Icing on the LakeBeginner
Submitted by Tony Sharpe
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
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This short combo provides the intrepid trail runner a chance to explore what the Tasman Lake and Blue Pools trails have to offer. The views are drop dead stunning and most times of the year you should get to see icebergs in NZ's newest and fastest growing lake which have calved off the end of NZ's longest but sadly rapidly retreating glacier.
Start first with the trail into the Blue Pools. These kettle lakes were named many moons ago when the Tasman Glacier was much more proximate (actually within the last 50 years). Sadly ice no longer maintains the azure blue colour they were named after, and now they are rainfall fed and green. There is an old trail which you follow past 3 or 4 small lakes, increasingly technical in terrain, but a fun bit of rock hopping and trail.
Eventually this unmarked route comes out onto the old Ball Pass Rd, so either loop back down that or simply retrace your steps back to the junction to the lookout.
Next is a short sharp ascent of around 100m of vert up steps and track to the lookout. Commanding 360 degree views here right up the Tasman Glacier and across the terminal lake. Soak it up, you'll also realise you are sitting right under Aoraki Mt Cook if you look up to the left skyline.
The third and final segment of this run is down to the Tasman River. its here where you will get up close and personal to the lake and any icebergs that have made their way down. Take the unmarked but obvious 'route' back around the top of the moraine, awesome short section of technical running above the lake round to the wharf. Retrace your steps back 1km approx to the carpark and your work is done.
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Features of interest
Tasman Glacier Lake outlet; Blue Pools; Stunning mountain views; Icebergs
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 50%
Start at the carpark for the Tasman Glacier trails
Short drive from Mt Cook village. You could hitch a ride with local tourist operators for a small fee I'm sure, in the event that you've made it here without your own transport
Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Cellphone, Map.
Bring some from Mt Cook
usual mountain seasonal expectations
Don't be tempted to swim in the Tasman Lake. its 3 degrees C and will likely give you a heart attack!
Post run indulgence
Old Mountaineers Cafe or the Hermitage
Mt Cook Village
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