Te Araroa

8.4. Travers Saddle

Starting from Blue Lake Hut we had another amazing day as we pushed on to go over the Travers Saddle before the snow comes in!

We thought it would be a wise idea to keep on doing long days and get over all passes and saddles before the snow is supposed to come. The forecast said there is snow supposed to be down to 600m in a few days and nobody of us wants to walk in snow with summer gear.

We started at about 8.30am from the Blue Lake Hut. Before that, we had a very nice walk close to the lake. The lake is really beautiful and is supposed to have one of the clearest waters of the world. It definitely looked clean and pure and really deep too. One hut warden was present, so we waited until he had an updated weather forecast at 8.30am. The hut warden said there is now actually a weather warning and snow supposed to come down to 500m.

Amazingly pure Blue Lake

All treks in the Nelson Lakes National Park are well maintained and are really good to walk on. Of course, it gets more difficult with increasing altitude but even over Travers Saddle, the trail was well marked and luckily easy to follow.

We reached West Sabine hut where we had a nice lunch before we pushed on to Upper Travers Hut. Going over the saddle was challenging but doable. The weather wasn’t in our favor but at least we didn’t have snow yet.  Due to the fog, the views weren’t great but it was somehow a mystical to watch the clouds move over the saddle in a quite quick pace.

Going up Travers Saddle in the rain
Quite foggy!
Yay, we reached the saddle! Can you guess the scenic views?
Cool rock on the saddle in the fog

Coming down the saddle of the other side, we had to cross a few little boulder fields. It was already getting dark and we hoped we would see the hut soon.

Going down Travers Saddle

When we finally arrived, two Canadians had the fire going in the hut so it was very cozy inside. We hung up our wet clothes and cooked supper. The Canadian couple volunteered as hut wardens and went to bed in their own little warden shack. So we had the whole huge hut for ourselves.  The bed rooms were separated from the warm cozy kitchen area of the hut, so we chose to carry our mattresses close to the fire place instead of sleeping in the cold 🙂

Waking up next morning, it was a good decision to sleep next to the oven 🙂