Blown Away (Part One) – Queenstown to Muddy Flats

“On a Mish” #46 Blown Away (Part One). Queenstown to Muddy Flats. Mt Aspiring National Park. 28.1.2012. The few who fight the weather face a fearsome foe. When entering Mother Nature’s playground, it is best to know what you are up against before the adventure begins. Tales of people getting caught out (and needing rescue) by a huge storm that was predicted and then even sometimes had warnings posted about it is frustrating at best, and rather common in the back blocks of Aotearoa. On a mish up the Rees Valley I wasn’t going to be someone who needed to be rescued, but I was going to be someone who found out you should read the entire forecast before marching out into the wilderness…

By 2012 I was a hiking guide, and not a former bogan learning how to become one like years before. Along with the life and job change, I was also now someone who was very addicted to being outdoors as often as possible. Walking around the Routeburn Track wasn’t enough and after finishing another glorious hike in a place I was lucky enough to call my office I prepared myself for a free-time foray.

My mish started like many others, with me heading out alone with the intention of climbing a peak. I have always enjoyed a solo adventure as I am fully in change of my own destiny and there is something so special (and so New Zealandish) about having an incredible view all to yourself.

The plan was to climb Pikirakatahi / Mt Earnslaw, which is located at the top of Lake Wakatipu. With gear at the ready I finished a guided hike and then drove back up the road I had just driven down to get to Glenorchy, and then onto the small camping ground at Muddy Flat. Muddy Flat is the start of the hike up the Rees Valley, and where non 4WD cars park. There is the option of continuing on but my Hiace van is by no means a 4WD so I parked up and enjoyed a night with the sandflies and stars.

Waking up at Muddy Flat gave me a head start on part one of my mish, which was to hike up to Kea Basin. This is the way most go when climbing Pikirakatahi Mt Earnslaw, and from the basin it usually takes about day to get up and down the mountain. My night out in my van was still and I had got plenty of sleep. After smashing down a couple of coffees and some breakfast I locked up and put my pack on, and after only a couple of minutes walking I was already blown away by the epicness that lay before me…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter