Modifying the Mish – Gertrude Valley (Part Two)

“On a Mish” #321 Modifying the Mish – Part Two. Gertrude Valley. Fiordland National Park. 21.3.2022. Back in the day I used to really push my abilities to the extreme and this got me to some rather epic places. Nowadays I have to be careful as if I go too far (on an adventure) I will be suffering for days, sometimes weeks afterwards. Now it would be easy to just find another hobby… yes it would. But when you really enjoy doing something you will do whatever it takes to keep doing it. For me, after my hip accident I never gave up on getting back into the outdoors, but for that to be possible I needed to modify my missions…

With many hours of daylight to play with my plan was to hike up to the base of the west face of Barrier Peak(2039m) and camp with a view down the Gertrude Valley. As I set off I felt the familiar pain and strain in my side, but the environment I was in was distracting me enough to keep pushing on. After getting through the forest I got out into the open and was reminded how epic this place really is. There is a reason why the hike up to Gertrude Saddle(1410m) is so popular, and I could see the dots of distant people ahead of me. A large group of dots were travelling a lot faster than the others and soon I was surrounded by runners (occupants of the large vans). A group of about 15 runners were tackling the track at speed and I caught the group on their way down. Flying over the terrain like it was nothing, the group made me feel slower than ever! After repeatedly stepping aside for the warp speed wanderers, I finally saw the last of the runners and the valley got a little bit more relaxed.

I got to the turn off up to Gertrude Saddle and then kept heading up until I was on top of a small knoll at the base of Barrier Peak(2039m). The last scramble up to the top of the knoll was a real test, and I really needed a rest once I found my campsite. Location = Epic. Weather = Epic. Mission so far = Very Epic!! As I began to set up my tent the beauty of the area was enough of a distraction that I wasn’t really thinking about my hip pain. I had only traveled for just over an hour and had got myself to a rather amazing spot, my modified mish was starting to pay off! The mountains may not be able to physically heal you, but they can definitely ease your mind of any stress. The stage was now set for an awesome afternoon so now all I had to do was set up camp and chill out…

The Noble Mountain Parrot Overseeing an Intruder in his Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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