Skirt Around the Bush Edge – Arthurs Creek (Part Two)

“On a Mish” #33 Arthurs Creek(Point 2065m) – Part Two. Whakaari / Richardson Mountains. 11.3.2014. I find sleeping in a tent a series of naps. I tend to wake a lot and have to readjust my position, but it never seems to bother me as before going back to sleep I get to experience a couple of moments of the night out in my tent in the wilderness. I’m sure overall I get more hours of sleep when back at home in my own bed, but the meditative state I fall into while out on a mish easily makes up for the lack of sleep…

Whether it be hiking or relaxing at camp, I find an inner peace while out on a mission. As I’ve said time and time again, I will always take a night out in a tent over a bed. With not a huge amount of time the next day an early-ish start was needed from the camp and as I peered out the tent’s door I was happy to see the stars still out, thanks to a cloudless sky. After smashing down some breakfast we began our hike up the valley.

The first section wasn’t too tricky, following the creek further up until we reached massive wash-outs on either side of Arthurs Creek. These required a steep climb, first down on very loose scree, then back up – also on very loose scree. We had to do this many times to carry on up the valley and this really slowed the forward travel towards Mt Ferguson(2480m). With time slipping away we decided the Mt Ferguson(2480m) idea would have to wait till another time so the effort was turned to Peak 2065m which was directly above us at the time.

A fun hike up loose scree at first, then steep rock took us up to a col west of the peak on Long-Charlie Spur. A small scramble and we were on top looking down at Arthurs Creek far below.

The plan B mission was definitely worth it, and from the top the views along the Rees Valley to Lake Wakatipu were amazing. It was satisfying looking how far the climb had been from Arthurs Creek, unfortunately Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring were under cloud as the weather was beginning to change. A return to climb Mt Ferguson was immediately put on the to-do list after seeing what the area looked like at high elevation.

After some scree surfing and easy hiking we got back to the downs and ups of the washouts, which we were happy to leave behind us. After getting back to camp the tent was packed up and we began the descent back into the Rees Valley. After the easy travel above the bushline it was back down to the bloody Matagouri. This time we headed away from the river, which proved successful until about 50m from the valley floor.

One section was like a scene from the movie ‘Saw’. Pain and suffering was needed before success, and after crawling through the thousands of spikes we finally found freedom. Once back on the track it was easy hiking as we made our way through the flats of the Rees Valley back to the Muddy Creek car-park, where we had to patch up our Matagouri wounds!

Descending Arthurs Creek

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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