Rees-Dart Track, Days 3-5We left you last week with a late-afternoon arrival at the Dart Hut. It is a fairly new and comfortable hut, which was nice, because we were to spend two nights there (as most trampers do). The purpose: an all-day side-trip to Cascade Saddle, with views of the Dart Glacier, and over the mountain range to Mt. Aspiring and surrounding peaks.
Knowing the hike would be long and hard, the senior members of our party got up at an ungodly hour in order to start hiking as soon as it was light (this being less than a month past mid-summer, light came very early indeed). Eldest Son decided to sleep an extra hour, fix his own breakfast, and catch up later.
|Walking up the Dart River as the sun touches the high peaks.|
|My husband and his brother crossing one of the very few flat stretches of trail.|
|The saddle is just beyond the dip in the upper right of the photo.|
|Happily, there were lots of good excuses to stop as we climbed, with the views improving with every step.|
|The Dart Glacier. The lower part is covered in dirt.|
|Mt. Aspiring is leaning into the photo on the far left.|
|Dart Glacier and alpine daisies|
|Dull is a matter of perspective. Still plenty of scenery!|
|My crossing was less agile, but I don’t think I fell in that one.|
The final day included a fun climb to bypass the lake formed in 2014 when a huge landslide blocked the river. Ghost trees in the lake slowed our photographers.
|The lake is doomed to a short life—it is filling rapidly with glacial sediment, and the river is cutting through the damming slide to create a drain.|
The hike went on longer than we wanted, but we knew the end was approaching as the valey opened up and we got new views of new peaks.
To our relief, there had been no rain, and the half-dozen or more creeks we had to cross to retrieve both cars and return to the pavement hadn’t risen. We didn’t need our emergency food, but enjoyed the snacks we’d left ourselves.
And what hiking trip would be complete without the feast on returning to town?