Lake Wilson – Great Lake, Great Name (Part Two)

“A Mish a Day” #26 Valley of the Trolls / Lake Wilson – Part Two. Mt Aspiring National Park. 21.4.2012. To visit your workplace on your day off is saying something about where you work! I was extremely lucky to wake up and realise that a life making cabinets in a factory wasn’t my thing. It took an accident where I fractured two vertebrae, combined with the recovery time to realise, if I’m not careful my life will pass by and I’ll still be making cabinets angry at the world…

If this sounds familiar then you must have read a story or two and heard about my hip injury in 2020. As if another wake up, this more recent injury made me realise I had literally thousands of photos from hundreds of missions and I was just letting them fill up my harddrive. My back injury led to a life in the mountains, and now my hip injury has led me to telling the tale of that life in the mountains of Aotearoa and around the world. One of the most memorable spots I have visited is the Valley of the Trolls near the world famous Routeburn Track. At this stage I had looked over Lake Harris from the Harris Saddle(1255m) at the remote valley and wondered what the place looked like up close. Now I didn’t have to wonder anymore as I had just unzipped the tent early-ish in the morning and was in there! Jules Kepp and I had wandered into the valley the day before with the intention of visiting Lake Wilson and now it was go time. The route up beside the waterfall that drains the lake looks daunting from the Routeburn Track, but isn’t as steep once there and it provides a direct way up to Lake Wilson. The low cloud from the day before still remained but this gave the place a feeling like we were in an enormous hall. Even though we couldn’t see the tops of the mountains we were pumped for an epic mish and the place didn’t disappoint!

We crested the gut up to the waterfall and finally laid eyes on the Lake with my last name. It was an epic moment to finally see what I had looked at on maps for years. We took our time soaking in the atmosphere, and at one stage Jules went over to the other side of the lake and this gave me an incredible perspective of the size of the place. We would have loved to have stayed longer, but like so many places in the mountains, we reluctantly had to say goodbye and head back to reality. Our stroll back to the Routeburn Track provided a good dose of alpine splendour before the wander back into the beech forest at Routeburn Flats, then the final stroll to my car at the Routeburn Shelter. I have my friend Jules to thank for making the mish to Lake Wilson happen, and it still remains in my top ten missions list to this day!

The Valley of the Trolls

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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