One and Done (Part One) – Leaning Peak(1477m)

“On a Mish” #2 One and Done (Part One). Leaning Peak(1477m). Fiordland National Park. 29.12.2017. Some mountains are not only pleasant to look at, but also very pleasant to climb. Gentle flats roll into steeper ground with the odd challenge thrown in to keep you on your toes. And then there is the feeling of exposure as you clamber your way towards the upper reaches and finally the elation of reaching the top. Of course then the challenge of descending begins, and on the good ones there might be the odd backtrack here and there, but getting down doesn’t cause too many issues. Leaning Peak is a pleasant peak to look at, however climbing the thing has put it into my one and done mountain list…

When driving from the north east into the Te Anau Basin you are greeted by many mountains, two are striking enough to stand out. Firstly there is Mt Titiroa, with its white top all year round thanks to the granite covered cap, drawing the eye to the left. Then there is the odd shape of the aptly named Leaning Peak. Looking like a mountain that was frozen half way through falling over, the peak is a little bit like the Matterhorn if it was tipped over slightly. I have always enjoyed seeing the mountain and always wanted to add it to my always growing list.

It was a big life change from living in Tuatapere and working as the Track Manager on the Humpridge Track to making sandwiches in the Real Journeys Cafe. I believe my purpose in life is to share my passion for beautiful places with others, and making sandwiches wasn’t as rewarding as guiding. With that said it was a job and we humans have bills to pay. And it definitely had its benefits, one being the opportunity to go where the Real Journeys boats go, and these boats go into my favourite place on the planet, Fiordland.

While making sandwiches I learnt about the company and what they show people. It didn’t take long for me to get a chance to head over Lake Manapouri, over Wilmot Pass before finishing the trip in the picturesque Patea / Doubtful Sound. Being a back and forth mish means you look up at Leaning Peak twice and both times (if you’re a mountain lover) the peak dazzles the eyes. I knew I’d climb the thing, I just needed to work out how and when.

It is easy to get lost in the mass expenses of the Fiordland National Park, in both real life and also while exploring the place in map form. I am grateful that I lived in both the paper map area, and now the much easier digital age. At 1.3 million hectares the place has many, many pieces of paper when looking at the now old school topo maps, so the fact that these days you can explore the place on your phone is awesome and much more convenient. After visiting Doubtful Sound for the first time I was looking at the map on my phone and working out a route up Leaning Peak.

I had a ride to the base of the mountain and I had somehow convinced my girlfriend at the time to not only come along, but also agree to carrying a camping pack with intentions of camping high up on the mountain. We knew the extra weight would make the climb a challenge, but we knew we were up to it because how hard can climbing a mountain be?…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter