Routeburn - "Great Run"

New Zealand

February 3, 2009

Dave with Jill, parents, Brandy/Arthur


Another hiker near the top of Conical Hill - my turnaround point on this run/walk.

As mentioned earlier New Zealand's tourist hikes, called "Great Walks" can be crowded and expensive.  I figured the best way to see it might be a trail run.  The trail would be smooth and runnable, it would be fun to see other hikers while running, and I wouldn't have to pay overnight camping fees.  My parents and friends from Colorado, Brandy and Arthur had arrived the previous day and were staying in our Queenstown condo.  I would run as much of the trail as possible while they would hike the lower section of the trail - something for everyone.  I ran to Harris Saddle and up Conical Hill, and turned around because of time and worsening weather.  Plus, it was more fun to walk with the rest of the group who were all experiencing New Zealand for the first time.

The Routeburn Gorge features yet another stunning blue river.  This photo was taken on a different day hike a week before.


Self-portrait on top of Conical Hill.  Clouds and time made this a good turnaround point.


Harris Saddle and the continental divide.  The Darran Mountains are shrouded in clouds and rain while on the lee side of the divide it never rained.  The buildings are rest shelters for weary hikers.


Scenery near Harris Saddle.  On a sunny day this would make an epic trail run.


On my way back down to find the rest of the crew I was a bit surprised to find them still coming up the trail to the Upper Falls Hut.  Jill and I both enjoyed seeing New Zealand from fresh perspectives and not having to carry large packs.


Mom takes a load off as we near the car.

Take Me Home