“A Mish a Day” #24 Mt Cuba(1449m) – Part Two. Fiordland National Park. 15.1.2019. Having the ability to check out very detailed weather forecasts is a massive benefit for a modern day adventurer. Some of the early expeditions into the Fiordland area succeeded mostly because the weather let them. From experience guiding I know that if the weather says “No Hiking” you listen. Unfortunately Fiordland has taken the lives of people who have ignored the very obvious warning signs and hiked into the brute force of an enraged Fiordland storm. To look at a weather map of this area and see nothing but high pressure is an awesome thing, and if it coincides with your days off, then hooray it’s time to go into the mountains!
Now above the treeline and in glorious sunshine, we continued on towards our intended goal. We made our way around the numerous tarns to a flat area just above the treeline with an epic view. We set up camp and made the decision to climb Peak 1449m (Mt Cuba) immediately, as this was conveniently located directly above camp. So with a bluebird sky and small packs we set off in the still afternoon air up towards the rocky block of Peak 1449m. We had to negotiate a couple of bluff sections before making our way onto the rocky summit. Mostly just steep hiking, but there was the odd section of easy grade rock climbing when straight up was the only option. Topping out was an experience to remember. We could see Mt Earnslaw(2830m) and the Humboldt giants, as well as Martins Bay and the Tasman Sea at the end of the long Hollyford Valley. And directly in front of us was the mass of alpine beauty that is of course the Mighty Darran Mountain Range. In the glorious evening light we got back down to camp and enjoyed a victory dinner while listening to Dragon! I didn’t bother with a tent and slept under the stars in my bivvy bag.
Early-ish the next morning I woke up damp and surrounded by a thick fog. Slowly as the morning crept on the mountains appeared through the mist, each peak getting its own chance to impress as the fog slowly drifted away. We reluctantly packed up and began to clamber back down to the track. On our way down a DoC Ranger spotted Dylan’s tent and quickly questioned where we had camped…(we were tempted to just say ‘on the track’ and see what happens) but we told her about our adventures and she was chill about it. We complimented her impressive work with keeping the track in order, then carried on down to the Greenstone Track. Another sunny day made it hard to leave, but supplies and time were all used up, so it was onward towards the masses at the Divide car park. Great to get out with the bro in such an epic remote location, and the whole mish was so easy! Inspired by the magnificence of Fiordland, we were already discussing future missions even before taking off our boots at the car!