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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Hayden

Liverpool hut

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

My first day back at work is just around the corner,

This break has allowed me to spend some long overdue time with family back up north and take on a number of new trails,

putting my feet through a hell that my boots bore the brunt of😅


This pair of well worn cheapies were bursting at the seams, the laces were in pieces and what little support they once gave was giving way.

I knew this was coming and have had my eye on a new pair for a while now, something stiff that can take the stress of heavy duty crampons to get me further come winter 👌🏿

I bit the bullet and was itching to test them out.


After a stellar review of Liverpool hut recently I decided to throw my overnight bag together and set out for the end of the road, following Wanaka Mount Aspiring past the gravel and fords to the Raspberry Creek car park.



If there was ever a valley worth blistering for it was the one surrounding the West Matukituki river.

With rock formations and glaciers towering over me the weight of any worries paled.

I headed up stream past the popular Rob Roy Glacier track and into the fields of scorching summer sun.



About an hour had passed when I spotted a large tree providing shade next to a nice little bay in which I could cool off, the glaciers were becoming more prevalent😮



Shortly after this much needed pit stop I encountered an English chick that would be one of my roommates for the night, we pressed on to Aspiring Hut (Currently under construction) where we stopped for lunch taking advantage of more shade with some highly anticipated bushline in the distance.



The tree cover over the coming kilometers made a world of difference to a couple of keen hikers carrying our lives on our backs,

We crossed a couple of swingbridges over the river and once again found ourselves in the heat, but this feild of dandelions was quite a sight 🔽



Soon after the feild of yellow polkadots a series of waterfalls stemming from the Glaciers above were all around us, determined to get a closer look I took off on a solo mission.


Unfortunately I got so wrapped up in this thought I neglected to tell my friend I was going to investigate and just walked off😅


I didn't intend on straying as long as I did, I thought I had a good spot to capture this waterfall.

That spot turned out to be a dud and before long I was in the blast radius of the chilling water realizing that I couldn't actually get a good photo of it😅


By this time my friend had long disappeared, she actually waited for a while which made me feel so much worse🤦


In an attempt to save face I legged it for the next half hour in hopes of catching up, this came to a hault soon after the track took a change of course, it was time for the steep and final stretch.


I tried to continue my pace while putting together an apology for how rude I was while clambering up the compressed 700m of rocks and roots😅

I couldn't keep it up, before long I was a lightheaded mouth breather. At one point I felt a sandfly hit the back of my throat and I actually vomited😂



I slowed my roll before I ended up back downhill and before long I had cleared the bushline, the clouds were gathering which blocked the sun but they were also leaking just a little😖

This is where I got my first close up of the destination.


I was quickly reminded that just because it's right there, it isn't necessarily right there😅

The markers lead me further up hill and in the opposite direction before hooking back and revealing my hut, Mt Liverpool and the Arawhata saddle.



7/10 bunks were filled that night, we all braved the sandflies to marvel at the wonderland around us and exchanged stories.

The Local Kea were more than happy to share as well, one of them unloaded a warm dropping right down my neck😂

I wasn't happy about it, still I couldn't help but laugh, neither could my roommates or the Kea for that matter.

That bird seemed particularly amused😂


🔼 French ridge hut on the other side of the valley slightly higher than us🔼

🔼Arch nemesis🔼

🔼Mt Aspiring standing tall back there 🔼


By this point I'd made amends with my English friend, she didn't make a thing of it but we agreed I need to work on my communication skills😅

Shortly after some of the finest Back Country cuisine another roomate pointed me towards a small pool in the glacial stream for a much needed (and quick) wash before I tucked myself into my sleeping bag and drifted off😴


The next morning was misty, with cloud covering most of the surrounding mountains I made a coffee and chose to slip my blistered heels into damp boots and hit the trail early.

The descent was steep but my knees can take a beating😵 before I knew it I was back at Aspiring Hut for smoko and meeting the next lot of tenants at both Liverpool and French Ridge Huts.

That cloud hung around all day which quite frankly was a relief👌🏻



Though this cloud was convenient for me I hoped it would clear for those heading to and still in the hills, it seemed to improve a little as the day progressed but the weather has proven to be rather temperamental out here.



I made it back to my car in just over 4 hours, about an hour and a half faster than my time to the hut and drove off in the rain thinking of those poor souls climbing rock behind me🫣


This is such a beautiful valley and having discovered enough tracks here to keep me busy for a week, I'll definitely return to see what else it has to offer.


But first, I think Sanga's pies are still open😏

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larajeanne67
Jan 14, 2023

Love it son! So much better being able to have your thoughts & experiences explained. I love the way you write, writing has always been another one of your passions.

Ataahua pictures & videos

I can see why these adventures are your happy place.

Keep doing you & sharing your adventures, it’s like I’m there with you 👍🏼💜


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