A Little Bit Different – Harper Range(Peak 1437m)

“A Mish a Day” #144 Harper Range(Peak 1437m). Hakatere Conservation Area. 4.7.2016. I have always been keen on adventures outside the box. Doing something that very few people have done can be very rewarding. You could spend a lifetime wandering the hills that surround the picturesque little village perfectly positioned between Lakes Camp and Clearwater deep in the heart of Hakatere country…

So far I’ve ticked off a few of the peaks, even with repeat climbs for some such as Mt Guy(1319m) and Mahaanui / Mt Harper(1829m). On one climb of Mt Harper, I looked down at the small cluster of peaks on the north west side of Balmacaan Saddle, and wondered what the view was like from there? Not one to wonder for too long, I traveled to Lake Clearwater Village with the plan to head up to Balmacaan Saddle. Then, to make things interesting, turn right and traverse the peaks and return to Balmacaan Stream via a ridge to the east of Peak 1437m in the Harper Range.

An early-ish start from the crib in Lake Clearwater had everything going to plan apart from the wind, which had turned up with all its breezy mates. I was sheltered from the wind in the small valley containing Balmacaan Stream, and I enjoyed watching the high cloud moving quickly across the sky above me. I got to the saddle and had a taste of what was to come with the first blast of nor’west wind. Getting a taste of the elements is both challenging and an eye opener to the power of Mother Nature. As I got higher on the peak I was more exposed to the wind, and was forced to crawl in places. I did my best to stay upright as I traveled over the flat dome of Peak 1386m heading towards the mission’s objective, Peak 1437m. The summit provided an interesting and unique view of the area, and from the top I could see the wind kicking up the dust from the vast expanses of the huge Rangitata Riverbed. I could also see the darker clouds starting to roll towards the Harper Range where I was, and a couple of drops of rain signaled it was time to get down off the mountain. And then back to the shelter and warmth of the crib at Lake Clearwater Village. It wasn’t long before I was on the sheltered side of the mountain with some peace and quiet out of the strong wind. I continued down to the stream, and crossed over the small river to be back on the Balmacaan Saddle Track, which I followed back to the village as the rain set in. As I got back to Lake Camp I looked back up at the peak and felt relieved to be down as it was now in cloud, and feeling the full force of the nor’west storm. An excellent day out which answered the question, “I wonder what the view is like from up there”…

Balmacaan Stream from Peak 1437m

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter