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May 2016 Issue
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Descent to Travers Valley

Descending from the saddle north of Mt Cupola. Travers Valley ahead. Photo: Gary Webber
Area
Nelson Lakes National Park
Distance
26.9km
Total Ascent
1339m
Time
10-11hr
Grade
Moderate
Accom.
Lake head Hut ($15, 28 bunks); Coldwater Hut ($5, 12 bunks); John Tait Hut ($15, 27 bunks); Cupola Hut ($5, 8 bunks)
Access
From Lakehead Track at St Arnaud of Coldwater Hut at the head of Lake Rotoiti
Map
BS24

Travers Valley, Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes has a great variety of dramatic scenery. On a fine day above the treeline, the panoramic views are second to none.

This view of Travers Valley was gained after a trip to the saddle just north of Mt Cupola. We had been staying at Cupola Hut and, wanting an alpine foray free of our backpacks, had climbed to the 1900m saddle to take in the view of the Sabine Valley. As we were retracing our footsteps, I found the going easy, giving me time to take in the scenery below. I let my mate go on ahead to provide some scale amidst the dramatic and huge landscape.

Cupola Hut is not far away, just round to the left. The ridge directly ahead comes down from Mt Hopeless and hides from view John Tait Hut in the Travers Valley.

Hard to believe we had covered all that ground the day before.

– Gary Webber

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