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

“On a Mish” #381 A Taste of Alpine Life (Part Two). Potts Range / Erewhon Park (Almost). Hakatere Conservation Park. 31.7.2023. The taste of alpine life will satisfy and leave you craving more. It was probably after my first hike to the top of Conical Hill on the Routeburn Track that I developed a habit of climbing to the top of uplifted land and that habit has stayed with me ever since. Unfortunately I am currently in a place where climbing isn’t possible (yet!) and not getting what I crave has turned me into someone you wouldn’t want to be around. Normally I would head to the hills to remove all negative thoughts from my head, but thanks to a fridge (and more recently the expensive world we live in), getting out has been getting more and more difficult. I have had to savour the few times I have gone on a mish, and on this mish I was hoping to get a tiny taste of the alpine world…

It was great to be out of Christchurch and deep into Hakatere Conservation Park, one of my happy places. In front of me stood a track and a hike before I could camp. My legs didn’t really feel like trekking but my brain was screaming out of some mountain magic. This was enough to get me moving, plus I knew I didn’t have very far to go before I would be in a location where I could camp.

The track up to the ski area is very easy to follow and if you are someone who really needs to focus on the balance of each step then it is a perfect way to make upward progress.

Once again my two pack process came into play and after about twenty minutes I was getting into each stride. The higher up the track I trekked the windier it got. With no intention of getting to the top of the track I reached a corner on one of the zigzags and found a spot which seemed to be ok. Yes the view was awesome, but I was being buffeted by blasts of wind. This will have to do.. Or so I thought.

After dropping off my first bag I began to hike back down towards my car with Ernie dragging me downwards. It was on this part of my trek that I spotted an old track which led to a much more sheltered spot. The area was deep enough into the mountain that it was mostly out of the wind. Perfect.. Apart from the fact that I now had to retrace my steps back up to my bag. I guess it is all exercise, even if I really didn’t want it!

I grabbed my bag and then headed back down to the better spot, and as I got closer I realised I had made the right choice. The wind wasn’t going away but my new spot was far enough away that it wasn’t really an issue for Ernie or myself.

As I began to trek back down to my car I was starting to consume the alpine life that surrounded me and it tasted very, very good…

Very Early-ish in Hakatere

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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