Caples - Greenstone Circuit

Day 3 - Upper Caples Hut to Lake McKellar and McKellar Hut

All images © David Noble. No image can be used for any purpose without permission.

At first this was another very wet day. For the first few hours up to the saddle - we had constant light rain. This made photography quite difficult - even with a waterproof camera on a cord around my neck and tucked under my parka - the lens would often get droplets of water - so some shots were ruined. This was a supremely beautiful part of the walk.

Above - Chuin Nee on the track

Above - John photographing Chuin Nee (was he waiting for her to fall off?)

Above - more creek crossing

Above - John's big leap

Above - careful steps

Above - Chuin Nee on the track

Above - John poised to get an action shot while Chuin Nee balances carefully

Above - steady does it

Above - Chuin Nee on the track

Above - The Caples River

Above - The Caples River

Above - The Caples River

Above - The Caples River

Above - The Caples River

Above - and then we climb up out of the bush into a marvelous saddle

Above - tarn

Above - Rob and Chuin Nee at the saddle

Above - side peaks - part of the Ailsa Mountains

Above - Looking down

Above - small wild flower

Above - It is not raining - Chuin Nee is smiling :-)

Above - this fragile section is duck-boarded

Above - tarn

Above - in the sun! - about to descend to Lake McKellar

The descent was another section that was exquisitely beautiful beech forest - as the following photographs try and depict -

Above -  At the bottom of the descent - the track was quite wet in places

Above - Chuin Nee carefully balances on this log (I went on a different log - and fell off - up to my waist (DOC at Queenstown had advised us that it may be chest deep, and a hut warden down the Greenstone had told us that it had been 2.5 metres deep a week or so earlier....)

Above - Chuin Nee on a drier section of track

Above - splashing past the warning sign

Above - some more splashing....

Above - near Lake McKellar (more bog in the grass however)

Above - Below the lake - is the comfortable McKellar Hut. In the hut - we met up again with Andrea, an Australian that we had earlier met on the bus from Queenstown. She had completed the Routeburn Walk (with minimal views given the weather) and was returning via the Greenstone.

I went for a stroll outside the hut for some photo-pfaffing in the forest -

When I got back to the hut - another party of trampers had arrived - locals that had been on a 12 day trip to the remote Olivine Ice Plateau. The next day would be the last day of their trip - they walked out the entire Routeburn Track. That evening they looked on enviously as we enjoyed our wine and cheese pre-dinner platter.

  Continue to Day 4  -where we do a daywalk to Key Summit and go searching for Kakas.

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