TA Day 109- Sunrise to Sunset

Today- 9.9km from Bush Stream carpark to Crooked Spur hut. Also sunrise hike to Sealy Tarns & beyond in Mt Cook National Park [10+km]Total – 2314.1kmWoke up to my alarm at 4.30 am and rolled out of bed. It had been an amazing evening catching up with Nick and Bree, my mates from Canada who now are doing their working visa in NZ.Emeric had called last night and asked if I wanted to join him and Dylan and some of their mates for a sunrise hike to Sealy Tarns. I wasnt sure at first , being kind of tired but because the weather was average yesterday I was keen.Walked 2km to the campground where they stayed and tried and failed to find their tent , we were supposed to be meeting at 5.30am. They are pretty fast so I thought they would catch me so I started off.To get to Sealy Tarns you climb heaps of stairs taking you high over the valley. Pretty soon it was sweaty and hot work, even in the dark. To my horror I went to wipe my face with my buff but it wasnt there! Oh no!I knew I must have dropped it so hopefully it was there on the way back.Climbed higher and higher and finally made it to Sealy Tarns. E had said Mueller Hut to me last night, and even though at the time I thought that was highly ambitious, I made it to Sealy tarns in really good time, so before I got too cold waiting around, kept going.Climbing higher and higher, I hit the snow line at 1600m and the sun was rising so daylight and more warmth engulfed me.But where were the others? Checking my phone, I realised a classic scenario had happened, they were only going as far as Sealy Tarns, and here I was boosting up to Mueller hut!No worries. I turned around, got an epic view of Mt Sefton peeking from the clouds, and made my way down to meet them.It was freezing. Whipped up some hot choccy which was well received and then photo time.Some kea kept us company and we all enjoyed the spectacular scenery around us, all to ourselves.The boys got some epic snaps, they are both really into photography and carry big decent cameras.We spent an hour or so up there and then we made our way down.We passed probably 20 people on their way up, so I’m super glad we went up so early.After saying goodbye to Dylan, who was not continuing the TA right now, we got cracking and went to find a ride back to Geraldine.We brushed our teeth and put on our best hitching smiles, in hope of finding a ride.Classy teeth brushing sesh in the mountains.Huge success, 2 nice Polish backpackers who were heading to Blenheim picked us up and we were back in Geraldine in record time. Yay!With it being a beautiful day, we could see the snowline was sitting wayyyy lower than before and it was so stunning seeing all the mountains with fresh snow. AMAZING.Resupplied at the supermarket then had a nap in the park, we met up with the others for our shuttle back to the south side of the Rangitata river at 4pm.Wayne from Alps to Ocean runs a shuttle for hikers, it’s very reasonably priced and he knows alot to do with the river flows and trails.Dropped off around 5.30pm, started walking. The first section of trail involved crossing and recrossing the river heaps so when I saw the river wasnt too affected by snowmelt or rain I got cracking.Ended up making it to the hut in about 2hours 40mins instead of the DOC 4 hours, not bad considering my legs were dead from this mornings shenanigans.Theres some more weather coming in on Wednesday so we want to try get over the highest TA point tommorrow, Stag Saddle, for an epic view.Crooked Spur hut is cute but rustic, and I stuffed my face with dinner and slept like a log.

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