Lake Crucible

A 6-8 hour 14km return walk from Siberia Hut on the Gillespie Pass Circuit, Lake Crucible is a spectacular glacier fed alpine lake below Mt Alba. I managed the return walk in just over four hours thanks to only carrying a day pack, and some serious motivation to make it there before the sunset, after already having walked over the 1,600m Gillespie Pass in the morning.dsc00412

It’s easy walking to start with as you head down the valley from Siberia Hut, with two crossings of Siberia Stream required, making this very much a fair weather walk, never cross a flooded river. dsc00356 dsc00322 dsc00323dsc00327dsc00360The track then gets a lot more serious with a steep ascent over endless tree roots, which at least provide some useful handholds for the trickiest parts.dsc00364

You emerge into another beautiful if more boulder strewn valley.dsc00427 dsc00370There’s a final steep section up to the lake which was a little stressful as I could see endless dark clouds approaching the sun. Thought I might get there literally moments after it got plunged into darkness after two hours of fast walking.dsc00380dsc00394

Thankfully the clouds held at bay and I reached my destination, a wonderful iceberg filled lake, which I had to myself as the last person to arrive for the day.dsc00422 dsc00395 dsc00411

It reminded me of Base Las Torres in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, less impressive rock formations but the icebergs were very cool (both figuratively and literally) and it was much quieter at the same time of year.dsc00405dsc00415img_4170

I stuck around for about twenty minutes, conscious of my experience with the Young Hut on the Gillespie Pass Circuit, where near darkness came as soon as the sun disappeared behind the mountains. I had a torch but thankfully didn’t need to use it as headed back to Siberia Hut, past some lovely white alpine flowers.dsc00424 dsc00431 dsc00442

Descending the rooty track back provided glimpses of Siberia Valley through the trees.dsc00446

After walking 27km, ascending 1,500m and descending 1,600m in a day, it was rather nice to finally sit down and treat myself to dinner.

Author: jontycrane

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