Back for More Mish (Part Two) – Double Hut / Taylor Range

“On a Mish” #49 Back for More Mish – Part Two. Double Hut & Peak 1115m. Hakatere Conservation Park. 16.7.2013. For all the negative press that it gets, cold weather is actually pretty cool! Those who haven’t seen what snow and ice can do to an environment are missing out. If you rug up with extra layers (sometimes many) and keep moving, then the benefits will show in the stunning photos you’ll take and the epic tale you will have to tell after your winter mish. If you listen to the people banging the negative drum about winter then you will spend many months waiting for summer. But for the brave ready for the cold…

There were frozen chunks of snow around that had been warmed slightly by the sun, then snap frozen again at night, turning them into solid blocks of dirty ice. The tarns (alpine lakes) that are dotted along the route to the hut were completely frozen, and it gave us a taste of what was to come. Crossing the refreshingly cold water of the Swin River was a real reminder that it was winter in the mountains and thoughts of a slip into the moving chill-flavoured liquid kept concentration levels high until we had both got across the river safely. With icicles forming on our wet toes we hurried along the last stage of the trail to the hut to get the fire roaring and to restore our body temperatures to that of a living human being. It didn’t take long for the tin walls of the hut to warm, and we spent the night yarning and sampling the delightful delicacies we had carried in.

The hut oozes history and was visited by a Mr Hillary before he became the famous and legendary New Zealander Sir Ed. I think it is safe to say that my good mate Cam was a bit tuckered after our big hike into Double Hut. After dinner he decided to climb into his sleeping bag to stay warm and fell into a deep sleep mid sentence! I knew that we were going to have another big day, so I also retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag, and drifted off to sleep to the crackle of the open fire. Just before going to sleep I heard the light patter of rain on the hut’s tin roof, and due to the temperatures I knew it wouldn’t stay raining for very long. The snow had arrived in Hakatere, and this heightened the excitement even more…

Dusk in Hakatere featuring Lake Heron and the Arrowsmith Range

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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