Our first tramp for this summer season on the road has been back to the wonderful pristine Nelson Lakes National Parks to check out the Lake Angelus Lake and the amazing tussock basin surrounding it . This was my third visit , after being there in winter conditions last September.
Parked up in St Arnaud and walked up the western side of the Lake to Coldwater Hut. Lucked in and had the hut to ourselves for night one and enjoyed a swim in the lake
Day 1 about 8 kms
Lower Travers Valley
First 5 km was up the Travers Valley before heading up the track called the Cascade Saddle track – a challenging walk up a very steep sided valley that climbs steadily all the way up to the Lake Angelus Basin . Lake Rotoiti is 650 metres and Lake Angelus is 1650 metres so a fairly steep climb, particularly towards the end when it became a bit of a scramble. Walking poles were stashed as hands were required to move safely.
the hard work done .
Was only about 13 kms but we made slow work of it as the climb became very steep particularly over the last 1.5 km . Was great to finally arrive at the wonderful Angelus hut , where we booked 2 nights to enjoy the environs and sheer splendour of this remarkable basin and Lake . Had a well earned dip in the oh so cold Lake .
Decided that an ascent of the 1860 metre Mt Angelus was a worthwhile objective for our ” rest day ” and with a fine clear warm and almost windless day it was a great chance to get some great views from the top . The track winds over to the flanks of Mt Angelus and heads towards Sunset Saddle , the Saddle that drops down to the Hopeless Hut . The track first drops down to the Hinapouri Tarn before a steady climb .
The views from Mt Angelus were pretty spectacular as the tops were clear , low cloud prevented views of Lake Rotoroa.
we used the Speargrass Route for our walk out. It drops steeply down the Speargrass Creek , with multiple rock hoping crossings and an overgrown track to contend with . At the bottom there is a quaint Speargrass Hut which we contemplated staying at , but the thought of getting back to a proper bed and warm shower won the day and we pushed on . Emerged after 14 kms at the Mt Roberts Car park and had the good fortune to be given a lift back to St Arnaud from a very nice young Belgium 🇧🇪 girl.
Spot the kiwi ??
Mission accomplished , happy to have seen the top of Mt Angelus and two new tracks for this very special spot.