Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tuesday 12th February 2008 - Alex Knob Track

After a dark and silent night the heavy curtains in our large double room at Glow Worm Cottages were flung back to reveal a gloriously deep blue sky. Franz Joseph sparkled in the morning sunshine as we made our way to the start of today's walk. Sue had wanted to walk on Franz Joseph glacier but yesterday's bad weather prevented any glacier walks so today's quota - two companies have a monopoly, 30 clients each - was full by the time we arrived. The walk to Alex Knob is mainly through rain forest.

It starts on a DOC motorway to Lake Wombat - a pretty little place where we have our first encounter with Theresa, who is working at the local YHA, and Mr Copeland (Will) who is here for the cricket. Wrong island!? Then we leave the manicured path for the 1000m ascent up to Alex Knob. Melodious bellbirds drown the sound of helicopters as we pass over a carpet of red Rata tree petals. We pass a couple of chaps maintaining the path - basically cutting the invading grass from around the blocks of stone that form the basis of the path. This is acceptable, if not entirely necessary, maintenance.

Eventually, after two good lookout points - Rata and Christmas lookouts, we clear the tree canopy and rise a further couple of hundred metres to the summit of the Knob. Sadly we were enveloped in mist. As Theresa arrived, bringing up the rear, the mist magically cleared and we enjoyed fine lunchtime views of the upper reaches of the glacier during a cloud inversion which lasted about 30 minutes before the expansive view was again obliterated by the rising mist.
The gentle descent (we eschewed the second summit - Louisa Peak) took about 3 hours. After dropping Theresa and Will off at the YHA we drove up to the snout of the Franz Joseph Glacier and snapped away at the end of the wide path full of wide tourists.

Tonight we enjoyed a luxurious meal at the Landing Bar, where many TV screens (thankfully silent) depicted England's fine cricketers enduring a sunny day on the North Island. All the watchers seemed to be English - others showed little interest...

3 comments:

Notchy said...

Hi!
All this talk of Kanaka(ing) and Knob(ing) has finally persuaded me to lose my blogging viginity! Somebody has to exercise a moderating influence. Forget the news - its full of ferral teenagers and sleazy politicians. Most important is the blue half of Manchester doing the double over the evil empire. The smugness should help us through the next 34 years of hurt. Meanwhile we are enjoying several back-to-back days of unbroken (spring!?) sunshine - lambs gambolling, croci blooming etc. Just trying to reduce this feeling of jealousy - keep the stories coming

Mark said...

Martin:

What a wonderful trip you're having! Something like it has been on my list for a long time. "Envious" pretty well covers my feelings!

Cheers,
Mark

Nallo Lady said...

Up the blues!

Thanks for the nice comments - and congratulations, Notchy, on your baptism!