Sweet Sunsets (Part Two) – Pyramid(1598m)

“A Mish a Day” #95 Sweet Sunsets – Part Two. Pyramid(1598m). Hakatere Conservation Area. 4.10.2017. The high country of Hakatere is a special place. In lots of places you can gain altitude with relative ease, and the higher you go the better the view! With blue skies above and an easy ridge to follow, life couldn’t be much better and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else…

The summit of Pyramid(1598m) was a short distance away and from just below the top of the mountain was covered in old winter snow, which had deep drifts in places. The easy nature of the ridge meant crampons weren’t needed and an excellent scramble on grippy snow led to the summit and the views, and the views were very good. Once again, yet another mountain top you don’t want to leave, and after many, many good alpine photos it was time to drag ourselves back down to camp in the Cameron Valley. We decided to take a different route down and this took us into the basin on the southern side of the peak. We would go from soft knee deep snow to rock hard ice, and this kept us on our toes until we got below the snowline. Below the snow we headed north east towards camp and the nasty wall of lovely Matagouri. I found a fast track pathway via an old fence line, and thankfully that saved a brutal scratching by the sharp spikes of the merciless Matagouri. Somehow we managed to arrive back at camp with only a few minor wounds after tangling with the pointy fingers of the savage plant. After arriving back at camp it was time to have a feed and also soak in the sweet satisfaction of mission success and also enjoy another sweet sunset from our outstanding campsite. The lucky few get to see a quality sunset on Mt Arrowsmith(2781m), the mountain monarch of Hakatere. Watching it and it’s surrounding mountain mates glow yellow with the last of the sun’s rays was a magic way to cap off an incredible day out in the hills, and from one of the easiest campsites to hike into we witnessed not just one but two magic sunsets in a row!

Ashburton / Hakatere Valley(left) & the Cameron Valley(right)

On the morning of the last day, forget the early-ish start, as with a cool clear morning and easy walk ahead, there was definitely no rush. So we just took in the epicness of the environment before finally and reluctantly packing up our tent. Then to finish the mish it was an easy stroll back to the car and the drive back across the plains to Christchurch. This was definitely more fuel to fire up the mountain motivation and after witnessing not one, but two sunsets of the highest quality I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be back for another mish and hopefully another sweet sunset!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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