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Visitors 22
36 photos, 4 videos

This day began with a gentle climb out of the Clinton Valley, through the lush forest--up what they call "practice hill." About two hours in, we began to ascend a series of 11 switchbacks over about two miles. The upper portion of this part of the climb is above the tree line. We stopped for a brief rest at McKinnon's memorial and then kept climbing to our lunch hut. The afternoon portion of the hike is very scenic but the most difficult part of the Milford Track--almost all downhill and much of it on rocky terrain. Our legs were feeling like jello by the end. From Quintin Lodge, we took the optional (but well worth it) 90-minute hike (sans packs, fortunately) to Sutherland Falls, the world's fifth highest waterfall and the tallest in New Zealand.
Early morning at Pompolona LodgeHikers setting out before 7:30 amToday's walk begins with a gentle climb out of Clinton ValleyClinton ValleyMoving into the forestAnother swing bridgeParts of the track are almost otherworldlyThe climb starts to get a little steeper as we get into the lower switchbacksAbundant and diverse foliageAbundant and diverse foliageEventually, we climb higher than the tree lineBreathtaking views back into the valley from which we've climbedGetting near the topEven closer to the topJust about thereThe "W" flag makes its first appearance at McKinnon's memorial

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