Clothing Test – Mt Grey(933m)

“On a Mish” #102 Clothing Test. Maukatere Mt Grey(933m). Mt Grey / Maukatere Conservation Area. 23.7.2011. To feel a storm blast on your face is a real wild ride for the senses. Witnessing Mother Nature’s wild side can be an exhilarating experience to say the least. I can say from my time roaming the hills that a walk in the rain isn’t really a bad thing as long as you have the right equipment and clothing. And it was while we climbed the Mt Grey Track that we were going to put our clothing to the test…

It was during the winter of 2011 that my father and I decided to go on a mish up Maukatere Mt Grey. It was also a morning when a southerly front was supposed to blow on through. We hoped that with an early-ish start we might beat the approaching storm, so just as light was beginning to be introduced to the Canterbury Plains we were off.

Our first task was locating the My Grey Camping Area. Eventually we worked out how to get there and it was on our way there that we got our first glimpse of the mountain. The car park was cold and muddy with frost coating the shaded areas of the camping ground.

At first we warmed ourselves up amongst the pine forest at the base of the hill, and then later on we started to get some views looking south out across the plains. This also gave us a view of the black wall of clouds that was heading our way. Our time out of the rough weather was limited and it looked like avoiding the storm was going to be impossible.

Fighting strong wind on Mt Grey

We got to the final couple of zigzags to the summit when it started to snow lightly. This was really the precursor for what was to come. As the sky above darkened the light snow and stillness became a howling wind and then we were getting stung by the tiny snowflakes as they were projected through the air in the strong breeze.

The last section of the track to the summit was tough due to the fact that we were hiking directly into the wind. We both had buffs up over our faces and our jackets were working overtime in order to keep us warm and dry. The wild weather was definitely putting our clothing to the test.

At the top we only had time for a couple of pictures as we knew if we stopped we would get very cold very quickly. It was time to get off the mountain as quickly as possible.

We took a different route down which at first was into the wind, but then we found shelter as the track reentered the pine forest that covers the lower reaches of the mountain. As we went down the weather ramped up and this made us happy that we started our mish early. Looking back up at the summit all we could see was grey clouds engulfing Mt Grey!

By the time we had hiked back down to the car park it was raining heavily. We slipped and slopped our way to the only car around (ours), and because the car park was so muddy we had to be careful when driving out as it would have been very easy to get stuck.

Overall the mish was a success and we both enjoyed our morning battle with the elements. I’m sure that the experience might have been a little bit different if we didn’t have layers of merino on which were covered in wind and waterproof gortex. The clothing passed the test and was up to the challenge. But with that being said, I don’t think I would have liked to have stayed up on Mt Grey any longer testing to see how long it would take for my clothing to be ineffective!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter