The Routeburn track is an attractive multi day trip for both Nate and myself. I need to check this "walk" out as I am meant to run it in less than a month now. It's attractive to Nate as it is one of the Great Walks and is reportedly spectacular by pretty much everyone who has done it. I've never spoken to someone who has done Routeburn and not raved about the experience. So after a few weeks of missed opportunities we finally both got the same days off work and booked beds at the Mckenzie hut for last Thursday and Friday. We had all our travel arrangements worked out and I had gotten all the camping equipment we needed on loan from my roommate, Mark. We were set, and getting damn excited about the trip. On Tuesday Mark sent me a text that read "Don't get too excited about R-burn, the road to Milford is closed due to a landslip, they don't know when it will reopen".
The DOC confirmed what we already suspected. We could start walking from Glenorchy as we planned, but we would not be allowed to walk out to the Divide. We were given two options: Spend the night at the Mckenzie Hut and then turn around and walk back out the way we came (not very appealing). Or spend the night at the Mckenzie Hut and then take the Greenstone Caples track out (very appealing, but turning a 1 night two day trip into a 3 night, 4 day trip). Forever optimistic, and not about to let two days off in a row get wasted, we started to investigate our alternatives.
You may be asking yourself why I provided you with a boat load of background info about a trip that got cancelled. And there is a good answer to that very good question. All of the information will be very important when the Routeburn Classic rolls around at the endof April. On that note here's a quick training update. I ran 15 miles today in about 2 hours and 40 minutes. This includes 4 bathroom stops (ridiculous), two waters stops and about 7 minutes I spent trying to find my dropped car key on the track. This is the furthest distance I've run in my training and I'm very pleased with how I feel today. I'm confident that I'll be ready on race day. The next two weeks will be the most important as far as training and nutrition are concerned. After that I will start to taper down my weekly mileage and focus on resting up for the big day. I am bubbling with excitement.
Back on point. We quickly narrowed our potential destinations down to a couple of choices. Drive south to the Catlins, or North to Mt. Cook. In his pre-travel research, Nate became particularly fascinated with this website http://www.mountainphotographer.com/ (click on the New Zealand category) and grew a little obsessed with this one photo http://www.widerange.org/photo/mueller-hut/. The picture shows the Mueller Hut. I took a look at the picture and the decision was made. We were heading North to Mt. Cook to stay at the Mueller Hut. If you really have too much free time on your hands at work (and I know some of you do), you can read about the Mueller Hut here: http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/canterbury/aoraki-area/mueller-hut-route/.
No surprises here, I have completely outdone myself and written a whole lot about nothing at all. It's gotten late on my end and I need to get some rest. But the Mueller Hut story is soon to follow.
View Larger Map