A Taste of Alpine Life (Part Four) – Potts Range / Erewhon Park (Almost)

“On a Mish” #381 A Taste of Alpine Life (Part Four). Potts Range / Erewhon Park (Almost). Hakatere Conservation Park. 1.8.2023. Over the last decade plus I have reinforced three loves in my life: Mountains, Skateboarding and telling people how epic mountains are. Unfortunately in early 2020 I had all three taken away. At first I did my best to stay positive about my situation but as time dragged on I have had times when being positive is the last thing I’ve wanted to do. Luckily I am someone who can hit the reset button by spending a night or two in the wilderness. Most of the time I have been forced to camp on the floors of many valleys, but every now and then I have been able to put myself in a position where I can have a tiny taste of alpine life…

Like many missions lately, if I could eliminate the pain in my hip and back then I would have no worries in the world (apart from not having a job… or being able to live in Te Anau… or my terrible lack of fitness) ok, probably still a few issues but at least while camping high above the Rangitata River those problems could be put on hold.

As expected, the sun setting behind the snow capped pinnacles of the Two Thumb Range was breathtaking and a sight I could have watched over and over again. And as if to compete with the sunset, the stars were magnificent and I’m sure I could nearly see every single beam of light available in the sky!

I had got myself set up to retreat to the warmth of my sleeping bag and, as I put my toothbrush away, Ernie decided it was time to go on a mish. In a flash he disappeared into the darkness and to make sure I couldn’t just leave him to it he started to bark at ‘something’ hiding away in the darkness. After reluctantly chasing him around for a while I managed to round him up and, once back at the tent, I made sure the escapee was secure in his bed.

The wind whipped around me all night and this made me happy that I had relocated from my much more exposed spot. My cosy nook prevented the frantic flutter of fabric for the night and I managed to get some sleep.

Early-ish the next morning I awoke to see reddish clouds building on the Divide, the tell tale signs of a weather change. I had had my taste of alpine life and the sky was now telling me to not be too greedy.

I quickly packed up my gear and then made the two treks back down to the car. As it was still very early my step count was off to a flying start on that day!

On the drive back I stopped to look back up the valley and then continued on to Lake Clearwater Village. The village always seems to have completely different weather to the Rangitata valley and Erewhon area. Within a few minutes of driving I was alongside both Lakes Clearwater and Camp, and I had to stop to take a snap of the reflections in the still alpine water.

My simple and yet epic mish had provided the much needed relief from the real world that I needed and now I felt like I could get back onto the bike of life and continue to ride the trail I had been forced onto. For now I could tackle the challenges as I was still savouring the sweet taste of alpine life…

Reflection Perfection on Lake Camp

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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