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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Friday, 2 November 2012

Climbing Ben Lomond

It was a glorious sunny day and what's more it was a totally free day. No coach, no pre arranged visits, no tours! Queenstown is very picturesque, built alongside a very large lake and overlooked by mountains. I decided to go for a walk along the Ben Lomond track which I had read has beautiful views overlooking the lake and the valley. I took the gondola up to the peak and found the start of the trail.


 


The first section was through the pine forest but soon I was above the tree line. I need to point out at this point that I had no idea where the top of Ben Lomond was and being dressed in shorts, tee shirt and sandals I was not totally prepared for what lay ahead. However I did have water, food and sun screen so I wasn't a complete idiot. But the views were magnificent. I think it is difficult for a camera to really convey the beauty of some landscapes and I think this is true here.








I met a couple of young men on their way down and casually asked where the top was, thinking they would point to the hillside on my right, but no the top was the snow-capped mountain on my left. Ah, I thought, this is going to be a bit tricky!



This is the viewpoint showing the top of Ben Lomond.

It was obvious that I would not be able to get to the top in a pair of hiking sandals. This was confirmed by a German, dressed as though he were climbing Everest, who informed me that I would be ankle deep in snow in some parts! But undeterred I did climb up until I just about reached the snow line. The wind was howling and the temperature was dropping but at least I could touch the snow.

I decided it was time to move but what an exhilerating walk.


3 comments:

  1. Marie, that looks a fantastic spot. Wish I was there with my camera kit to try and do it justice, but as you say, it isn't easy

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  2. What fun!!! I too hiked up there during my stop in Queenstown!!! I had quite an adventure trying to find my up to Ben Lomond! It's the only day hike you can do within walking distance of Q-town (I didn't have a car, was getting around by bus). I started out from the trail head just out of town, almost on the lake. It's also the same trail that leads you to an old power plant. And around there I pretty much got lost in the woods (the trails weren't very well marked) and it took me quite a while to find myself up on the first plateau where I had the option to go right to the Gondola or left towards Ben Lomond. Of course I went left. And made it to the top. Felt WONDERFUL up there! Like I was on the top of the world!!! And the peaks of the Southern Alps were snowy... For a short while I was the only one up on the peak. Funny thing: there was a lot of helicopter traffic! Choppers flying people down to Milford Sound! I tried to hitch a ride (my legs were starting to feel wobbly) but none of them would stop for me. lol!

    On my way down I decided to try a shortcut... a little bird had told me that they don't ask for tickets when you ride the Gondola from the top down into town... and I was VERY tired from the extra time hiking up (I think I hiked for 7-8h) so I decided to head over to the Gondola instead of risk getting lost in the woods again on my way down. And my tip was proven correct! I just got on a Gondola and had a little free ride down. Was fun.

    FABULOUS views of the Lake all the way up there! It's wonderful you could make it part of the way up! :o)

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  3. These views are what NZ is famous for. You certainly are adventurous climbing the mountains in shorts and sandals.I only got to the ski slopes not far from the gondola.

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