The Mountains of Molesworth – Serpentine Creek Saddle (Part One)

“On a Mish” #247 Serpentine Creek Saddle – Part One. Cimera Range. 4.2.2021. Frustration is a ready mind but broken body. Adjusting to my situation has allowed me to still get out into the mountains, but the need to go further has been building over the last year + of recovery. “NO weight on your back and NO pressure on your hips” were the instructions from my doctor and also my physio. Several times I pushed the limits of my abilities and had to deal with the consequences. With a lot of physio work, medical treatments, medication and determination I have got myself back hiking again, and finally to a point where I think I can go on a real mission…

A series of two-pack (carrying my gear in two packs to reduce the load on my back and hip) missions had given me the opportunity to spend a few nights in my tent. The problem with a two-pack mission is that it limits how far I can go. The first hike determines the location, then the second trip is just a packhorse run. Having the motivation has never been an issue, and along with writing my stories I have also spent a lot of time looking at maps. New Zealand’s South Island really does have it all when it comes to scenery. From massive ice-covered mountain masterpieces to rivers so clear it is hard to judge their depth. Pristine lakes lined with unique native forests containing every shade of green. And finally beaches of golden sand with either sunrises or sunsets that rival any similarly stunning location around the globe. We really do have it all here, and I hope if you are here you’re making the most of it.

After visiting the St James / Molesworth Station area I instantly knew I would be coming back. After a few test runs it was time to bite the bullet and see what I could do. I had spent a night on Island Saddle, and on the journey I saw into a small valley below the saddle that looked awesome. This small valley also led to a saddle overlooking Lake Tennyson. The bare and barren landscape has a beauty of its own, and spending time in this environment shows us how lucky we are living in the modern era. The first visitors to this area must have been met with tough times and long days. I was pumped to get back into the outdoors as I prepared my gear before departure. All I had to do was wander up an open valley deep in Molesworth Station. Shouldn’t be too difficult…

Lake Tennyson from the Serpentine Saddle

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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