The other day, I climbed a mountain.
Okay, maybe “mountain” is a big word. Compared to other mountains, this is more of a hill. But WHATEVER. To me, it was a steep climb up rocks and trees and I ended up 1500 feet above the place I started at. So to me, it was a mountain. I think it’s technically called the “Queenstown Hill” or the “Ben Lomon Trail”. Mountain.
The day started with the first best hangover cure* and the climb started with my head saying “what the fuck are you doing, bitch, we are hungover on goon and no sleep and I hate you so fucking much”. Pushing on, we (Kirsti, my new hostel friend, and I) scrambled up rocks and pine needles and roots. And it was steep! I lost my footing more than once and was worried I was going to fall a few feet into branches and glacial rocks. It was, to me, a tough climb.
We pushed on and took our time, though, enjoying the beautiful forest and scenery, the peace and quiet, and all the fit people literally running past us.
The view from the top was worth it, though:
You could see the whole town and the next town over, all the mountains that surround the area, the lake that went on and on…bah it was just lovely.
There was a restaurant at the top which smelt delicious (I purposefully didn’t bring my wallet because I knew I’d be tempted by soup and cake) and you had the option to take the gondola down. I didn’t take it because it was $14 and I’m cheap, but Kirsti did and she said it was nice. The walk down the mountain was hard. Maybe harder than the walk up? My legs were shaking by the time I got to the bottom, and only half the shaking was from the spot where I almost twisted my ankle a mere 10 metres from the end.
If you’re in Queenstown and find yourself a sunny day, definitely do the walk up to the Ben Lomon/Skyline lookout. It’s about an hour to the top, but we were probably closer to 2 hours, since we took our sweet time/I’m not in shape. You can also take the gondola up ($25 return trip) to see the views. If you’re going to treat yourself to that, I’d say splurge on dining there too. It was gorgeous and would’ve been lovely to enjoy a meal up there!
Eggs, bacon, toast, greasy hashbrowns, coffee