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Soon Lee

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05:53 pm: Routeburn: Part Three
Day Two.
The night passed uneventfully though I did have to get up in the middle of the night to visit the loo. The sky was actually clear enough to see stars. Lots of stars. Though I wasn't awake enough to fully appreciate the views. Sadly, by dawn, conditions were overcast and it was raining again. We set off after a hearty breakfast of porridge.

Commencing the walking for Day Two. It was most anti-social that the track climbs immediately on leaving Routeburn Falls Hut. None of that slow warming up, gentle incline business.

Routeburn Falls. And yes, it was raining when this photo was taken. Why do you ask? We lingered briefly around the falls area to take a few photos. It was also the location of the helipad, which was surprisingly small (no more than ~15' x 15'?) and rudimentary (filled with gravel).

This stream runs along a faultline on the way up Harris Saddle. The walk for the second day leaves Routeburn Falls Hut, goes up & down Harris Saddle and ends at Lake MacKenzie Hut. According to the Track Guide, this stream divides Momus Sandstone (on the left) from the Harris Saddle Formation (on the right).

We have come from thataway. Halfway up Harris Saddle, we could look back (and down) to an earlier point along the walk. That beigy-brown areas in the back is Routeburn Flats flanked by green hills. The track so far has been alternating steep climbs (parts over rocks with only the orange track markers to indicate direction) with flattish plateaus, with alpine-type scenery. It's a pretty landscape to be walking through. We could look quite far forward and back to see fellow walkers as small dots on the landscape.

Lake Harris, looking moody and foggy. Still raining. We took a break around this point, but because it was a cold and exposed spot, my knee (sore again by now) cooled down enough that it seized up. Commencing the walk again was a struggle. Quite painful. But once the legs warmed up, it wasn't too bad.

Shelter on Harris Saddle. A tarn (alpine pool) is in the foreground with its surface rippled by rain. The orange stick is a track marker. We had lunch in the shelter. I had tuna with pita pockets, and followed that with some chocolate bars. Something I kept an eye on when shopping for this walk was food that was high-energy, the higher the kJ/100g the better. Basically anything over 2000 kJ/100g was good, especially if tasty. Of course, we could have gone with the polar explorer option (e.g. olive oil has ~3400 kJ/100g) but we weren't *that* extreme.

This was taken from the shelter. There is still glacier ice on the mountains across the valley.

I brought some reading matter.

Next: To Lake MacKenzie Hut.

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