eNZees Blog

Hiking New Zealand's Routeburn Track

by Jill Schuman | April 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

New Zealand Routeburn Track, photo by Larry Gross

Photo by Larry Gross

I've written quite often about how I discovered using lambswool to prevent blisters while hiking New Zealand's Routeburn Track. But this is such an incredible Great Walk that I thought I should tell you a bit more about the trail itself! This is the first of a three-part series about New Zealand's Routeburn Track. 

The Routeburn Track traverses wild and scenic mountains. It is located between the Hollyford and Dart Valleys at the base of the NZ Southern Alps on the South Island.

Mountains on New Zealand's Routeburn Track, photo by Larry Gross

Photo by Larry Gross

New Zealand's Routeburn Track, Photo by Larry Gross

Photo by Larry Gross

The terrain is rugged, scenic, wet, dry, and rocky and some of the most spectacular views I have seen in all my travels.

We started our trek through a low altitude Silver Beach forest to Key Summit and onto Lake Howden.

The wettest section of the Track was on Day 1 where I started getting hot-spots under my two big toes. It was raining and my pack was very heavy. The the climb on this first day totaled 4284 feet. I was pulling with my 2 big toes and thought I was in trouble if this is happening just a few hours into Day 1. I didn't know how in the hell was I going to figure out a way to get rid of those pesky hot spots before they turned into blisters.

I stopped and wrapped my two toes in the wool I'd purchased earlier and literally from that moment on forgot about my issue until I arrived at the hut at Lake Mackenzie Lodge 10 miles later. I pulled off my sock and to my amazement I found the wool in place where I initially positioned it; and it was woven into my sock and more importantly the bottom of my toes were as soft as a babies’ bum. That was my “aha” moment.

Of course I celebrated my good fortune of being able to trek on with with an ice cold beer!

Tagged: blisters while hiking in New Zealand, Hiking Routeburn Track, how to prevent blisters, New Zealand Great Walks, New Zealand Routeburn Track, Tramping the Routeburn Track

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