Modifying the Mish (Part Four) – Gertrude Valley

“On a Mish” #321 Modifying the Mish – Part Four. Gertrude Valley / Milford Road. Fiordland National Park. 22.3.2022. If life’s unavoidable scenarios force you to change paths, then it’s you enjoy the new road you are travelling on. Some people take the easy way out when it comes to an injury and use it as an excuse for not doing anything which can lead to a very unrewarding existence. Over the last couple of years, I have learnt that while long approaches with a big heavy pack are out of the question, that doesn’t mean a life out of the mountains. It means for me to venture into the hills I would have to modify my missions. And while mid mish up the Gertrude Valley, my modified mission was going very well…

I could believe where I had got myself to. I had excellent views and a rather epic place to have a breakfast snack. I had climbed to a point where upward travel would have been above my current ability / fitness level, so I began my slow a careful descent. I was nervous about heading back down the steep face, but I managed to link a series of ledges which eventually led me back down to my campsite.

The View Back Down the Valley from the High Point

The down climbing had worked my hip and back very hard, so I was happy that my hike out wasn’t very far. Under the watchful eye of my new friend Mr. Kea, I packed up my gear and prepared myself for the journey back to my car. Luckily we had coexisted together at the top of the valley which was much more his home than mine!

Going down is more painful than going up so it is lucky that I have my walking poles and gravity to help with the forward movement. With foot movements more stumbles than steps I got back on to the track and found the going much easier. The rocky path was much better to walk on than the jumble of stones and boulders I had just clambered over to get down to the track from my campsite.

Looking back at Barrier Peak(2039m), I was amazed at how far I had actually gotten. The adventure was very satisfying even if I had only traveled a couple of kilometers. I knew I was going to need an afternoon or four on the couch, but thanks to some hard work and modifying my mish I had achieved more than I had expected….

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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