Frozen Boots (Part One) – Cameron Range (Peak 1936m)

“On a Mish” #281 Frozen Feet (Part One). Cameron Valley. Hakatere Conservation Area. 1.5.2014. Not many would go through hell and then return for more. I guess that is why we wilderness folk don’t see all that many people when out doing what we love. This is especially apparent when heading into the hills during the winter months. The idea of frozen boots can be something to send shivers down your spine, for me it was just another part of a wild winter mish…

After falling in love with Hakatere the hard way, I kept coming back for more and on this mish I was back in the Cameron Valley. Just like with my first adventure into the 60,000 hectare conservation park, my first mission up the Cameron was a challenge I didn’t think I would be taking on. Those who said ‘you should pick your battles’ haven’t been on too many winter mountaineering missions.

I was much more familiar with the Cameron Valley when I set off to climb the unnamed peak Point 1936m. The year before I had trekked up the valley and found a very cool camping spot with an unchallenged view of the valley’s biggest peaks. The only downside to the spot was the fact that you spend the entire hike on one side of the Cameron River and then just before getting to camp you have to cross its icy waters. I didn’t think that this would play any sort of role in my mish but there is a reason why this one is called ‘Frozen Feet’.

After crossing the Canterbury Plains I entered the mountains which some call foothills and from here I made for the small parking area near the Cameron River. It is very cool to think that so many mountain missions have begun from this exact spot and now it was time to carve out my own little piece of history in this very scenic place.

The hiking up the valley was easy and the sunny day made up for the heavy camping pack. I’m happy to put up with the weight in order to get what I came looking for, and what I came looking for is a winter adventure (be weary of what you wish for sometimes!).

After a good trek up the valley I got to a point where I could see an excellent campsite, one I had been to before. All I had to do was cross over the Cameron River and I would be kicking back in my own little slice of paradise. It’s a good thing I don’t mind wet feet, however frozen feet are a completely different challenge to tackle…

Camp in the Upper Cameron Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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