Snow Makes Everything Better – Eglington Valley Camp (Part Two)

“On a Mish” #289 Snow Makes Everything Better (Part Two). Mid Eglington Valley. Fiordland National Park. 30.6.2021. The inconvenience of the cold is an easy problem to solve if you are prepared. Clothing nowadays allows us to venture into the chilly environment in comfort and style. A frozen location provides stunning sights as if it is a reward for putting up with the winter conditions. As I Started my mish the temperature was only two degrees, and I knew it was only going to get colder…

In my eyes snow makes everything better, and in a place as stunning as Fiordland National Park the epicness is off the charts. Seeing mountains that are normally majestic masterpieces covered in snow is so good you just have to let out a couple of Yahoos of approval and as I approached my target I could feel the excitement brewing.

After hurting my hip I had times when I thought I would never see the mountains again, but thanks to a lot of rehab work I was slowly getting back into the outdoors. My missions still had to be small ones so it is very lucky I live next door to one of the most sort after locations on the planet!

A Stunning Sunset in the Eglington Valley

I was close to the base of the Livingstone Mountains with a view down a rocky riverbed to a snow-covered Eglington Valley, and above was the magnificent Earl Mountains. From my camp I looked across the valley to the notch in the mountains containing the famous Dore Pass Route to the Milford Track. To the right was the Disappearing Peaks(1802m) and on the left was the complicated mass of Largs Peak(1707m). The valley always looks good, but with the fresh snow I knew my cheeks would ach with the grin I wouldn’t be able to shake.

The valley was very peaceful with only the odd car breaking the silence until around early evening when the sun reached places that remained in the shadows until that point. For about 20 minutes the silence was replaced with the roar and crash of avalanches peeling off the upper reaches of the mountains.

It was an odd time in our history as on one hand I work in tourism and was missing the buzz and excitement of many visitors looking at the country I love enjoying, then on the other I was relishing in the fact that I was in a normally busy valley and not only was it very quiet, but it was also covered in fresh snow. For now I will enjoy the lack of people and the place they would love to be!

As if a reward for braving the cold, the sun set perfectly between the two massive mountains, making it impossible for me to take a bad photo. During the sunset every minute offered a slightly different view, whether it be the colour of the sky or the setting sun colouring the snow on the mountains.

Even before the sun disappeared the temperature began to plummet and exposed places began to ice up. I put a lot of faith in my winter camping kit, and it was going to be put to the test on this night.

After the valley went dark I spent my time hanging out by my little campfire and soaking in the peace of the windless night. I could see the fly of my tent glistening with a fresh coating of frost and as I began to see my breath in the air I knew I was in for a chilly night…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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