Climbing up and over Waiau Pass was my favorite part of the South Island. It’s a stunningly beautiful alpine route with an unforgiving ascent and technical descent. Some have even described the descent as being “dangerous,” after a British Te Araroa thru-hiker fell off a bluff to his death in 2013.
The ascent began from Blue Lake, “the most pristine fresh water in the world.”
An early morning fog retreated to reveal an impressive alpine panorama.
Then we descended to Lake Constance and sidled around it.
After the lake, we climbed up to a beautiful valley. A track ascended straight up a very steep scree slope on the left and I thought, “That can’t be…oh…”
I ascended on my toes and my calf muscles screamed, so I stopped to look back on Lake Constance.
This was one of the most stunning places I’d ever been.
Our efforts led us to this magical waterfall.