|New Zealand Mount Cook National Park map|
By now the temperature was around 10 plus and the snow was melting. That was actually not good - the steps were watery and slippery and because of the snow the ends of the steps were not entirely visible. What was looking like solid rock was just some short bushes covered with snow. One wrong step and free fall would follow. Not funny.
|Sealy Tarns, melting snow on timber steps|
It might be not that clear from all-over-the-internet description but Sealy Tarns track is totally vertical, no handrails and nearly whole steps. There are also a few completely open spots, a challenge for those with fear of heights.
|Sealy Tarns is where those hikers are and behind them, cool and impressive, is Mount Sefton|
It looks spectacular and challenging and so it is; it is a climb indeed but it is nevertheless a short one. And it became more complicated when give space to some other hikers, and there where in a decent number. Not a big surprise since this is one of the best hikes ever.
|When we finally made it up to Sealy Tarns|
So Sealy Tarns is actually this small flat area with two small tarns - halfway up the northern slopes of the Sealy Range. It is accessible from the Hooker Valley and Mount Cook Village.
|Aoraky/Mount Cook National Park, view from Sealy Tarns|
The track climbs steeply from about 850 m (2,789 ft) to 1,300 m (4,265 ft) via many switchbacks and over 2,200 steps built of large timber anchored into the ground. While on the way, the view over the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park were fabulous.
|Mount Cook, Lake Mueller and Lake Hooker - all in one glorious view|
Then it was this lady going down, telling me she gave up going up because she is too scared to go down! Right!
And she was scared and I could kind of sense that - and for the next 15 minutes I couldn't think anything else, growing scare myself. I stopped, yes, less then 10 minutes to the summit - I stopped.
While waiting there - of course I choose the worst place to stop, on one of the few precipices, it was this lady catching up with me saying "you must be kidding me, let's move" and we did. We reached the summit.
I would have never ever forget myself!
|New Zealand Mount Cook National Park view from Sealy Tarns|