Your Very Own Mountain (Part One) – Mahaanui/Mt Harper(1829m)

“On a Mish” #194 Your Very Own Mountain (Part One). Mahaanui/Mt Harper(1829m). Hakatere Conservation Area. 12.8.2014. Not many outside of Aotearoa can say they have had an entire mountain to themselves. With more than 8 billion people on earth it at times seems that every corner of the planet is populated and it is near impossible to escape the masses. I’m guessing this is why so many come to New Zealand, as we have so much unpopulated land on offer. So much so that if you time it right you have the opportunity to temporarily have your very own mountain…

As my time in Lake Clearwater continued to grow, I kept ticking off the tracks, huts and mountains in the area. There is so much to do on your own two feet that you could spend a lifetime here and still have the odd pocket of land that you haven’t seen. I’ve given ‘doing everything’ a good go, and usually my exploring would be during the chill of the middle of winter.

Mahaanui / Mt Harper is an obvious mountain in the area, and well known to both Maori and early European settlers. Largest of all the lumps that surround Lake Clearwater, it was only going to be a matter of time before I stood on top. Acting as a landmark, the mountain has guided many over the years and, from what I could obtain from the topo map, it must have a rather good view from the summit.

Having the option of staying in the nearby Lake Clearwater Village is awesome. My weather window was small and it looked like wind would be a factor. The plan was to head to the crib and spend the night relaxing in the village in peace. I am someone who enjoys alone time and the place is perfect for me as it is buzzing in the summer, but near empty during winter months. Quiet is good and the place is so quiet that there is the possibility to climb a mountain (in my case Mt Harper) and be the only one doing it.

Hitting the road late afternoon I took my time crossing the plains and entering the foothills at Mt Somers Village. I often breathe a sigh of relief as soon as I get to the point where cellphones lose the ability to bother you. With patches of old snow under the trees and frost still on the ground from the morning I opened up the crib and immediately fired up its only source of heat. After getting settled in I spent my time watching the light leave my much loved mission location. After dark I smashed a feed then readied my day pack for a trip up the biggest ‘hill’ in the area.

Early-ish the next morning I set off just after sunrise with an ambitious plan to clamber my way up Mahaanui / Mt Harper via a ridge which is a slightly different way than most…

Lakes Camp & Clearwater from Mahaanui/Mt Harper(1829m)

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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