Singing in the Rain / Snow (Part Three) – Dogs Range

“On a Mish” #341 Singing in the Rain / Snow – Part Three. Boundary Creek Hut. Hakatere Conservation Park. 27.7.2015. Mid mish bliss is a feeling that is only matched on the next adventure, therefore the pastime of going on a mish can get quite addictive. Once you fall into a pattern of going out into the wilderness every couple of weeks you will find yourself going rain or shine. Going ‘hiking’ is what you set out to do, and as long as you don’t focus on the weather in a negative way, then you will be in for a successful mission!

Knowing rain was in the forecast meant that, before I left the hut, I wrapped up warm and packed up my pack under its pack cover. To my surprise, when I left the hut I was walking in a small pocket of rain-free weather. The small spell without the wet stuff didn’t last long and after the rain returned it was followed by sleet, and then, just to spice the morning up, snow began to fall.

Lake Clearwater from the Dogs Range

Normally from the high points on the range I would be looking down at Lake Clearwater Village on one side and Lake Heron Basin on the other, however I was getting the wild alpine treatment, and my views were the foggy guts of a snow cloud. Every now and then between bouts of blizzard I caught glimpses of the mountains in the area and the dark water of Lake Clearwater, however most of the time I was in my own special world and I was happily singing in the rain / snow!

At one stage the snow was beginning to build up on my hood and with a grin I pushed on through what some would say is ‘bad weather’ towards the drop off of the range into the valley below its southeast end.

To exit the range, I dropped down a gully into the small valley between the two massive basins (Clearwater and Heron) which proved to be a small side mission. The gully looked easy from above, but once in it turned out to be a spike-riddled route to the valley floor. A few scratches later I got off the range and onto the track and it was here I bumped into a farmer on a quad bike who was out on a farm-related mish. He offered me a lift back to my car, but I foolishly turned it down and my legs reminded me of my foolish decision all the way back to the car. Every step is training for the next, so I sucked it up and forced myself (not a difficult task) to enjoy the last part of my adventure which was in the dry, dodging the puddles left by the wet weather.

I got the familiar mix of satisfaction and slight sadness as I approached my car, due to the mission coming to an end. Well washed, I arrived at my car and welcomed the thought of a warm and dry environment. Once in the car I could really start enjoying the post mish pleasure and even though I was now out of the rain the singing didn’t stop!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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