Stress Free in ‘The Place To Be’ (Part One) – Poulter Valley Camp

“On a Mish” #345 Stress Free in the ‘Place to Be’ – Part One. Waimakariri Valley. Arthurs Pass National Park. 22.8.2022. Stress can prevent the healing process taking place. And when you are unsure about how injured you actually are (after more than two and a half years) it can be stressful. A trip to the doctor had me leaving with more questions than answers, and I was also told that it wasn’t only my hip that had been damaged by the chiller door way back in January 2020. To make things even more interesting I had two GP appointments cancelled due to Covid. All of this made the stress levels climb like I used to up mountains! I needed some stress relief and the best way I know to find it is by heading into the outdoors for some much needed mountain motivation…

In the time that I haven’t been able to carry a full camping pack I have still found ways to go ‘On a Mish’. Finding locations that aren’t huge hikes to get to has filled in the time nicely, and luckily in Aotearoa we have tons of places to explore without going too far. Many adventures in Arthurs Pass National Park have involved crossing the Mt White Bridge over the mighty Waimakariri, and this one I was hoping would be as epic as all of the other ones. I headed to this area when I started my journey from injured to healed (a seemingly endless journey), and without a huge amount of effort I had some great nights out. My plan was to minimise the weight on my hip and back by spreading my gear over two packs, a lifesaving technique that has given me the ability to get into the wild over the last couple of years. I was keen to explore a new part of an area I had been to before, and the Poulter Valley near Mt White Station caught my attention. Over the years I have visited the Hawdon Valley multiple times on adventures into the Sudden Valley and up Woolshed Hill(1429m). Then after injuring myself I moved further along the road to explore the entrance to Andrews Valley, which helped ease my mind from the craziness that has been consuming the world over the last couple of years. So it was only a matter of time before I continued along the road to the entrance of the Poulter Valley.

With my plan now set in stone I loaded up my car and said goodbye to the stress that is life at the moment. After driving across the Canterbury Plains I moved into the mountains and was amazed to see how little snow was left. I had camped near Lake Lyndon in the Torlesse Conservation Park only a week ago, and during that mish I had pitched my tent on a thick layer of snow. Now, the snowline was high up in the mountains and it really looked like winter had been and gone and we were now well into winter. All was set for an epic and as I crossed the Mt White Bridge and began to drive along the Mt White Station Road I saw the station’s slogan – Mt White ‘The place to be”. After seeing this I knew it would only be a matter of time before I became stress free in the ‘place to be’… (PART TWO 2/3)

Looking South Towards Mt White Station from the Poulter River

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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