Summit Fever (Part Three) – Beebys Knob(1442m)

“On a Mish” #389 Summit Fever (Part Three). Beebys Knob(1442m). Richmond Range. 12.8.2023. The top of a mountain is a special place. Seen by many from below, but only the brave few see the reverse view. The simple art of making your way up a steep piece of earth can become a bit of an obsession, and the reward of a summit can sometimes obscure the sensible part of your brain. A strong case of summit fever will make the sane push through the pain in order to gain another peak to the collection, and on Beebys Knob I became one of the insane…

After the initial grunt up the zig zags at the start of the trail, the Beebys Knob Track is a series of up and flat. For me the end of each flat gave me a view of what was ahead. To my surprise every time I thought I might stop I somehow kept on going. I was aware of the soreness in my hip and on most occasions like this recently I would stop, but for some reason this time I just kept going.

At one point I passed a couple who said they had gone most of the way, and this thankfully meant that I wouldn’t be plugging steps in the snow. Unfortunately they hadn’t travelled very far at all and even though Ernie was leading the way, his steps did little to help with the frustrating task of pushing on through snow.

At the treeline I had decided to only go to the lower and closer northern peak (1418m), however after getting most of the way up I could see that it wouldn’t be much more effort to get to the actual mountain summit. By now the wind had picked up and the Richmond Range tops were no place for the living. It’s a good thing I love this sort of thing!

A lot of time had passed since we began our mish, and I was quickly closing in on the longest mish time since I hurt myself. A big difference was the fact that I still had to get down! Just before I reached the antenna and trig marker on the top I realised that summit fever had got me into a bit of a tricky situation. I shuffled the final steps to the top and the satisfaction was being matched by the realisation of the journey ahead.

I’m sure the next people to come up the Beebys Knob track would have thought that two wide tyre mountain bikes had been in the area. My feet never got above the height of the snow and this left a long trench accopained by little Jack Russell sized paw prints. A mix of gravity and the power in Erine’s little legs got me off Mt Beeby that day.

I guess on the way down I got ‘get back to the car’ fever. Usually I wouldn’t be a fan of steep down hill hiking, but on this day the mixture of snow, soreness and Ernest power got me home.

In places I would put my weight on my heels and then with the drag of Ernie’s lead I would slide, sometimes for great distances. This technique helped me cover ground quickly, but the only problem with this form of transport was the fact that I had no brakes! I took a couple of tumbles which would have hurt much more without the cushioning of the snow.

Sore, dirty and in a bit of a trance I snapped back into life when I spotted the road and then the car.

Overall I was stoked that I had got to the top of Beebys Knob but I knew I was going to pay for it. Strangely, after getting back to the campsite and enjoying another night amongst the epicness of the St Arnaud area I was definitely sore but really wasn’t too bad.

Early-ish the next day I was up out into the cold and getting packed up to leave and once again I was surprised that the mish hadn’t completely written me off. It was as if my body knew I still had a drive ahead of me before I could switch off. It wasn’t till I got back home in Christchurch that the suffering began. The morning after completing my trip to St Arnaud and two days after my mish up Beebys Knob it took five to six attempts to simply sit up in bed.

My back was screaming and my hip was yelling just as loud. Like all illnesses I needed to rest and recover before I could do anything else. While struggling to get around, and in constant pain, I did question my decision to clamber my way up that bloody knob. But after I began to look at my pictures and reminded myself of my little achievement in the Richmond Range, I knew my bout of summit fever was worth it!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

Subscribe To my newsletter