Mt Barrosa(1364m) – A Great Day Out

“On a Mish” #112 An Excellent Day Out – Mt Barrosa(1364m). Hakatere Conservation Park. 19.8.2015. An excellent day out sometimes missed in the massive Hakatere Conservation Park is a climb of Mt Barrosa(1364m). If approached the right way the mountain isn’t overly difficult, and can be hiked by most over a good day out. Also the mountain sits alone in a key spot which gives great views of the impressive surrounding area…

Starting from a small car park located on the side of the Ashburton Gorge Road, my climb began amongst some of the cattle of Barrosa High Country Station. I hope the cows enjoy the area as well!

Fencelines were followed as the track took me towards the base of Mt Barrosa’s eastern faces, then it was into a gully as the real ‘climbing’ began. The track struck up a ridge travelling north east, after no time at all I had my first views of huge Lake Heron Basin.

The basin and beyond is the heart of Hakatere, a place I have spent a lot of time in. There wasn’t any point on the climb to the summit where I felt nervousness from exposure or height on the wide mountaintop ridges, making it a great mountain for first time scramblers. I was very lucky to have an excellent sunny day on the mountain, and the openness of the tops meant I always had something (incredible vistas) to look at. No need to worry about trees blocking your view on this mish!

Being only 1364 metres high means after a couple of warm nor’west windy days during the winter months the route to the top is free of snow, but with that being said I’d love to climb the mountain with ice axe and crampons when it is coated in winter snow.

From the top the view is breathtaking. Along with the iconic twin peaks of Mt Potts(2184m), there are also great views of Mt Arrowsmith(2781m) and Mt D’Archiac(2875m). The two jagged peaks of Mt D’Archiac are the most dominant in the area, and stand tallest on the impressive mountain skyline to the west of Mt Barrosa(1364m). In the other direction are polar opposite views of the broad, flat Canterbury Plains all the way to the Pacific Ocean at Canterbury Bight.

On a still sunny day, like I had, it is a difficult view to drag yourself away from and after about 45 minutes hanging out in the sun I finally headed back down the ridge towards Barrosa Station.

With a lack of any real ‘steepness’ the return journey is very easy, and you can let gravity do most of the work. With my legs feeling like they had made some effort, I finished the last part of the mish and got back to the car park on the side of the Ashburton Gorge Road. The mission was more like a half day trip when all’s said and done, what a great half day out!

For anyone new to the delights of a wander in the wild and looking to up their hiking game, I highly recommend a trip up Mt Barrosa(1364m). The views and challenge make it an awesome way to spend a day in the always impressive surroundings of Hakatere Conservation Park, some would say ‘An Excellent Day Out!’.

The Canterbury Plains from the Summit of Mt Barrosa(1364m)

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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