It was a chilly morning when I stepped out from Mount Cook Youth Hostel Association. fresh mountain air made me felt I could stay here forever. My mission on that day was to hike the Hooker Valley. It was more to sightseeing than hiking, since there’s no real steep inclination along the trail, but it’s a real achievement for a non-hiker like me.
The ultimate goal was to get to Mount Cook as close as possible. With it standing bravely in the distance, I just couldn’t get my eyes off it. It was like you putting all of your energy to reach for something so great. Along the walk, I thought of it as me going after my life goal, enjoy the view even though you’re tired and eventually, all of the effort would worth millions.
But of course, I was not climbing to the top of Mount Cook. Hooker Valley track is a 11 km round trip track, and it ends at the Hooker Lake. I crossed three swing bridges, where you can see the fast flowing river underneath. The sound of nature really calmed me. And the non-stop mountain view was just magnificent. I bet it’d look better during the winter, where the mountain would be covered with soft white snow. It didn’t matter, the tallest mountain in the Southern Alps has its magic that mesmerized us, despite the season.
When I finally reached the Hooker Lake, where Mount Cook stood in front of my eyes, I felt so relieved, speechless. It was as if you had reached the final destination in your life. Since it was during summer, no ice glaciers were in sight. Just a few traces of them left, waiting to sink. Personal achievement unlocked!
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”