in Queenstown on Thursday we set out for yet another steep yet rewarding hike/walk/tramp up Ben Lomond trail. This one I did make it 100% of the way and it was WORTH IT! The views were amazing! We were able to see many many mountains in the distance from the peak of Ben Lomond. There was a cool view-finder at the top that labeled the mountain you were looking at when pointed in the direction of it. I thought that was pretty amazing. On the way down the mountain we met an Israeli traveler who walked down with us telling us about his experiences so far on his holiday.
It was a good day, finished off by a walk around Queenstown. Graham and I realized it was St. Patrick's Day after seeing all the people in green drinking in the streets- this is the first St. Patrick's Day that we haven't been among the merry seekers! We ended up eating dinner right by the lake when a storm started to roll in and gave us some great photo opportunities.
Now we are off to Mount Cook and our next alpine hike!
P.S.- I guess I should explain the title... I was dragging a little on the way up Ben Lomond and kept asking where the saddle was since Graham informed me we could stop and take a break at the saddle. Graham got a little annoyed with the amount of times I asked... lol. I'll never forget that the "saddle" is apparently the low point in a ridge.