4 August 2003

Peaks bagged: Mt Luxmore (1472m/4828ft)

Distance: 32km/20 miles

Route: Control gates - Brod Bay - Mt Luxmore Hut - Mt Luxmore - Mt Luxmore Hut - Brod Bay - Control gates

Notes: A day out walking on the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's many great tramping routes. Walking to the top of Mt Luxmore and back from the Lake Te Anau sluice control gates was a big and tiring task. The walk began on the level, easing through the lakeshore forest of beech, rimu and ferns. After an hour I encountered Scott, a Canadian, also aiming to climb the mountain and return in a day. We had a steep climb up through the forest, pass limestone cliffs, before finally reaching the treeline and a flatter path to the Mt Luxmore Hut.

This provided the opportunity for a welcome break for some lunch at the large empty wooden hut. Then it was back to the task in hand, negotiating the hard, frozen track above the South Fjord to the windy and bitterly cold summit of Mt Luxmore.

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