Follow the Poop (Part Three) – Waterloo Peak(1077m)

“On a Mish” #304 Follow the Poop – Part Three. Waterloo Peak(1077m). Takitimu Conservation Area. 7.10.2021. It is said that around 80% of mountaineering accidents happen after the satisfaction of reaching the summit. I can say from my experience in the mountains that this is definitely the case for me. Whether it be a fall or getting off route, all the drama happens when you start your journey back towards safety. Of all my missions any mishaps have been while heading back down. Knowing this, I never get too excited on the summit of a mountain, I actually start preparing my mind for the concentration needed for the down part of the mish…

I stopped for a feed on the summit of Waterloo Peak(1077m) and I can say that it was an incredible place to chew on a muesli bar. Views in all directions, and magnificent morning light are enough to put a smile on a dead man! The nerves started to get unsettled as I readied myself for the descent. I looked at the map and it appeared it would be easier to hike over to the mountain’s west summit, then down climb through the forest back to the Princhester Saddle Track… again, I was wrong. Almost immediately I was back in the thick scrub. At least this time gravity was on my side. I could see some fairly gnarly looking bluffs so I sidled back towards the ridge I had used to climb the mountain. The sidle was a typical case of seeing easier ground, but to get there meant crossing over ground the opposite of easy. In places I would come across large cliffs that had been hidden by the forest canopy. Just before I regained the north west ridge (easier ground for travel) I came across an almighty landslide that had taken out a large section of forest. Crossing awkward loose ground is difficult enough, but add in a nasty looking drop and you have got yourself a couple of tense minutes. And now just to make things more interesting, my hip really started to get upset with the unnatural movement needed to cross the landslide.

Looking West from the Summit Ridge of Waterloo Peak(1077m)

After a scary traverse I was back on the ridge and to my delight I spotted some deer poop! Once again I was led by poop to safety, and I was filled with joy when I spotted an orange triangle and the track through the trees. The last part of the adventure was a short walk back down the track to Lower Princhester Hut and my car. As I followed the track I could here the first drips of rain lightly tapping the leaves on the trees. I couldn’t have timed it better, as just before completing the mish, the heavens opened up and the rain began to fall. I was very happy to finish as this was one of the longest non-stop missions I had done for a long time. Sore and satisfied and slumped back into the driver’s seat of my car I prepared myself for the drive home. Even though I came out of the mish a little battered and bruised (plus a very sore hip), there was nowhere else I would have rather been on that day. I knew the pain would go away eventually, so after getting back home I had a date with the couch and a few painkillers. Overall I have to give a big thank you to the local animals for their trail of poop. Thanks to poop I successfully made it up and down Waterloo Peak(1077m)!!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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