9:00 pm

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As soon as we finished eating we began making our way to the top of the mountain with the goal of reaching the peak. I had decided that I was going to continue on until I reached the peak regardless of whether it was putting us over time for the water taxi back. I figured I had come this far, I am going to continue until I reach the top. Lauren had decided that she was going to walk for an hour and then turn around, so in the end we ended up splitting up as I walked on ahead. As I got closer and closer the path began to get steeper, until it rounded the backside of the mountain where it would split into two trails, one continuing along the Kepler trail and the other turning and heading straight for the summit of Mount Luxmore sitting at 1472m above sea level.
By this point I could no longer see Lauren so I figured she had turned around, since it had been almost an hour since we had left the hut. The sign read only 10 minutes to the summit, so I continued on and began climbing the narrow and steep track with two other people following behind me. The majority of people had left their packs at the split in the trail, making the climb easier. Since I only had a small day pack with me I brought it up the remainder of the way with me.
When I arrived at the summit, it took me exactly an hour to walk from the hut, leaving the hut at 11:45 and reaching the summit at 12:45. For the first 10 minutes I sat enjoying the view and chatting with the other hikers, some that I had passed earlier in the day or they had passed me. The view was stunning overlooking Lake Te Anau, Jackson Peaks and Lake Manapouri. With a 365 view you could easily sit there for hours gazing across the mountain peaks.
As I started taking photos, I was surprised and excited to see Lauren round the corner towards the peak. I had expected that she had turned around, but I was happy that she had come the entire way because the view was definitely what makes the climb much more satisfying.
Overall I stayed up top for 25 minutes in order to enjoy the view and get a couple photos before heading down again. With the wind starting to get cool on the skin, it was the perfect amount of time to stay so at 1:10 we began our journey back towards Luxmore hut and beyond to the forest.
The girl (Anya) that we had passed back and forth on the way up, ended up stopping at the hut again on the way down, where Lauren and I continued making our way back, not wanting to miss the water taxi.
On the way down Anya ended up tail running a portion thinking that she wouldn't have enough time, but when she bumped into us again she slowed down and we ended up walking together. Lauren was walking a bit slower than Anya and I, busy taking some photos and enjoying walking alone, so we split up again and met at the bottom. With our paces differing by about 15 - 20 minutes.
In the end we made it down to the beach again with lots of time to spare, so we sat down, enjoyed a snack and relaxed on the beach while we waited for our pick up.

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