DAY 281...Snow Located!

“How high do I have to climb to get to the snow?” was my question to myself. Well today, I discovered the answer. At 1000 metres, there was a little, by 1100 metres there was enough to leave my footprints in and at the top, at 1240 metres, it was over the tops of my hiking boots! I discovered the snow! “Where and how?” you may ask. Parapara Peak track was my track to nail today. The DOC sign read: "19kms - 7 to 9 hours return trip - expert hikers only." I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I told myself I was fit enough! Off I went, loaded up with my backpack and other things I might need just in case a disaster happened (my GPS, mobiles, tracker, food, water, and extra clothing until nothing else could fit). In fact, my green jacket was strapped to the outside of my pack.

A peak! It was as described: up, up and then really up some more. It was tough going and, when I reached the top four hours later, my legs were a little like jelly and I was glad to have my hiking boots on and all the extra jackets. I was knee deep in snow in some places but had, at last, found the snow line. I rested for about half an hour but the cloud and mist were closing in over me and I wanted to get moving. My hands were cold, even with gloves on, and I most certainly wanted to be off this track before dark! Incredible views, Keas calling, Tuis singing, Wekas just wandering about, a few fantails and a little grey warbler. But the only birds way up the top with me were the crazy Wekas; always nearby just in case they can steal something.

This track was tough, that’s for sure, and there were many different markers to keep a look out for: orange triangles, pink tape, stone mounds, white tape, metal arrows, metal red or white markers nailed to the trees, painted tin lids; the list and the oddments are endless. But it was marked and, I have to say, it guided me there and back without any hiccups or wrong turns. There were numerous beautiful sights and, as I climbed, the trees and bush lines changed. This track was a beast, it went on forever and will go down as my toughest hike yet. Am I pleased I did it? Yes, but gosh, I was pleased to finish tonight and clamber into Cuzzie, pull off my hiking boots and drive slowly back to the farm cottage. My feet, ankles and little toes are feeling a bit the worse for wear this evening, but a good night’s sleep and I should be fine. However, tomorrow, I know for certain that I won’t be climbing another peak looking for snow!

What an adventure! Never would I have attempted this trek solo when I was younger but, now, it would have seemed wrong not to do it. Strange how your brain and your goals change. A big thanks to my body for holding together for this journey. Tonight, the fire is blazing and it is so nice to be resting next to it. I’m physically tired but that’s okay. And yesterday's planning seems to be getting some responses. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

My smiles today:
The peak was conquered. I'm not ever doing Everest!
Lunch in the snow.
Hobo resting at last. He is so noisy sometimes.
Discovered the weird smell in Cuzzie. Nat’s bottle of Tequila had got broken and leaked in the cupboard!
The Wekas. I love these birds.
Spring flowers with morning dew on them.

My thoughts today:
Over-thinking can ruin a day! It just makes everything worse than it actually is.

Goodnight from a very tired Red. Ma Te Wa.

My friendly Weka.

My friendly Weka.

Snow is very pretty.

Snow is very pretty.