One of my favorite day hike in New Zealand is Avalanche Peak in Arthur’s Pass national park. It has everything one could ask for : it’s easy to get to as it starts in the village, it’s challenging enough (pretty steep) but not technically difficult, and it’s a loop which makes it less boring than coming down the same way.
Most people climb up to the summit via Avalanche Peak track and down Scotts track for a reason. Scotts track is a bit longer but not as steep so a bit easier on the knees while walking down.
We got up reasonably early that morning, ready to head off but got a bit delayed by the low temperatures and the thick fog that was covering the village. We double checked the weather forecast and as it was still good we decided to hike up and see what happens past the tree line. After a long while, we got there and found the sun.
Going up is long (about 1000m ascent) but pretty straight forward and the views gradually become more and more stunning as numerous snowy peaks and glaciers start to make an appearance.
After about 4 hours of steady uphill climbing, there comes the summit that actually can’t be seen from the village. The views are amazing. Mount Rolleston (2271m) stands proudly with Crow glacier snuggled by its side.
Going down took a couple of hours and wasn’t that fun as the track is pretty long. Walking down through the forest was awesome though with birds flying around.