Modifying the Mish (Part Two) – Gertrude Valley

“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 must be careful as, if I go too far (on an adventure) I will be suffering for days, sometimes weeks afterwards. It may sound a bit like torture but if the quality of the wilderness is high enough it will (hopefully) overshadow any discomfort felt after venturing on and outing. After working out my days in the outdoors weren’t over after all , I started to slowly venture outdoors. I wasn’t climbing peaks like I used to, but I was seeking visually pleasing terrain. And to achieve this I just had to modify my mish…

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. No rush, and fingers crossed not as much pain. 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 at the start of the track I got out into the open and was reminded how incredible this place really is. There is a reason why the hike up to Gertrude Saddle(1410m) is so popular, and on a day as good as this I wasn’t surprised to see so many out enjoying it. There was a large group of dots (humans) some travelling a lot faster than the others and soon I was surrounded by runners (occupants of the large vans). I was rather jealous as I watched them skip over the terrain like it was nothing. These fitness fanatics made me feel slower than ever! After repeatedly stepping aside for the warp speed wanderers, I finally saw off 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 looked ahead to the small mound I was going to camp on. I had got most of the way and now needed to convince my legs to finish the job. After a long rest I slowly continued heading upward until I was on top of the small knoll at the base of Barrier Peak(2039m).

I arrived at my destination and after dropping my pack I paused to soak in the surroundings. 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 and back pain. I had only traveled for just over an hour and had got myself to a rather amazing spot, my modified mission was really starting to pay off!

The mountains may not be able to physically heal you, but they can ease your mind of stress and distract your brain from the pain. For me there is no better meditation than a meander amongst the mountains, I had set the stage for a performance and now Fiordland was putting on a show that would make the effort expended more entertaining than aching…

The Noble Mountain Parrot Overseeing an Intruder in his Valley

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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