Routeburn Day #3: The Glacial Facial

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Start Time: 8am
Distance: 12km
Finish Time: 1:45pm
Weather: Fine

We certainly noticed the aftermath of the non-stop rain last night. The trail for the first few hours was completely flooded, and at one point it was so filthy muddy, there was just no avoiding getting utterly caked in it. I had to stop and laugh at Mom for squealing like a little girl when we had to navigate through the mess.

The highlight of our day was definitely our glacial facial at the Earland Falls, 174 meters high. This truly massive waterfall captivated us, and as we crept closer for a better look, we subconsciously decided to forgo the alternative flood route. We quickly found out why it’s there. When we got a bit closer, we crossed paths with a guy who looked pretty soaked. That’s strange, we thought. Maybe it’s raining further ahead. We clambered over more rocks to stand before this beauty, getting thoroughly splashed and sprayed in the process.

From a distance, it looked like we only had to cross a narrow foot bridge in the splash zone, but little did we know that was just the beginning. The real boulder climbing started, and navigating our way in this non-explicit path became a slow moving challenge upon slippery surfaces with a constant spray of glacial water gusting in our face. Mom kept shouting for me to go faster, but there was just no way. Between me shouting “Ahh!” and her screaming “Ooh! Ooh!” I have no doubt we sounded (and looked) a fool. I regret someone not being there to video us. By the time we successfully traversed our ways back on track, we were soaked. Quite refreshed, but quite wet. And cold. I had an absurd amount of goose bumps on my bare arms with water drops on the verge of freezing on my little arm hairs. Thank you dude man for not warning us. How hard would it have been for you to at least suggest we put our rain gear on?!

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