Crampons Crunching (Part One) – Mt Cassidy(1850m)

“On a Mish” #4 Crampons Crunching (Part One). Mt Cassidy(1850m). Ka Tiritiri O Te Moana / Main Divide. Arthurs Pass National Park. 30.9.2014. If you have been given the gift of movement then you should go out and use your body to its maximum potential. For me climbing is how I see what my body can do when put up against steep terrain. Challenging yourself with the task of climbing a mountain, hill or even just an easy wander in nature is both good for your health and very mentally rewarding. The satisfaction of completing a mish is hard to match, especially when the outing has been an outstanding one!

When seeking easily accessible mountains in the South Island the peaks of Arthurs Pass National Park are an excellent place to look to for a challenge. I was very lucky around this time to be able to use a small batch (crib) in the village, and the use of the historic cottage has led to many mountain climbing adventures in the area.

Because adventure is so close to the village I could just through my pack on my back and start my missions right from the front door. I really was lucky to have a central location to begin with, the next challenge was working out which peak to climb. I decided that Mt Cassidy(1850m) looked like the one, and its proximity to Temple Basin Ski Field meant I could check out the location where I completed one of my mountaineering courses.

Overnight I kept warm by the fireplace while listening to the rumbling of trains carrying their massive loads through the sleepy little alpine town. The train track is a very important feature in the village and I’m guessing that the longer you live there the more you get used to the sounds of trains bringing the valley to life with the sounds of engines and carriages.

In the dark hours of early-ish I dragged myself away from the warmth of the fireplace in the cottage and headed towards the thundering sound of the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. Seeing the 112m high waterfall was a stunning way to start the day, as it is conveniently located at the start of the track up Mt Cassidy, Cons Track. This track is also sometimes used by skiers as alternative access to Bill Basin, and then onto the ski area in Temple Basin.

While hiking upward on the steep track I had the excellent distraction of the constant rumble of the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. Every now and then the track gives you different views of the impressive Waterfall, if you love waterfalls then a quick trip up the track will not disappoint. But I wanted to go further. I wanted to feel my crampons crunching in the snow high above Arthurs Pass Village

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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