The Erewhon Stage (Part Two) – Mt Potts(2184m)

“On a Mish” #166 The Erewhon Stage (Part Two). Mt Potts(2184m). Hakatere Conservation Park. 6.6.2015. When everything starts to fall into place on a mish it is impossible to control the smile on your face and the joy in your soul. All the planning, plus the inevitable drive to the start of the mish is behind you, and it’s now time to reap the rewards and get into the outdoors. My campsite on the Erewhon Stage was better than I expected (and I had expected an epic!), and now it was time to tackle the objective of the trip, Mt Potts(2184m)…

I wanted to climb up to the south ridge of the mountain from my campsite, so this meant dropping down and crossing the small creek that runs out of the hanging valley. The cool and crisp water woke every part of my body like fifty coffees at once, and any remaining signs of sleepiness disappeared in a chilly split second.

From the creek it was a solid grind up to the wide south ridge, and even though I figured I’d see Lake Clearwater Village from the mountain, the first view was a special surprise after a solid uphill hike.

After the long slow shuffle up to the ridge through the snow with my head down, I was on the ridge and the way from here was reasonably straightforward.

As far as the weather goes I seemed to have it all. Starting with being completely clouded in, next was a mix of blue skies and snow showers. As I started on the south ridge once again the sky above darkened and another round of light snow began to fall.

I got to the south summit(2152m) and took a few photos and for some reason I had a feeling that the mountain was telling me to leave. Seeing that there were more nasty looking clouds heading my way, I decided to take the safe option and retreat back to the Erewhon Stage.

I slid my way down the snow-covered west face back towards the ski field track, a quick and also fun way to get down off the mountain! I was in and out of snowfall and clouds during my descent, but once down in the valley on the track the sky ironically cleared again.

I wandered back down the old ski field track to my epic little location above the Rangitata Valley, and enjoyed a quality sunset on the many mountains of the Two Thumb Range.

On the South Ridge of Mt Potts(2184m)

An early-ish start the next day was rewarded with an outstanding sunrise, clear skies, and a thick frost. With my breath thick in the air I enjoyed my last meal at the campsite and then began to get ready to head back home.

I had just about finished packing up my gear when I heard the first voices I had heard since leaving town. A group of very keen skiers were hiking their way up to enjoy the fresh powder I had been hiking in the day before. Not long after the first group another keen fella cruised past my campsite loaded up with ski gear on his back and riding a push-bike, all while wearing his ski-boots! With one mission starting mine was coming to an end, and I was stoked to see others out enjoying the extremely cool location.

I began the hike back down to my car very satisfied with what I had seen and definitely with what I had achieved. It is awesome when things go to plan when out in the wilderness and I can say that the Erewhon Stage provided some high quality entertainment!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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