Going Where There is Nobody – Foggy Peak(1741m)

“A Mish a Day” #93 Foggy Peak(1741m). Torlesse/Kowai Forest Conservation Area. 13.8.2013. A big reason I enjoy going into the mountains is to be in a place without people, no offence people. We are very lucky to still have many places you can visit that are not only free of any people, but are also very pleasing to the eyes. I have always been a believer in the higher you go the more you see, and you want to see as much as possible! Climbing mountains gives you a feeling like no other. For me, the bigger the peak, the more I get this feeling of excitement, wonder, satisfaction and the need to repeat the process again and again. When it comes to exploring my own backyard, I have usually looked at more obscure places to explore, and this usually means a mission void of any other humans…

Our popular hikes are popular for a good reason, and ease of access combined with incredible views make Foggy Peak(1741m) a popular trampers mountain. I had been up Foggy Peak(1741m) before and I remembered the mountain being covered with other hikers enjoying the battle against gravity to the top of a Canterbury classic day out. Constantly passing others doesn’t give me the feeling of remoteness I enjoy, so I had to think outside the box to achieve this on Foggy Peak(1741m). I saw that there was ‘only’ gale force, 70km to 100km north west winds between 1000m-2000m in the forecast with the chance of snow later in the day, Perfect! As I crossed the Canterbury Plains from Christchurch I could feel the car shaking with each gust of wind, and when I got up to Porters Pass I wasn’t surprised to find the roadside car park empty. I wrapped up warm knowing my gear was going to be really put to the test, and stepped out of the car ready to do battle with the forces of Mother Nature. I wasn’t exposed to the full force until high up the mountain on the final ridge to the summit. The wind had stripped most of the snow off the peak, and the rocks were coated in a solid glaze of ice. I gripped what I could as I kept low and was forced to crawl my way along to the summit. Tussock and snow from lower down the west side of the peak was being flung into the air, and occasionally I would get a face full of frozen foliage. Pushing on I eventually came across the summit cairn, and I didn’t spend much time on the summit as the wind was telling me that this was not a place for humans to linger, or even be.

Lake Lyndon from Foggy Peak(1741m)

I very quickly took some pictures then started the descent. To my surprise the wind increased even more on the way down, luckily it was on my back pushing me downwards towards the windless sanctuary of my car. It was at this stage the area became very dark and the snow arrived adding some (not really needed) more excitement to the “adventurous day out” I was after. I got back to my car as the snow was starting to cover the road and my car. I didn’t even take off my jacket, and made for lower land immediately. I was lucky to get out when I did as on my way down from Porters Pass I saw snow graders making their way into the storm, and as I got home I saw that the road over Porter Pass was now closed!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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