Lights in the Darkness (Part Two) – Green Lake Hut

“On a Mish” #104 Lights in the Darkness (Part Two). Green Lake Hut (Borland Road Route). Fiordland National Park. 13.10.2019. After several late finishes throughout my mission career, it would be hypocritical for me to make a big deal about someone else’s unexpected late-night adventures in the wild. My own minor mishaps have taught me some rather harsh lessons which I have taken on board, so I do not repeat my mistakes on future missions. While a couple of nights out in the cold does make a good story, it isn’t much fun living out the situation! And while sitting out a storm at Green Lake Hut I just so happened to be part of someone else’s near midnight mish mishap…

I had popped out of the hut to brush my teeth at the outside sink. I love the fact that even though the hut is near and comfortable, you still must venture outside to use the modern facilities like the sink. It adds an extra element to brushing your teeth! And it was whilst I brushed that I peered into the wintered forest south of the hut which at first was a just a snowy nothingness of endless vastness. To my utter surprise the blank space was interrupted by movement, I saw lights in the darkness. It was either some sort of ghostly phenomenon or it looked like I wouldn’t be alone in Green Lake Hut tonight.

It is a strange feeling sitting in a hut knowing someone or many people are going to arrive at some stage. Many times, I have looked down a ridge or up or down a track to see humans inbound for my location. I can’t say there have been many times when I have been at a remote hut and seen lights in the darkness heading my way.

The snow stepped up its assault on the area while I waited about thirty minutes for the lights to arrive outside the hut. It was a group of five American students who stumbled their way onto the hut’s veranda looking a very bewildered. After saying hello, I cracked the classic joke of ‘I hope you brought a tent, because the huts full!’ which fell on deaf ears. All of them looked like they had hiked through hell to get here, apart from one dude who seemed like the leader of the pack. Apart from him, the rest were getting close to a hypothermic state. They shivered in silence waiting for instructions of what to do next. It seem as though these lights in the darkness had had a rough time hiking in during the night to Green Lake Hut…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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