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 Peak(s):  Rees Dart Track, NZ - 5,100 feet
 Post Date:  04/26/2011
 Date Climbed:   01/23/2011
 Posted By:  slaggbottom

 NZ's 5 day Rees Dart Track, with Cascade Saddle side trip   

New Zealand is loaded with dream treks, serviced by top notch huts in gorgeous locales. When researching NZ tramps, the popular result is usually the Milford (which is always booked 5+ months in advance during high season) and the Routeburn. But som experienced trampers will say the "secret gem" is the 5-day 76km Rees-Dart Track (w/ Cascade Saddle side trip), which is fast becoming extremely popular, and deservedly so thanks to it's top notch mountain scenery, and reservation-free huts that cost 1/3rd as much as the "Great Walk" tracks. The Rees-Dart trail is definitly more rugged and muddy than the Great Walks, with dangerous stream crossings during rain, but that only adds to the intimacy of this gorgeous land.

I put together a detailed 5 day trip report, with ~300 photos. We experienced grand vistas of glaciers with blue skies, and also heavy rain spells, with stream crossings that stranded some hikers in an emergency bivy cave overnight.

If you only click one link, check out Day 2 or 3 for the best photo ops.
Rees-Dart Track: Day 1 - Muddy Flats to Shelter Rock Hut
Rees-Dart Track: Day 2 - Shelter Rock Hut to Dart Hut
Rees-Dart Track: Day 3 - Cascade Saddle day hike
Rees-Dart Track: Day 4 - Dart Hut to Daleys Hike (lots of rain!)
Rees-Dart Track: Day 5 - Daleys Hut to Sandy Bluff, and Jet Boat ride out of the Dart River

Here's a few pics spread out over the days:

















Full Reports:
Rees-Dart Track: Day 1 - Muddy Flats to Shelter Rock Hut
Rees-Dart Track: Day 2 - Shelter Rock Hut to Dart Hut
Rees-Dart Track: Day 3 - Cascade Saddle day hike
Rees-Dart Track: Day 4 - Dart Hut to Daleys Hike (lots of rain!)
Rees-Dart Track: Day 5 - Daleys Hut to Sandy Bluff, and Jet Boat ride out of the Dart River

 


  • Comments or Questions
Yikes


damn     2011-04-26 08:40:55
now how am i supposed to be content hiking up Stevens Gulch?

looks like some nice scenery.


tmathews

Nice     2011-04-26 09:00:27
Middle-Earth is beautiful.


slaggbottom


Middle Earth     2011-04-26 17:56:53
Turns out several scenes from LOTR were filmed in the Dart Valley region, and around Glenorchy. The backdrop of Isengard was this Rees-Dart region. Also, the jet boat guide pointed out the peak where Gandalf and the Balrog battle (in a Two Towers flashback). That was cool. I had thought it was a CGI mountain, but could easily recognize it (there's a pic in Day 5 report). I'll post it here:


lordhelmut


pretty f'ing amazing     2011-05-03 11:23:11
This is one of the coolest TR's on this site, thanks for sharing. Its a damn shame roundtrip tix are 1500$ and up, or else I'd be back there by now. Such a beautiful and inspiring collection of shots, you guys did it right down there.



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