I'll never forget the Hooker Valley track. We set off early in the morning to the from our campsite at the base of the Hooker valley accompanied by the rumble of distant avalanches. In early summer the start of the track passes through lush meadowland with dense patches of beautiful white flowers. This garden-like scene quickly gave way to dense glacial moraine punctuated by milky lakes and rapidly flowing rivers.
After a two hour hike we reached the end of the track: the rapidly retreating Hooker Valley glacier. We sat on the lake side and ate our hastily prepared ham sandwiches as the clouds cleared to reveal a pristine view of Mount Cook.