By the way, who gets to decide which are the top 10 day hikes in the world? Can I apply for that job? I can walk for a day and am capable of making a list. That should qualify me as much as the next guy, right?
I picked up a proper pack for Elias, complete with hydration bladder, at Kathmandu. Kathmandu seems to be the Australia/NZ equivalent of REI. By that I mean they have good quality, really overpriced stuff; but if you head to the clearance racks, you can find some deals. Also, they make me want to spend way more money than I should. I am now a member.
It is early in the season with lots of snow on the mountains. And I had Elias with me, so taking on the whole Crossing wasn’t realistic. Elias was keen to give it a go, and we decided that we would walk as long as he liked and then turn around. The trailhead is a little over an hour drive from our house.
The first portion of the trail was pretty smooth, but it soon became very rocky and uneven. Lots of ankle-breaking potential. Elias was an amazing little hiker. He carried his pack without complaint (in fact I think the new pack made him a little more excited, especially since he could drink out of it). Since he’s only three feet tall, a fair bit of the trail was more like scrambling than hiking for him, but I only had to help him climb one spot. The rest he managed on his own.
We stopped at a hut for a quick snack. We carried on from there, hiking beside a cold clear stream that cascaded down the valley next to us. On reaching the three km mark, we agreed that it would be a good place to take a short break, eat a snack, and head back for home. It took us two hours to reach the turn around; Elias was pretty single-minded about reaching the car, so we made the return trip in about 45 minutes.
We can’t wait to go back; come join us next time! Elias made a video to summarize our trip. Enjoy.