Hooker Valley Track

Our first hike of the trip, we did an easy out-and-back within Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. Gaining 606 feet of elevation over 7 miles, the flat route wove around Mueller Lake, through the scrubby brush of Hooker Valley, and was punctuated with three scenic suspension bridges over a rushing glacial river, each swaying from side to side in the wind as we crossed. The path culminated at Hooker Lake, a milky, glacial pool nestled at the base of 12,218-foot Mt. Cook, whose opaque waters were dotted with small icebergs that shimmered a crystalline blue in the early morning sun.

Another highlight of the hike was getting to try out my new Garmin GPS watch, an amazing and generous graduation gift from my brother. For those of you that don’t know, the obsessive desire to spreadsheet nearly everything in life runs strong through the Stone genes. From beer to finances to home inventories – if you can track, trend or graph it, we are in our compulsive glory! Thus, after returning from the Canadian Rockies and realizing I had no means of accurately plotting our various hikes, I was devastated. Lucky for me, Jeff has helped feed the addiction for future travels. The official Garmin summary:

Total distance: 7.1 miles
Elevation gain: 606 feet

3 Responses

  • Love you guys so much…laughed to myself as I read ” Our first hike of the trip, we did an easy out-and-back within Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. Gaining 606 feet of elevation over 7 miles,’ I suppose “easy” is relative 🙂
    So excited to start reading about your adventures !
    luv and happy trails!
    kris & lou

  • Ah, glaciers. Stephan, do you remember our first look at that vastly huge blue iceberg in Newfoundland? It was at LaCie. Anyway, looks like a spectacular hike. What specifically is it that makes the water milky? Looks cold up there. Vegetation is beautiful. I’m loving every picture and every word of your travel log. It’s not like being there, not even close, but it’s still pretty damn good!

    • It’s from the rock/glacial “flour” (particals) that gets distributed into the lake from the meltwater off the mountain.

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