The Weather Says When (Part Two) – Mt Barber(1364m)

“On a Mish” #32 The Weather Says When (Part Two). Mt Barber(1364m). Fiordland National Park. 10.2.2018. A real benefit of working in the wilds of Fiordland is being in a safe position to watch the weather roll in. The entertainment of eighty knot winds blasting Doubtful Sound from the bridge of the Fiordland Navigator is a sight I will never forget and always respect. After more than fifteen years of Fiordland festivities I have learned that the weather is incharge and the weather says when it is time to go on a mish or get out of the mountains…

I slowly made progress upward and slow was key as I didn’t want to burn up all of my energy. I swear someone was adding extra weight to my pack somehow!

Hiking / climbing in mist isn’t very motivating but as the mist began to thin my motivation began to build. Within a matter of a few moments I got above the cloud and this gave me the reward of an incredible view which instantly made the morning’s effort worthwhile.

I eventually got onto less steep ground where I could finally relax my screaming quad and calf muscles, and this meant I could also finally have a proper look around. I knew my jaw was going to suffer thanks to the smile that had been forced onto my face by the epic Fiordland scenery.

After following a couple of false leads I eventually found where I wanted to set up my camp. I decided on a spot south west of Mt Barber(1364m) on the summit of Peak 1248m. It was a very personal place for both myself and my fellow workmates as it is visible from Deep Cove in Patea / Doubtful Sound, and I knew that would make looking up to the pass from the fiord even more special… If I survive my mish!

I got my tent set up quickly as time waits for no one. Now with a much lighter pack I was flying my way over the tops just like the helicopters that use the pass to get to Deep Cove and the rugged Fiordland coastline.

The morning had taken its toll on my legs and I had to pause in places to let my body catch up with my enthusiasm. Luckily each stop gave me views not seen by many human beings on foot. From my campsite I continued north east up to Peak 1315m. This was the first of three minor summits on a ridge which needed to be surmounted before reaching the true summit of Mt Barber(1364m). Each up took me closer to my goal and not before long I was grinding my way up the final climb to the top.

Wow, what a place to be!

The endless peaks of remote Fiordland looked endless and each had it’s own spectacularness on display. Looking south west I had an outstanding view of the intimidating Fiordland giant Mt Wilmot(1544m). Some have climbed this peak from the road to Patea / Doubtful Sound and from this angle I could finally see the way up through the bluffs below. Just beyond Mt Wilmot were the two cemetery headstone-shaped chunks of solid rock which are the impressive and seldom seen Black Giants(1638m). Moments like this are recorded and logged in a special part of my memory bank, and it is these memories that keep me wanting more mountain magic.

After taking in the dramatic scenery I began my mish back to my tent and as I did I felt the first puff of wind of a weather change

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter