In the Footsteps of William Grave (Part Two) – De Lambert Falls(59m)

“On a Mish” #94 In the Footsteps of William Grave (Part Two). De Lambert Falls(59m). Fiordland National Park. 5.3.2014. One of my most favourite books is ‘Beyond the Southern Lakes – The Explorations of W.G. Grave’ written by Anita Crozier. Nearly every page is an epic due to it recounting the adventures of William Grave. Along with others he battled the harsh unmapped Fiordland environment in order to fulfil his desire for a good mish. I also enjoy a good walk so why not follow in the footsteps of one of Fiordland’s biggest fans…

The Fiordland William Grave was dealing with was much different than the place is now. Back then there weren’t the drones of cars or the buzz of aircraft. Back then it was only birds in the sky and on the ground were the many flightless birds only found in this remote group of islands in the South Pacific.

These days I am happy that some of the places Grave explored still remain the same, apart from the animal life. The weather is still just as wild and the mountains are still just as rugged. Hopefully it will stay that way forever.

Back to the future, and I was waking up in the wilderness visited by William Grave and it was an incredible real treat only being enjoyed by me! I was buzzing like the aircraft of the present even before I opened the tent door. Gleaming with anticipation I peered out to see nothing but thick fog coating the valley. Hmm, not as epic as expected but I knew from my time on the Milford Track that the inverted clouds would move on, and just like the fog it was time for me to get moving and continue my quest to the base of De Lambert Falls.

De Lambert Falls and Mt McPherson

After a good breakfast and a coffee with a view that got better with every passing second, I packed down my tent and pushed further up the Esperance Valley towards my goal.

The marked track finishes at the entrance to the Esperance Valley, and from here the way forward is obvious. At one point I came across a very old rock cairn and I had to pause and wonder if this pile of stone was made by Grave and his team back in the day. I stopped for a drink and it gave me a chance to see that the fog was no more. The Darran Mountains stood tall in every direction and it was enough to put a smile on the face of a forever frowner. I wished I was me at this very point in time and my wish came true!

Beyond the historic rock cairn I trekked up the dry riverbed it signalled to follow and I finally got my first view of the magnificent De Lambert Falls(59m) and the imposing towering cliffs of Mt McPherson(1931m). In a place of near endless beauty I knew that this sight would go down as one of the best and it once again showed me why year after year William Grave would battle his way into this wild and remote environment…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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