Short and Sweet – Cleddau Clamber (Part Three)

“On a Mish” #313 Cleddau Clamber – Part Three. Upper Cleddau Valley. Fiordland National Park. 15.12.2021. Unfortunately many around the world will never find their true ‘Happy Place’. A place that makes you smile no matter what is a very special place, and time spent there will only do wonders for your state of mind. Meditation to me is simply putting myself into an epic location and then letting Mother Nature do the rest. Of course some effort is needed to get to an epic location, but the rewards make the journey well worth it. Luckily for me I live in Te Anau and epicness is only a short drive in any direction…

The Darran Mountains are only an hours drive from my home and this is where you will find some of the best mountain meditation on the planet! My short scramble up the north face of Gulliver Peak(1776m) had eventually got me to a small ledge just big enough to fit my tent on (sort of). Like most campsites in the mountains, modifications needed to be made to the ground so I could pitch my tent. Erecting a tent becomes a new challenge when you have a 10 floor cliff on one side of your campsite. I had to be extra careful when sorting my gear as the area was very exposed and a gust of wind would send my gear away to Kea Country, never to be seen again. I managed to get my tent up with no issues, however due to the lack of room on the small ledge I had to construct a floor of rocks to cater for the corner of my tent that was hanging in space on the edge of the airy precipice. Once the tent was good to go, the rest of my evening was just kicking back and enjoying some of the most tremendous mountain uplift in the world. The sheer steepness of the Darran Mountains always blows my mind and I could spend many days staring at their splendor.

As afternoon turned into evening, the sky began to put on a show as if it was the dessert for my very fulfilling meal of outstanding scenery to look at. Pinks, oranges and reds all began to cover the sky above the mountains, and for a few minutes the harsh dark grey environment turned into a brightly lit and perfectly balanced symphony of soft creamy colours. I have always marveled at the brief moments during a sunset or sunrise where a place which is usually so harsh, cold and barren becomes an array of the sweetest colours we know. After what was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen, the area went back to being a cold, dark and very barren place. To have those few moments of brilliance made the pain in my hip and back worth it, and I couldn’t wait to see what the show was going to look like the following morning as I retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag. I was sore as I lay down on my little ledge to go to sleep, sore but very satisfied…

Homer Saddle(1375m) at Sunset

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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