Start: Blue Lake Hut
Finish: Upper Travers Hut
Distance: 15km

I woke up in a pretty bad mood today. We had to do another big climb today up and over Travers Saddle which I definitely did not have the energy for.

We set off at 7am through forest and over rocky avalanche paths, along the river for a few hours to West Sabine Hut.

When we got to the hut I stood on the deck, did some stretches, took a deep breath and smiled. Sure, today was going to be a big day but I would force myself to enjoy it. So after a snack we set off again and this time I was in a good mood.

When we saw the start of the steep climb we laughed. Here we go, let the climbing begin.

Jacqui soon left me behind and I climbed and climbed up through the forest and even though it was incredibly hard work I could definitely tell that my fitness has improved. I thought back to the first few weeks on the trail and how I could only do 10-50 steps then would need to stop to rest whereas now I can keep walking, slowly but at least I’m still moving.

The song that my brain had chosen for me today was ‘Drivers licence’ which of course made me start thinking about my exes and how unlucky I’ve been with love, which is not really the motivation I was wanting when climbing this steep hill.

So I was incredibly grateful when Jacqui made a Michael Jackson reference at one of our snack stops due to my one glove situation to cover my cut on my finger which changed my playlist to a mashup of every MJ song I knew.

Eventually we emerged from the forest into the tussock and knew from someone that this meant we were practically at the top.

We started following the markers up the hill and around the corner, only to realise that this was one of those horrible false peaks and the markers kept going up and up and up.

We agreed that the ‘practically at the top’ was absolute bullshit before struggling up the last few markers to the actual top of the saddle. We had a breather and a laugh at the climb we had just done before taking our victory photos where I decided to embrace the MJ vibe.

While the Travers Saddle isn’t the highest we’ve climbed, it’s the biggest climb we’ve done in one hit, with an elevation gain of roughly 1200m.

From the top we descended just as steeply over boulder fields and tussock, past Rainbow Tarn down to the hut where we caught up with our friends Alan and Paul!

We settled in and had a wash before enjoying everyone’s company and looking forward to the 2 chill days out to St Arnaud.