Cameron Valley Bivouac – Part 2

“A Mish a Day” #23 (Part 2) Cameron Valley Bivouac. Hakatere Conservation Area. 26.7.2016. Now out of the storm in our make-shift shelter, we could finally relax and get some rest. Cameron had the more sheltered side of the rock bivouac, but having a waterproof bivvy bag meant I stayed warm and dry all night long…

At some stage during the night the skies cleared, and in the morning I woke with the sun on my face, a feeling of warmth that reminded me I survived the night. I shook the snow off my bivvy bag, and got up to assess the situation we had got ourselves into. I told Cameron I’ll go see if I can find the hut now that the weather was on our side. He showed me the “I think your number one” finger (I think) from his sleeping bag as I headed off. For the first time the cloud was clear enough for me to see some of the mountains in the upper valley, and even after the extreme night we had had it was still great to be in the mountains! A short seven minutes later (really!) I saw the hut from a high point on the moraine. Even though the hut was so close I was still happy we had taken the safe option of using the rock bivouac, and not stumbled around in the dark all night. Now that we knew where the hut was we packed up our gear, and made our way to the hut. The original plan was to head out for a look at the Cameron Glacier. With all the carry on from the night before we decided to spend the day eating, sleeping, drying out our gear, and laughing about the epicness of the day before. The cloud remained throughout the valley most of the day, but every now and then it would clear, and we would get glimpses of the giant peaks that surround the hut. We would venture out into the snow covered world outside, but with such a comfortable base, we didn’t travel very far from the hut.

Cameron Hut

Early-ish the next day we woke to the silence of more snow falling in the upper valley, and the realisation that we needed to get out of the valley before the snow got too deep. Amped to get out of there knowing there was more heavy snow in the forecast, we moved quickly down the valley back towards the car park. We had to create our own track back down the valley, as our footsteps from the day before had been completely covered by fresh snow. A couple of minutes after leaving the hut we passed the rock that served as our home on the first night of the hike. We bid farewell to the upper valley, and carried on down the valley. By the time we got back to the car the whole thing was now funny, and we knew it would make a great story one day. Outstanding work Cameron, there is no way we will ever forget that trip into the Cameron Valley!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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