Liverpool hut and Rob Roy

Aspiring national park, snowy peaks and deep valleys.



5/6/20233 min read

When we had enough of the surroundings of the highest mountain, it was time to move somewhere further. Well, actually a bit backwards, because we headed towards our favorite Wanaka again. Not only is the road to the west coast here, but we also had some treks planned here. Specifically in the valley of the Rob Roy Glacier.

First the road is pretty nice but it changes to gravel road again, on which we were really afraid that the car would fell apart. And what's more, it has a beautiful 18 kilometers, which we drove for a respectable 50 minutes. At the end, there is a parking lot from which you can start trekking in the valley. The beginning is the same for everyone. The route under the monumental Rob Roy glacier, which I am saving for last, is the first to disconnect, then the route to the Shotover saddle, which we missed, is followed by the Aspiring hut with the possibility of climb to the Cascade saddle and further to the Liverpool and French Ridge huts. It's just that if you live in Wanaka, you have something to do for a few weekends.

The original plan was to go to the French Ridge hut, but when we reached the junction at a fairly late hour, we decided to reconsider the plan and climb to the Liverpool hut, which is 500 meters lower and a bit closer. But Zealand didn't disappoint again and that "little bit closer" punished us nicely. It meant a higher elevation, not a shorter distance, which very quickly turned a nice path into a climb over roots on a forty-degree slope. We arrived at the cottage almost after dark. Unfortunately, it was full, so we started looking outside for a piece of land where we could pitch a tent. Then a Kea sounded from somewhere, which made us quickly pack everything up and fit ourselves inside the hut. We still don't want to risk the Keas ripping our tent.

We made ourselves comfortable in a hut on the floor and spent the night under the protection of fortress. Even though since six in the morning the parrots tried to dismantle the hut in every possible way. While of course they made a terrible mess.

After breakfast on the terrace with parrots around and amazing views, we headed down. Honza had planned to run up to the Cascade saddle and I to have a look at the Rob Roy glacier. We didn't mind getting up early because we still needed to leave as soon as possible because of the weather, which was supposed to deteriorate in the afternoon. The descent into the valley took a toll on our knees and my sprained ankle, which still resists any walking activity.

Honza and I split up at the Aspiring cottage. But the clouds were already starting to form, so we both had to join in to make our plans before it completely covered up. Honza left some of his belongings in the woodshed near the cottage so he wouldn't have to drag them up the hill and set off. (Note: apparently there was a mouse living in the woodshed that smelled of Honza's things, so she hid between them and Honza then carried her to the car. We found out that she woke us up in the morning by gnawing on the plastic bag and rustling. She caused us a slight panic and then completely unpackedcar and searching it. Of course, we didn't find it, so whether we still have it somewhere or not is a mystery, but at least it's cleaned up after a long time.)

I also took a half-run to the glacier, but it still wasn't enough and it hid in a cloud. For a while, I at least admired the waterfall that flowed out of the cloud and went down disappointed. Honza was a little more lucky and caught the saddle. Although, as usual, he arrived at the car almost in the dark, but as always smiling and satisfied.