05 Mar 2016

Over The Mtn's & Thru The Woods - NZL by valeriepeltier


Star 1


Today Lauren and I had agreed on doing our own things since I was interested in climbing to Roy's Peak and she was not so keen. This would be my first solo mountain hike and I was very excited about it.
I arrived on trail by 9:30am and began my hike. Knowing that the entire walk to the top was constantly all uphill, I had talked to a few people who had previously hiked it and they warned me of the steepness and the openness of the landscape. As I climbed the first portion I had decided that I would continue to the summit at a constant pace and save the photos for the way down. The hike up was enjoyable for the most part, some areas were quite steep where I focused on continuing to place one foot in front of the other, where other sections I was able to look ahead and enjoy the scenery.
At about the half way mark the land ownership changes, from being privately owned land to a conservation government owned land. They separate the land with fences and where the trail continues through, instead of placing a gate, they instead put in a set of small stairs going up one side and back down the other. When I began the hike earlier that day I figured that I could make it to the summit within 2.5 hours, and when I made it to the half way mark where the gate separated the land within the hour, I knew that I was walking a decent pace.
Around the 3/4 mark I passed the iconic photo op scene and pushed on figuring i could stop and spend time there on the way down.
With only the last pitch to go I forced my legs to push a little further, by this point they were getting used to the constant climb. The path winding its way along increasing with steepness with each step and narrowing with every other. As the clock turned to 11:45am I took the last step to the summit. With it only taking me 2 hours and 15 minute I was proud of my solo climb. The summit of of Roy's Peak reaching 1500m provided a stunning view of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountain ranges. With the feeling of accomplishment running through my veins I sat on the top of the mountain while I stared out into the horizon while I munched on my cheese and crackers. I snapped a few photos and asked one of the people sitting next to me to take one of me. Within a short time I met both Frank and Lilach, who had also both hiked the trail solo. Sitting up top the time seemed to stop, yet fly by at the same time, and it wasn't long before a half hour had passed. The wind was beginning to cut through my clothes even though I had layered up with my fleece and rain jacket to shield me from the cool breeze.
Lilach and Frank we're both beginning to get chilly too so we all headed down together back to the platform right before that last pitch, where we again separated. Frank heading down on his own, and Lilach accompanying me further till the bottom. I walked down the mountain with a constant pace but I slowed as my eyes wandered trying to take in as much as I could before reaching the bottom. I paused here and there to take some photos but for the most part we enjoyed the view as we chatted the whole way down.
I made it back to the car park by 2:00pm and back to the hostel at half past 2 where I found Lauren and Ollie chatting on a picnic bench in the courtyard. Ready for my shower I quickly described my hike and continued on inside to clean up.

The evening felt like a blur, exhausted from my journey I rested for a little while amongst the regular routine before heading back into town to meet up with my fellow hikers for a chance to check out the local cinema. When Lauren and I arrived we safely found out that the Revenant was full and that we would of needed to book seats earlier. Sad that we wouldn't get the chance to experience this special little cinema where you sat on couches, and got a warm fresh out of the oven homemade cookie at intermission, we wandered back outside. When we found Lilach and told her, she suggested we just go for the cookie. It turned out they had a few left over from the previous intermission and were willing to even warm them up for us. Once we demolished our cookie, Lauren and I returned to our hostel and Lilach met up with some other friends to see the later film.