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February 2015 Issue
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A cherished view

View of the Travers Range. Photo: Pat Barrett
Nelson Lakes National Park
From Lake Rotoiti via the Parachute Rocks Track to the crest of the St Arnaud Range

Travers Range, Nelson Lakes National Park

An evening wander from a campsite high on the St Arnaud Range in Nelson Lakes National Park revealed this stunning landscape view, backlit by the sun setting in the south-west. I was captivated by the intense beauty of the moment as the sun’s rays penetrated the valleys and passes and presented the high peaks of Nelson Lakes in a magnificent scene dominated by rock, snow, bluffs and basins.

All of the main summits of the range are visible from here, adding to both the spectacle and the grandeur of my ridge top vantage. Mt Angelus, 2075m, and its sprawling ridge are central, while immediately behind is the steep summit cone of Mt Hopeless, 2278m. Beyond that again, and further to the left, is the massive truncated bulk of Mt Cupola while finally out to the far left (south-east) is Mt Travers itself, her northern aspects resplendent under late spring snows.

Both Angelus and Travers are readily climbed by fit trampers, but Hopeless and Cupola are true climber’s mountains.

I was surprised by the depth of this incredible view, heightened by the sun’s angle, and spent many minutes savouring my find and attempting to capture the changing light and the best vantage.

Beneath my feet lay the deep, dark bowl of Lake Rotoiti and distant St Arnaud Village, but my attention was fully on the unfolding view as a warm and gentle breeze sighed over the crags and memories of similar, often unheralded moments in the hills filled my mind.

Such moments are forever cherished.