Crossing the Routeburn River at the start of the track on a very frosty morning
Most of the track up the valley is in the beautiful beech forest and doesn't get any sun at this time of year. But when you reach Routeburn Flats it was warm and sunny, so we stopped and had lunch at the hut there.
Looking down on sunny Routeburn Flats
From Routeburn flats the track climbs up the side of the valley and up towards the cirque or glacier bowl. We stayed at the Routeburn Falls hut just at the lip of the cirque. The views from the hut are probably some of the best from any hut in New Zealand, back down the valley with snow dusted mountains all around.
Sunset from Routeburn Falls Hut
After a very cold night at the hut - huddled around a pathetic fire with two other guys who arrived later we headed up into the cirque and tried to climb up to Harris Saddle. The last few entries in the hut visitors book had said that they had turned around due to the ice. We did the same as we didn't have crampons or axes with us.
Icy track with a steep drop off into Lake Harris when you get around the corner
Helen and Harris Lake
So we headed back down the way we had come and back to the comfort of the bach.