Heat Stoke on Sealy – Sealy Tarns

“A Mish a Day” #193 Sealy Tarns. Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. 26.12.2014. Along with the picnic tables beside the tarns, there have been nearly 2,000 hiking aids created so just about anyone with two working legs (or prosthetics) can enjoy the view from Sealy Tarns in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. When I say hiking aids I am referring to the incredible track built into the east side of Mt Ollivier(1933m), which has so, so many wooden/steel/rock steps plus bridges and handrails, each a solid amount of work to install into the mountainside. The track to the tarns was a good training run for me when I was living/guiding in Aoraki/Mt Cook Village, and on a sunny day the views are hard to beat…

I was visited by my parents during the 2014 Christmas season, and the village was so busy with no accommodation available, they had to use my little flat while I slept in my van in our staff accommodation car park. Arriving on Christmas day, we enjoyed a great meal at the Panorama Restaurant in the Hermitage Hotel, and then later that evening we visited the Tasman Glacier Lake for a moonlit hike.

Early-ish the next day (Boxing Day) we awoke to a stunning bluebird day, and the promise of warm temperatures into the thirties (celsius). After breakfast we made our way to the very busy White Horse Campsite, and then continued towards the Sealy Tarns Track, on what was quickly becoming a very hot December day. The next part of the tale may be disputed by a certain person, but luckily for me I have a witness in the form of my trustworthy mother… Jeremy decided he would push on at the start of the staircase section, and knowing what was ahead of us, I was happy to walk at a more sedate pace taking in the awesome scenery. It is amazing how far you can go as long as you keep telling yourself “You can’t go up forever”. I have had this expression constantly repeating in my head on many occasions when climbing in the mountains, and is a very helpful thought when ascending the endless steps. We hadn’t seen Jeremy Wilson for about 45 minutes or so, and then after rounding a corner we saw him waiting for us a couple hundred meters up the track. Before we could get to where he was waiting, confusingly he started heading back towards us? It turned out that he had gone a little bit fast while climbing the staircase, and was now suffering from heat stroke! He said he was happy to wait for us (he didn’t) in a shady spot on the track, while we kept hiking up to the tarns. The view from Sealy Tarns made the effort easily worth it, with Aoraki/Mt Cook(3724m) proudly overlooking his mighty mountainous kingdom. After taking in the epicness and having a little rest, we then headed back down the many, many stairs back to the car park, where we found a much happier looking Jeremy powering down his third bottle of cool water…

View from Sealy Tarns

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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