Going to a Remote Place (Part One) – Moraine Creek

“On a Mish” #27 Going to a Remote Place (Part One). Hollyford River to Tent Flat. Moraine Creek. Fiordland National Park. 1.12.2009. As a kid I always enjoyed getting away from everything in the real world and spending some time exploring wherever I could get to, or wherever my parents would take me. When you are on an adventure that is the sole focus and it is where you can focus on your soul. Clean air, good views and fresh water can only benefit you and I have been lucky enough to be close to some of the best air, views and water anywhere! After taking up the role as a guide on the Routeburn Track I started to see where I could get to in my new big backyard and I happened to drag a couple of dudes along for the ride with me…

Going from disgruntled cabinet maker to grateful guide was a real life changer. A few too many years in the bogan scene had slowed my outdoor progress greatly. Not saying I didn’t have a good time, just that it wasn’t a very sustainable way of living and I wanted to do more of that (living!). My big change to guiding not only did massive benefits for my health, it also introduced me to an entirely different group of people, some of who were outdoors minded like me.

During my second season as a guide I wanted to finally try one of the more gnarly tracks that run through the remote wilds of Fiordland. The Darran Mountain climbing guide had fascinated me since I first picked it up, and at my job I showed people the range from the Routeburn Track. At this stage my favourite part of the track was crossing the Hollyford Face on a day when the range is on full display.

Although I talked a big game as a guide, I had never actually ventured into the mountains. For my first reccy I chose Moraine Creek ‘because it looked easy’. With experience I can say that so many hiking adventures / misadventures have started with ‘because it looked easy’! I worked on two fellow guides until they were both as keen as me and after a trip on the Routeburn we repacked gear and tents, then drove to a campsite on the Milford Road. We spent the evening swatting sandflies and surveying the area we were going to explore. Not long after the flies had finished their assault, we retreated to sleeping bags and readied ourselves for a wander to the invitingly named ‘Tent Flat’.

Low cloud greeted us early-ish the next morning. We didn’t let this dull our moods as we packed up our tents and drove the remainder of the journey to the lower Hollyford Valley. The difference between the West and East Coast was apparent as it was obvious the light drizzle we had felt during the night at Deer Flat (East Coast) was much heavier rain out west in the Hollyford Valley. Chuck the gaiters on boys, it’s looking a bit damp out there…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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