Me. A Dog. And Mt Herbert(919m) – Te Ahu Patiki / Mt Herbert(919m)

“On a Mish” #241 Me, A Dog and Mt Herbert(919m). Te Ahu Patiki / Banks Peninsula. 26.7.2017. Nothing better than taking full strides up a mountainside with your four legged best mate by your side. Not often you hear a complaint, and they’re always the most keen to get going, so hiking with a dog is an enhancement to any outdoor adventure. Throughout the years Dennis and I have attacked tracks all over Canterbury, and in every type of weather situation possible. From beaches to mountain tops, forests to riverbeds, Dennis is always ready with tail a blur from the speed of its wagging. Like me, Dennis loves to climb hills, and many hours of training has been on the sloping gravel of Gerkins Road. This was the perfect way to get ready for a mission up and down the rolling terrain on Te Ahu Patiki/Mt Herbert(919m).

We decided to attack the mountain from the south, so we headed to Kaituna Valley to climb the peak from the Monument Track. It is an understatement to say Dennis gets very excited when we finally reach our walking destination, and as I went to the back of the car to let him out he was going nuts knowing what he was about to do. I made my way through the farm at the end of the Kaituna Road, and then followed the farm tracks up to the saddle where the track meets the Te Ara Pataka Walkway. As we got up on to the tops we were greeted with grand views down to the green water of Koukourata/Port Levy, and behind us we could now see the full length of Kaituna Valley. Ahead of us was the last section of track to the top, with Te Ahu Patiki/Mt Herbert’s low peak an obstacle that must be surmounted before reaching the high peak. In building winds we pushed on towards our goal. There was a reason why we didn’t see anyone else on the mountain that day, and after a couple of windy pictures from the summit we began the trip back to Kaituna Valley.

View from the summit of Te Ahu Patiki / Mt Herbert(919m)

The going was a lot easier on the way down as not only did we have gravity on our side, but we also now had the wind on our backs. The return trip gave us views of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and the thin strip of Kaitorete Spit. We were getting blasted by the wind until we got into the upper reaches of the Kaituna Valley. Once in the shelter of the valley the walking became a lot easier, and we were both happy to be out of the wind. After stopping briefly at the top of the Kaituna River for a much needed drink for both man and dog, we then finished the last stretch of the track back to the Kaituna Valley Road. Panting and with his tongue hanging out, Dennis was a tired and very happy doggy!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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