Westkueste: Franz-Josef & Copland-Track

Deutsche Version:

Ich bin gestern nun in Te Anau angekommen und die Aussicht waehrend der Fahrt war bombastisch. Ich kanns kaum erwarten den Kepler-Track anzugehen, zu welchem es morgen losgehen soll. Drueckt mir die Daumen fuer gutes Wetter! Vier Tage bin ich dann nun unterwegs und werde bis auf 1.500 m aufsteigen wo es auch schon Schnee gibt =). Es ist mittlerweile schon recht kalt geworden hier, aber ich denke, dass ich gut ausgeruestet bin dafuer.
Damit ihr in der Zeit was zu lesen habt, habe ich mich gerade herangesetzt und die Beitraege zur Westkueste geschrieben, wo ich runter getrampt bin um nach Te Anau zu kommen. Was mir dort alles passiert ist und was ich so erlebt habe, laesst sich dort nachlesen =). Leider lassen die Bilder mal wieder auf sich warten, aber treue Leser kennen das ja bereits und koennen diesen Umstand verkraften. Wenn es soweit ist werde ich wie immer bescheid geben! Hier der Beitrag fuer den Franz-Josef Gletscher und an dieser Stelle den fuer den Copland-Track, viel spass =).

English Version:

And life goes on! After I finished my work in Hastings I really wanted to get south again and do some tracks around the Fiordland National park and Te Anau. The infamous Dusky-Track, The Kepler -, Milforf -, Routeburn -, and Greenstone Track were listed on my agenda. Quite some tough plans for a month.
However, I got stopped by a cold in Nelson, and spent two nights there, after I was a bit better (still a sick throat) I moved on down to Franz-Josef, were I got stuck, after trying for 4 hours to get out of there the next day. That’s the time were it came to my mind to slightly adjust my plans. I had already a couch via couchsurfing in Te Anau, which I had to cancel for this. My new plan was to do the Copland-Track before Te Anau. Another reason for that was, the cancellation of the Dusky Track… Alas, cause this one was the main reason why I got down south again. One of the boat companies does not operate out of season, unless I’m willing to pay 650 $ for the transfer over Lake Hauroko. This is obviously not debatable. Hence I was in need of a replacement. Well it is not really one, but nevertheless still a good walk with a better reward at the end :).
So I stood another night in Franz-Josef and during the day I decided, for a lack of alternatives, to have a look at the glacier and the geology around it. Therefore I got down to the riverbed after the bridge and discovered that it’s almost everything Gneiss there. One rock hat surprisingly green-schist and a lot of around 5 mm big red garnets in it (see the photographs with the first link in the German Version). Quite impressive. The glacier itself is just a shadow of it’s former pride. I saw some pictures of 2008 where it was way more down the valley. There is not much left of the glacier now, so it was kinda a waste of time to go there. Not really magnificent anymore. Back in the town I booked the Hut for the upcoming Copland-Track, which would cost me 15 $ per night + 2 $ booking fee. I decided to stay for two nights, to fully enjoy the hot pools up there. Unfortunately – the Hut is not covered by the ‚Backcountry Hut pass‘.

The next day I left some of my stuff in the Hostel to hitch hike down there and got picked up by two very nice Germans who got me even down to Lake Matheson (6k’s west of Fox), where (good conditions apply) you could see Mt. Cook reflected in the Lake. We had good conditions and I made some nice photographs (to be seen in the article of the second link in the German Version). Finishing this they got me to the entrance of the Copland-Track and I began my journey around 11:30 am. First obstacle was the crossing of the rough creek right behind the car park. I decided to do it the Kiwi-way, and get over there with my boots on, which brought me quite some wet feet. Nevertheless I carried on and had some easy tramping. There were only some parts a bit tricky, were major landslides occurred in the past and one wants to be very careful there. In total it took me 5,5 hours to get up there.
Getting to the Hut, first thing to do was preparing some supper before it get’s to dark for that. After that, I couldn’t wait to have a dip in the hot pools, it was already pretty dark. Right from the source the temperature is about 57 degree Celsius. The Water flows into three pools with adjustable different temperatures. The hottest one is approximately around 40 to 45 degrees hot, while the middle one has a temp. of around 30 degrees, and the coldest one slightly below that. It was just beautiful to have the Milky way above you, left and right mountain ranges with snow covered peaks and clouds right below them and a hell of a lot of shooting stars, some were really distinct. In the end: quite worth the expanses.

The next day was a total rain day, which was good, for the supposed to be full Hut, wasn’t full at all. Only 4 people made their way up there, which gave all the tenants enough privacy, especially me inside the pools where I spent most of the time, even in rain :D.

For the next day the weather cleared up and around 9 am, I began my descending down to the car park again. It took me surprisingly just 4,5 hours for the whole way. But through the ‚Rough Creek‘ I got with boots on again.
After around one hour of waiting I was picked up by Smithy, who has in the last 40 years picked up more than 500 hitch hikers! He even carries a guest book, where everyone can immortalize himself in it, but unfortunately he forgot it back home^^. Back in Franz-Josef I relaxed for the rest of the day and read the ‚Steppenwolf‘ again =).


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