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

“On a Mish” #304 Follow the Poop – Part Two. Waterloo Peak(1077m). Takitimu Conservation Area. 7.10.2021. On many occasions and in many different places I have marveled at the skills of the animals that roam our mountainous terrain. All introduced, the animals have really made themselves at home in Aotearoa and are now the target for one of New Zealand’s most popular outdoor activities. I have never been much of a hunter, and have always stated that I go hunting with my camera and hit my target every time…

Whether it be Thar from the Himalayas or Chamois from the mountains of Europe or the deer from America, they all have an ability to climb mountains I could only dream of possessing. I prefer admiring the animals’ ability to cover ground in seconds that will take me hours. To have the poise and confidence of a mountain goat (Chamois or Thar) would be a superhero skill I’d love to have. After a quick drink break I continued on my quest towards the summit of Waterloo Peak(1077m). Still sticking to the poop, I finally got above the treeline and the views instantly made the hard work worthwhile. I figured that because I was above the forest the travel would get easier… I was wrong. The easy ground on the top of the north west ridge was only a couple hundred meters away, but the thick alpine scrub did everything it could to make those meters hell. I kept with my theory of sticking to the poop, which led me to places where the deer would crawl under the thick bush. Slowly but surely I got closer to the easy ground, and with a few extra scratches I finally got onto a scree slope that led up to the ridge. Before the last push to the summit I paused for a drink and a view break.

From my elevated location I could see that the rain was now crossing over Lake Te Anau and my decision of an early-ish start was really paying off. For the first time that day I felt a breeze and I knew this was a sign of things to come. The summit ridge felt like State Highway One when compared with the last 45 minutes of extreme bush bashing, and as I took the final steps to the top anything that had happened up until this point didn’t matter one bit. I had somehow dragged my broken self to the top of a mountain again, and before I even tried to comprehend getting back down I took in the epic view of the area I call home…

Looking Towards Lake Manapouri and Fiordland

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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