My trip to Gertrude Sattle was unforgettable. I went alone, it took me 7 hours return and I lost the path two times. After returning to the car park which is located on Milford Road near Homer tunnel I was proud and tired.
To start your hike to Gertrude Sattle just follow the dry river bed to the end of the valley. Try to be orientated towards the river. Sometimes there is a post to mark the way but two paths in different directions. I chose the wrong one which was a fatal error. The first section of the track is quite easy and flat – well, if you choose the right way. I went across the hills off the beaten track to the end of the valley and had a lot of trouble with boulders to climb, small rivers to cross and knee deep bush land 🙂
Now, finally arrived at the end of the valley standing at the foot of that huge rocky mountain I realized that this is the hard part of the trip. The work and almost all elevation gain starts here. I felt wasted already and my legs told me to return.
I didn’t, of course.
From here it’s a steady climb up to the sattle. Slippery huge rocks, boulders and even a part with rope will make your way. Even if it’s hard the view and small surprises in the form of waterfalls, lakes and cliffs will reward your work. Remember to bring enough water and food. There is a small lake which is a great picnic place.
Once you arrived at Gertrude Sattle the view will be overwhelming. If it’s clear you can see Milford Sound and the beautiful scenery of Fiordland.
Be careful on your way back. Since there are no marks I crossed the waterfall to early and landed up at a huge cliff where I needed to climb down.
Good to know: I went there late March; the weather was cloudy and dry. Probably that is the most important point if you plan the trip: make sure the weather is dry and bring enough water and food. Online you will find a lot of hints that tell you only to do this hike is you are physical fit. Thats no joke – please be aware that the way is really steep, stony and not marked. Only small stone towers will give you a suggestion where to go.
Conclusion: The hike to Gertrude Sattle is a great experience for everyone who is fit and loves to feel tiny in between huge rock walls. For those who don’t want to go the whole way just follow the river bed to the end of the valley. The way offers spectacular views as you can see on the photo below.
part 1 Lake Marian <<< go to >>> part 3 Key Summit