The King & Queen of Erewhon (Part Three) – Mt Potts(2184m)

“On a Mish” #10 The King & Queen of Erewhon (Part Three). Mt Potts(2184m). Hakatere Conservation Park. 21.5.2017. Mt Potts is a must do for folks who enjoy a good uphill grunt. Although the climb isn’t too difficult, there is a lot of altitude to be gained and you will need to bring a bag of fitness with you if you want to get to the top. There are two distinctive mountains that make up Mt Potts, one acts as the queen and the other is the king, and after a battle with uphill travel we found ourselves standing on the summit getting blasted by alpine air…

We stood in silence on the summit as the roaring wind drowned out any attempt at having a conversion. This is the wild wilderness we craved during the boring moments of life. A struggle overcome is much more rewarding than doing very little in the real world!

Our descent was via the west face of Mt Potts(2184m), and this was an easy slip slide down snow slopes into the hanging valley below. Originally we planned to traverse the mountain and climb the north ridge into the hanging valleys upper basin. After looking at the undulation of the rocky ridge we decided to take the much easier and quicker option of descending the west face.

We followed the old Erewhon Ski Field road out of the valley, and the easy gradient and width meant we could wander along happily chatting about our epic morning on the south ridge. Looking back up we could see the wind was still powering it’s way over the upper reaches, and it was now obvious that rain wasn’t too far off. The king and queen were about to get another fresh coating of snow.

We got back down to the Erewhon / Mt Potts Road and the hard stuff was now well behind us. Our legs told us we had had a big day and our heads told us we had fulfilled our wilderness addict requirements.

What a day and what a mountain! Not overly difficult, but it still had its challenges with over 1500 metres of altitude to gain between the road and the summit. However, the view is equal to the effort and for those who enjoy a go mountain challenge then Mt Potts is the peak for you. From the top you get the opportunity to see what the king and queen of Lake Clearwater get to look at, and I can say they have an awesome kingdom to oversee for a long time to come…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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