Into the Mist (Part One) – Eldrig Peak(1595m)

“On a Mish” #36 Into the Mist (Part One). Eldrig Peak(1595m). Hunter Mountains. Fiordland National Park. 22.11.2013. Mountain weather can go from friendly to fierce very quickly . A small puff of cloud on the horizon can become a storm much faster than expected, and you can find yourself in a tricky situation in a place that has its own dangers and really doesn’t need any additional risk. After a couple of hairy situations I have learnt the importance of checking the forecast properly the hard way, but the forecast can not predict the movement of the mist…

The tranquil town of Te Anau sits on the shores of the lake of the same name and is also known as ‘The Gateway to Fiordland National Park’. Of all small towns in Aotearoa I believe this to be the best (personal opinion), and if you haven’t been there then a visit one day is a must!

Te Anau and Fiordland National Park reside in Southland, a massive area which has pretty much every type of environment there is. I have been lucky to call the place home for a while now, and along with Te Anau I also once lived in the south west corner of the inhabited part in a town called Tuatapere (I have heard some excellent pronunciations in my time!). This little farmers’ town can also be described as a ‘Gateway to Fiordland’, as a short drive will bring you to three different areas of New Zealand’s largest national park. The Borland area is definitely one of my favourite places to visit.

A while back I enjoyed the quiet life in this sleepy little town while I was working on the Humpridge Track, yet another very good hike on offer in Fiordland. My job was that of lodge manager at both stops on the 61km hike. The work was awesome and the views that came with it are legendary, and yet I still craved more.

One day after doing some mahi (work) on the Humpridge track I had some rare spare hours one afternoon, so I decided to head from Tuatapere to the Borland area to climb Eldrig Peak(1595m). The start of the track up the mountain is about 45 minutes away and the drive there is through the very scenic rolling hills of western Southland. I managed to cut down on around an hour of my hike by driving my van up the very rough power-line access road to the start of the marked track. The road is more a 4wd track than road, but somehow my trusty Hiace van climbed the wild terrain with ease (apart from the really difficult parts!).

Before I started the real mish I had to pause and stare at the incredible view seen from the top of the powerline road / track. I had no choice but to smile as, if this was the view from the lower reaches, then the one from the top must be exceptional.

Today was going to be a great day and I’m sure nothing is going to get in my way or obscure my magnificent views

Above the Treeline on Eldrig Peak

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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