Although the weather forecast was not considered great for tramping, I decided that maybe a day walk would be just the ticket for this Sunday afternoon while in Wanaka, Central Otago.
The sun was shining, a few clouds here and there, and a breeze – just cool enough, but not cold by any stretch.
Diamond Lake is on the way to the summit, and is a good place to stop and get a photo. Its a perfect walk to there for those unable to walk the higher, uneven ways to the top – I saw families with babies in strollers up to this part as the path is wide enough and follows right around the lake.
Stop and just do the loop track? No way. After last weekend when I climbed the heights of Flagstaff and beyond, I have now an urge to climb some higher slopes and get the views from the top.
It looked like it might be some grind, but I felt I was up for the challenge. The sign said it only takes an hour and a half … there are even a choice of paths – you can go to the left or to the right.
Oh no, that means a choice to be made! I decided to walk up the west side first, I figured that it might be a better decision – especially with the inclement wind.
Finally after climbing over rocky parts, stony parts, and tracks with thistles almost as tall as me alongside, I found myself wandering among the snow grass and tussock. Then I saw a welcome sight … a cairn at the top! The summit!
I plonked myself down on what I thought was a firm rock and took a sideways tumble. Then had a really good look around. The sun was blazing down at this stage, and thankfully there was NO wind at the top at all. I was amazed and so grateful. However it meant the jacket stayed hooked around my waist for a bit longer, as I hadn’t bothered with a backpack.
Just before beginning the descent down the hill again, I looked across to Mt Aspiring, and couldn’t believe the cloud formations around it – something was definitely happening further west in the hills. Wow, a beautiful sight. Occasionally you could see the tip of Aspiring through the mist and cloud around it, I was impressed at the display.
So it was time to descend, and almost as if it knew, the weather at the top began to change as well. The wind began to blow and it was decidedly cooler.
So down the rugged paths again I traversed. Easier in many ways, as the path down east side is more gentle – another reason why it was a good idea to choose that way for the descent.
Diamond lake – on the way back to the vehicle.
All in all a lovely day’s stroll with amazing views as well over Wanaka and the surrounding area.