Little Lyndon Hill (Part One). Korowai / Torlesse Tussocklands Park.

“On a Mish” #377 Little Lyndon Hill (Part One). Korowai / Torlesse Tussocklands Park. 13.6.2023. Once upon a time I climbed mountains, it sometimes feels like a fairy tale dream these days. When reliving my adventures through writing I am reminded of how high I used to climb, and how far I used to be able to hike. Coming to terms with the fact that getting back to doing those things is going to be a mish in itself has been a tough pill to swallow at times. Looking up at hills, mountains and any other type of uplifted land has dragged my motivation and mood down, leaving me feeling low and in need of a pick-me-up. So I grabbed my camping kit and K9 and made my way towards a very unassuming hill near Lake Lyndon…

The longer I am away from the wilderness the more down I feel. In my previous life I didn’t need to worry about getting a good dose of the wild as my work life was as immersed in uninhibited Aotearoa as my freetime. Oh how the times have changed!

I had gone a very long time without using my tent and to ease the burden of a grumpy guy on my whanau I knew I needed to go camping somewhere. After my dog friendly / not dog friendly adventure in the Mt Hutt Range I made sure where I was going was going to be a place where dogs are welcome. I fired up the old computer and looked for areas I could camp with Ernie, and do it within the laws of the land.

After checking twice and then once again I found the 13 Mile Bush Hunting Block which surrounds the Lake Lyndon and Ben More(1655m) area. It had everything I needed and before the computer fully shut down I was beginning to pack my gear.

Early winter gloomy drizzle had enveloped Christchurch City and as I got out and away from it I could feel my mood and motivation lifting like the clouds. The grey overcast conditions were only over the eastern areas of Canterbury, but the mountains were bathing in sunshine. To feel the sun on your face after some time away is a wonderful feeling.

It was mid afternoon when Ernie and I made our way over Porters Pass and then turned off near the tranquil waters of Lake Lyndon. The sun was on its final journey towards the other side of the planet so I had to find a camping spot quickly before the bitter alpine cold moved in for the night.

At the top of the lake I saw the little lump that would be my home for the night for the first time. I was able to get the mighty Cr-v to the base of the lump and now it was time to clamber my kit to the top. The lack of noise and fresh air de-stressed me as hoped, and I was looking forward to a night out under the stars with my best bud.

Looking down at Lake Lyndon

My very unusual camping spot was similar to a multi-story building attached to the mountainside. A bulky spur end with a minor peak near its end, and near the peak was a flat spot that I was hoping would accommodate my tent. As I lugged my gear up the hill my view of the Upper Acheron Valley increased, as did my smile. I was looking forward to the sore cheeks of an epic mish.

Those who have read any of my stories would possibly think that I go looking for drama or mountain mishaps. I can assure you my goal is a stress free experience, and I do everything in my power to make sure chilling out is the main part of my favourite pastime. But sometimes things don’t go to plan.

I had dropped off my first load of gear on the hill, and the whole time Ernie was attached to my waist. As I descended towards the car I thought I’d give Ernie a chance to show me how the training we had done was going. This involved letting him roam free from me but with his lead still attached. Ernie began to venture down the hill towards the car much faster than me. I was hoping he would get to the car and wait for me. He didn’t. As he began to trott in triumph past the Cr-v I gave a call hoping it would get him to at least stop, if not come back to me. Ernie gave a cheeky glance back in my direction and then began to run like he had just broken out of prison…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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