Dogs vs Mountain – Mt Richardson(1047m)

“A Mish a Day #213 Mt Richardson(1047m). Mt Thomas Conservation Area. 4.12.2013. The group of peaks located east of Lees Valley each offer a challenge for anyone who loves getting the calves and quads (muscles, not cows & bikes!) pumping on a well cut track to the summit of each peak. To the south is the largest, Mt Oxford(1364m). And to the north is Mt Grey(933m), before the ground flattens west of Amberley. North east of Mt Oxford(1364m) is the large lump of Mt Richardson(1047m), and this mountain was an excellent way to spend a sunny day in Canterbury with two borderline-sane dogs.

I found myself with some free time during summer up in Christchurch, and I took this rare occasion to head to the Canterbury Foothills. Over the years I had hiked the other tracks to the peaks in the area, and it was only a matter of time before I headed to Glentui to climb Mt Richardson(1047m). My companions were excited about the ride in the car, let alone the mission up the mountain. So the three of us were keen to get to the Glentui Picnic Area to start the mission. The car park was boggy in places, so I avoided parking anywhere near these spots, as I knew the dogs would head straight for the mud. We began early-ish, and were lucky to be the first people/dogs on the mountain for the day. I took the standard track to the summit, and planned to return to the car park via the Bypass Track. As per normal when walking with two dogs, I tied the two together, and they were now each other’s problem.

I wandered up the track at a normal pace while the hounds would sprint off ahead, and then return back down the track often to check on my progress. The forest covers most of the mountain, and it’s only near the summit where the track finally gets above the treeline. But, the wait for a view is well worth it, as the expanses of the Lees Valley come into view from the summit. Once on the Richardson Tops, the track heads north, with great views of the line of mountains in the ranges east of Lees Valley. I made my way along the open ridge, and realised that I hadn’t seen the dogs for a while. I had to backtrack back towards Mt Richardson(1064m), after my calls for them went unanswered. I eventually heard a ruckus going on in the scrub near the treeline, and it was here that I found the two dogs, with the lead tangled around a bush. I freed the two idiots, and then made sure I kept a better eye on them for the rest of the mission. The Blowhard Track took me down to the junction with the Bypass Track, and from here I followed the Bypass Track back down through forest to the Glentui Picnic Area. 

Two Dogs on Top of Mt Richardson(1064m)

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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