On Purpose – Mistake Creek (Part Two)

“A Mish a Day” #124 Mistake Creek (U-Pass Basin) – Part Two. Fiordland National Park. 2.5.2015. If prepared for the cold, then waking up in an area that has been hit by a severe frost is an epic way to start your day. The twinkle of ice can be very mesmerising and always makes for excellent photos. The edge of the creek was lined with icicles and our tent had a white fuzz of frozen water particles, which were covering both the outside and some of the inside of the tent!

It was tough to leave the warmth of my sleeping bag, however the enticing scenery soon dragged me out into the new day. With the crisp of early winter in the air and clear skies above, we were in for an excellent day in the mountains. An early-ish start was needed to cover the steep ground up into the U-Pass Basin, and then back down again to our camp in Mistake Creek. The climb up the true right of the waterfall had its moments of exposed scrambling, but wasn’t too difficult. And the reward of the upper basin and all its alpine splender made it worth the extra effort. We explored the upper reaches of the same remote basin and knew it was only going to be a matter of time before we had a go at the U-Pass Circuit. What goes up must eventually come down, and the exposed descent back down to camp was a good way to feel ALIVE!

U-Pass Basin

The next morning was super frosty, and an impressive sunrise accompanied us while we enjoyed breakfast in an ice covered environment. Leaving a place like Mistake Creek is always difficult and on a day like the one we had it was almost touture to leave the sights and sounds of the Earl Mountain Range. We returned the way I had come, so it was back down the valley through the meadows. It was during this section where I heard a shout / scream, and looked back to see my girlfriend waist deep in a hidden bog hole. It is safe to say she wasn’t happy about her legs being painted a very dark brown! We got back to the bubbling of the Mistake Creek river crossing, and this helped wash off some of the bog we had collected on our clothes. After a few hours of solid hiking we arrived back at the wire-bridge over the Eglington River, and then we started hearing the first sound of traffic on the Milford Road. This was the classic sign that our adventure was almost over and now it was time to reflect. The remote valley really impressed us and it wouldn’t be long before we were both back for more when we returned tackle the ups and downs of U-Pass…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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