The Dusk Track - February 21, 2014

5 days of...well..hell. And rain. And snow. And glory.
Classic rainforest along the Dusky Track and the heart of Fiordland. Sunrise over Lake Manapouri on day 0, weather moving in already. And so it hour long boat ride across Lake Hauroko brings us to the trailhead of the Dusky Track. Errol, one of the other hikers I got dropped off with. Captain. Total of 5 other hikers I got dropped off with, never saw 4 of them again. Cruiiiise. IMG 4403sm
Bye boat. The first of many three-wire bridges, a common occurence on the Dusky Track. One of many unnamed creeks along the way. Day 2, the weather turns to shit upon Pleasant Ridge. IMG 4501sm Not very pleasant at all. This photo pretty much sums up the next 5 days. IMG 4580sm
Dusky Sound faintly visible in the distance. Descending into the Seaforth Valley, the rainforest thickens. Typical trail conditions on the track.  Roots, roots, roots. The weather clears briefly. Close up view of the three-wire bridge. IMG 4703sm Looking up the Seaforth River. The biggest and highest bridge of the trip.  The river would rise substantially the following morning.
Great huts built by the DOC. IMG 4764sm IMG 4769sm The Seaforth River the morning of day 3, a sign of things to come. Tree Ferns, my new favorite tree.  Easily reaching heights of 20 feet. Another unnamed side creek. And the mud begins. Very cool shot of a South Island Robin.  Curious little birds.
One of the many flooded sections of the trail, a common hazard on day 3. Fantastic forest. Yet another creek. Moss forest. I love ferns. I have no idea what this is, but it sure is cool looking. Trekking pole for scale.  Waist deep mud pit. Three wire bridges become increasingly interesting as river levels rise.
Jurrasic Park, eh? So cool. The Seaforth River still in rage mode. Looking up towards Rebecca Falls. Greeeeen. Nice view of Tripod Hill. Scariest bridge of them all in my opinion.  Rather unstable and over a very steep creek. Ok, not cool.  Shit starts to get real.
Pushing towards Centre Pass, the snow begins to fall quickly. Looking towards the ridge. Looking back down into the Seaforth Basin and Tripid Hill in the clouds. Coldest selfie ever. Though not the best of photographic conditions, I had to get this shot. The other side of the ridge was up to my knees in snow. Following the snow poles. Oh, much better.
What?  What is this?  Solid ground? Final hut at Upper Sprey. Random snowy mountain. IMG 5230sm More flooded trail. Final sign. Road walking to round off the trip. Final boat ride across Lake Manapouri.
IMG 5287sm Sunset as I hitch back to my vehcle. Milford Sound on the way home.