Back in the Cameron (Part Two) – Cameron Valley Camp & Climb

“On a Mish” #281 Back in the Cameron (Part Two). Cameron Valley. Hakatere Conservation Area. 14.9.2015. For some reason, lying on a small camping mattress, in temperatures cold enough to freeze the water in your bottle, is an experience I dream about when back home in the real world. The harsh environment lures me like nothing other, and I always seem to get a good night’s sleep when out camping (apart from the rare occasions when I get the forecast wrong and my little tent gets bashed about by the New Zealand weather!). As I retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag I was stoked to be on a mish back in the Cameron Valley…

When out in the wilderness I think back to the days of the first fellas to trek into this mountainous area. Unlike me with all my gortex and down they were kitted out with only their swags and tweed suits. I am not the biggest fan of being soaking wet, and thanks to today’s gear I can tackle a mountain challenge in comfort.

Back in the day the packs were heavy much like mine is now, but instead of heavy swags I am laden with tasty delectables. I don’t mind the extra weight as I know it will be an absolute luxury when I enjoy it at my camping spot.

With a belly full of food I drifted off to sleep nice and warm in the frozen environment.

Camp in the Upper Cameron Valley

Early-ish the next day I woke up in the Cameron Valley to the light patter of rain. Not part of the plan, and I now assumed that the afternoon showers in the forecast were inconveniently early. Knowing the Cameron River can rise quickly in rain, I packed up and crossed over to the other side. This changed the peak I wanted to climb, however there are many to peaks and ridges to choose from in the valley so I hiked up a ridge on the Wild Man’s Brother Range opposite my campsite.

The arrival of the rain meant I couldn’t climb as high as first desired, but the added elevation high up on the ridge made for a good view looking into the upper reaches of the Cameron Valley and the rubble and ice of the Cameron Glacier.

After deciding I had climbed high enough I traversed across the face at the top of the ridge, then dropped back down into the valley and onto the track I had followed the previous day. The rain had made itself at home by the time I got back to my car and my head was flooded with thoughts of the dryness that awaited me. With the rain starting to drip off my hood and into my face I got back to my car and before jumping in I shook the water off my back and pack like a dog getting out of a river.

Another adventure in the Cameron Valley done and dusted, and on this mish I didn’t seem to run into any issues, apart from the rain arriving a little bit earlier than expected. This would all change the next time I hiked into the valley as, when I returned to the place with my friend of the same name, it would be a completely different experience. I definitely won’t forget the next time I travelled back to the Cameron…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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