A Fowler Wind Blows (Part One) – Fowler Pass Track

“On a Mish” #375 A Fowler Wind Blows (Part One). Hanmer Springs Village. North Canterbury. 3.6.2023. The road to recovery has been a lot longer than expected. I didn’t know how long it would take to start with, but I didn’t think that after three years I’d still be nowhere near what I was before my accident. During my recovery time I have set myself little goals with the hope of getting the sense of achievement I used to get when out on adventures. On a mish in the St James Area I found out that achieving my goal would leave me feeling a lot different than expected…

For a long time now my whanau has linked up with my sister’s whanau in the alpine village of Hanmer Springs during the Queens / Kings long weekend. The place is a playground for hikers, bikers and people who love getting out and about in the mountains. The options are near endless and after a day burning up a sweat you can chill and soothe your aches in the world famous hot pools.

I was lucky to be able to travel with my family to Hanmer just after I had had my initial injury. The trip was a real eye opener to how broken my body really was. A hike up the Peters Valley was flat and easy, but I found it tough and challenging.

2021 I was back down south in Te Anau at work struggling to do what I used to do. And then unfortunately in 2022 I would be rebroken, so I once again found myself with the family in Hanmer on the yearly trip. Just like in 2020 I went for an ‘easy walk’, this time up the Hanmer Springs Ski Field road. I wanted to get up to the ski area but about halfway up the road I had to call it quits, and once back in the village I didn’t feel all that good.

Unfortunately there is no future for me in Te Anau at the moment, as that door is closed for now and I have been put into the position of looking for a brand new way to earn my keep. My journey has taken me to Christchurch where the medical help I need is. I’d rather be back down south guiding, but for now I have to go where the winds of recovery take me.

Just like in 2020 there are benefits to being in Christchurch, and during the first official Kings Weekend I was jammed into the car with Te Whanau Wilson and we were off to Hanmer Springs for a couple of days of R&R. This time was much different than the other times as I had had time to recover along with two back procedures and a lot of physio work. I have to take my hat off to my physio Josh at Physio South.

After being stabbed in the back several times I thought I might not only walk like a hunchback for the rest of my life, but more importantly I thought my days in the mountains might be over. Time and work had got me to a point where I was not feeling much better, both body and mind. But that was going to change when I set my sights on a challenge just a tad over ambitious…

The Adventure Towards Fowler Pass Begins…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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