Almost too Beautiful (Part Three) – Lake Marian Camp

“On a Mish” #291 Almost too Beautiful (Part Three). Lake Marian. Fiordland National Park. 8.7.2021. Forget the latest iPhone or android, I’ll take a look at the clouds swirling amongst the giants of the Darran Mountain Range over any sort of fancy technology. People spend so much time and money on the latest device to show them what the world looks like. I like to go see for myself, instead of looking at it on a screen, and the views found at Lake Marian will never be matched by the screen of any device…

I pitched my tent near the head of the lake, where the views were so good it felt almost unreal, like it was a massive painting on the canvas of Fiordland. Snow covered all the upper reaches of the surrounding peaks and down below was the green, brown and yellow of the avalanche-bashed Upper Marian Valley. This part of the world demands respect and during storms the area is no place for humans. Knowing how rough it can get here makes the lake and basin around it feel truly wild and remote, even though it is only a couple of hours walk from the Hollyford Road.

Camping at it’s Best in the Lake Marian Valley

Seeing that there was snow in the forecast during my mish meant I didn’t want to take the risk of camping in the upper valley and getting pushed into the lake by rushing snow. Finding an established patch of bush assured me that I was in a ‘safe spot’, and the views from the place I found on the southwest side of the lake were more than satisfactory and fixed my epicness cravings.

Seeing the huge granite monoliths at the head of the valley was unfortunately temporary, as after about an hour of mountain watching at my campsite the clouds consumed the Darran Mountain giants and I had to be content with what I had seen up until then.

The lowering cloud was a sign of things to come, and as the afternoon turned into evening the temperature dropped and you could almost smell the snow in the air.

I collected some wood and got a small fire going to prevent my hands from icing up, and just before retreating to the warmth of my sleeping bag, light fluffy frozen water began to float down from above. I had prepared and even fortified my campsite for this very thing, so as I lay in my mountain bed listening to the snow lightly tapping the roof of my tent I knew the pain caused by the walk in was worth it, and I was very excited to see what the place looked like in the morning covered in snow. I was slightly worried though, because the view could be ‘Almost Too Beautiful’…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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