Suddenly Stunning (Part Two) – Sudden Valley Bivouac

“A Mish a Day” #63 Sudden Valley Bivouac – Part Two. Sudden Valley. Arthurs Pass National Park. 1.8.2013. Once you have had a massive valley all to yourself you might start getting greedy and expect it every time. We are so lucky to live in a country where it is possible to trek into a stunning location and be the only one there. When I hiked in Japan I will never forget how busy their ‘remote trails’ actually were. It was a real reminder how lucky we are here in little old lightly populated New Zealand…

As the day dawned in the Sudden Valley I woke to the sounds of a brilliant morning chorus, and with a start like that I knew this would be an awesome day. I didn’t want to leave but unfortunately the forecast demanded an early-ish start, and as I woke up to darkening grey skies I knew that the rain wasn’t far off. I always have feelings of anxiety when in a location which requires a river crossing to escape. The forecast was for rain that would potentially trap me up the valley on the wrong side of the river. I packed up my gear quickly and reluctantly said goodbye to the cool little hut, then it was back to the track, starting with the cold water of Sudden Valley Stream.

One last look up the Sudden Valley at the Polar Range

As I made my way back down the valley I had a quick stop to view the impressive drop at the lip of Barrier Falls where, with a thunderous roar, water free falls down to the small lake its power has created at its base. By the time I got back to the final crossing point of the Hawdon River the rain had arrived. So with thick drops of water falling from above I quickly crossed and was back at my car just as it really started to fall. I had timed my escape from Sudden Valley well, as on the drive home I had my car’s wipers working overtime to give me visibility in the increasingly heavy rain. A great tramp to a great spot, and the bonus was having not only the hut to myself, but the entire valley too! Another classic kiwi adventure in the bag, now it is time to start think about the next mish…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter