Butter Fingers (Part Two) – Peak 1488m(Remarkable Range)

“On a Mish” #55 Butter Fingers (Part Two). Peak 1488m(Remarkable Range). Remarkables Conservation Area. 7.7.2010. Mountain mishaps are just part of going on a mish. Of course you always hope that your outing will go without incident, but sometimes things happen and you just have to deal with the situation as best as you can. I never let the epicness of an outing escape my grasp, but on the odd occasion bits of my kit have slipped through my butter fingers…

Once again I was in a random location and this time I was high above the track that follows Wye Creek all the way to a saddle above the Remarkables Ski Area. It was a cool and crisp morning and I had spent the entire time in the cold shade. I then got to the sunny side of the ridge and the difference was like night and day. On the shaded side sat big patches of snow which had frozen solid thanks to the lack of light. And on the sunny side there was very little snow and plenty of soft golden tussock. It was nice to feel the sun on my face, and after a morning in the icy shade it felt much warmer than normal.

After getting onto the western face I saw a small gut leading up to a ridge, which I followed up to the craggy summit of Peak 1488m. My random journey had taken me to a snack spot I will never forget. The view across the lake to Cecil Peak and the other mountains in the Eyre Range was incredible. For years I had looked at the peaks from the bus near lake level on State Highway 6, and now I was nearly in line with some of the lofty summits.

Blue sky above and the busy road far below, I was stoked to be in this situation and, like most mountain tops, I could have stayed for a very long time. I was tempted to continue further up the ridge to the much bigger peaks above, but was stopped by afternoon activities I had to attend.

With a sense of wondering what getting to the next high point would be like, I started my mish back down towards the Wye Creek Track.

I got to a point where I felt safe enough to take my helmet and crampons off, as I was mostly out of the snow. I began to pack my crampons into my pack when my helmet slipped through my grip and began a journey down the mountain, picking up speed when it slid across the patches of snow. Not good, and knowing how steep the area is and that there is a creek below I thought I’d never see my helmet again.

After a few four letter words which I’m sure the birds didn’t appreciate, I finished packing my crampons into my bag. I continued down towards the track, having the odd glance for the helmet I thought I’d never see again. To my surprise I spotted it snagged on a branch near a bluff. I’m pretty sure that if it had shot off the bluff it would have definitely been lost forever. After cursing my butter fingers, having a laugh and then slapping myself for doing something so stupid I continued on, knowing I had dodged a bullet and needed to be way more careful in the future!

I made my way back down the track towards my car and passed a few climbers heading up to the crags for their own Wye Creek adventures. As the risk of dropping something is much higher when rock climbing I hoped they weren’t going to be as clumsy as me, and I hoped they had left their butter fingers at home!!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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