A Loop on the Pointy Little Lump – Huatekerekere / Little Mt Peel(1311m)

“On a Mish” #217 A Loop on the Pointy Little Lump. Huatekerekere / Little Mt Peel(1311m). Mt Peel Forest Scenic Reserve. 24.8.2015. The flatness of the Canterbury Plains ends abruptly with the rising of the Canterbury Foothills. A series of lumps slowly turn into the Southern Alps and it is amongst the first of these lumps that you find Hautekerekere Little Mt Peel. The name might give the appearance that the mountain isn’t very large, but a big adventure can be found on the hill that stands tall behind the village of the same name…

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of family trips to the Mt Peel Area. There are walks in the area for all ages and I remember burning some energy zooming around the very tranquil spot. I had been back a couple of times before 2015 however, to make the mish a little bit more interesting I headed up the hill in the middle of winter.

I started my mish the right way by spending my first night at the crib at Lake Clearwater Village. To have a night with the comforts of home but away up in the mountains is something I will always appereciate, and for this mish it gave me a head start on my trip up and down Hautekerekere Little Mt Peel.

After a night of relaxing lakeside I quickly made my way along the base of the Canterbury ranges on a clear frosty morning. Seeing patches of mist rising when the first rays of sunlight hit is a very cool experience, and a benefit of getting up early-ish.

I got to the village and then continued on to the start of the many hiking tracks that are scattered all over the eastern side of the mountain. You could spend an entire week here and only cross over the same track a couple of times. Also, the variety means most walking abilities are catered for amongst the beautiful forest near the small village.

After parking up I chucked my pack on and set off up through Burns Bush to the Deer Spur Track. It takes some walking to get up to Deer Spur, but luckily the views increase the higher you go. Several times I stopped for a drink and was rewarded with views across the vastness of the Canterbury Plains. Once I got onto the spur itself I hiked out of the forest and into the open air of the tops.

Near the summit of Hautekerekere Little Mt Peel is a small shelter. It sits in a near on impossible spot and is a great place to have a break and a snack. And to also prepare yourself for the tricky part of the mission.

My plan was to descend via the South Ridge Track, which is much steeper than the Deer Spur Track. The fact that it was the middle of winter, and the track was covered in snow meant I had to tread carefully. A slip on the upper part of the track would mean you get your name in the newspaper for all of the wrong reasons!

I carefully made my way down the snowy track and eventually got onto easier ground. It wasn’t long before I got to the Emily Falls Track Junction, and from here it was a very simple stroll back to my car. Once back I once again realized how epic a mish up and down this pointy little lump really is.

I highly recommend a reccy up Hautekerekere Little Mt Peel. From either the South Ridge Track or via Deer Spur, the hike is awesome, and the views are even better. It is a place where I was first introduced to the mountains, and it is also an area where I continue my love for uplift land. If you haven’t been then maybe pay the Mt Peel a visit and see if you fall in love with everything the little mountain village has on offer just like me!

Looking west from the summit of Little Mt Peel(1311m)

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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