Too Much Up – Avalanche Creek Track

“On a Mish” #303 Too Much Up. Avalanche Creek Track. Mt Crichton Area. Lake Wakatipu. 22.9.2021. It is amazing what you can achieve if you put your head down and go for it. Since smashing my hip I have managed to slowly get back into the outdoors. This came about through ‘out in the field’ tests of what my battered body was still capable of achieving. Recovering from an injury can be a little bit painful sometimes, but little did I know that I was about to find out the full consequences of over doing it…

The morning was epic, with a trip down memory lane on the Glenorchy Road, and an adventure to Lake Sylvan. Recently a track has been marked which heads up a farm fence line in the direction of the north ridge of Mt Crichton(1870m). The day was still young and the weather was perfect, so after Lake Sylvan it was off to the start of the Avalanche Creek Track. A map at the start of the track showed us that after a short sidle it was straight up the side of the mountain. The Lake Sylvan Track was a great warm up and I felt up to the challenge. As we began the uphill slog we could both tell that the higher we go the better the view. A mixture of excitement and adrenaline kept me climbing higher, and at one stage the route went near vertical. God knows how they managed to secure the fence on this steep terrain, but thankfully it worked as a great handhold to get us up and over the tricky section. After just over 600 metres of vertical we came to a fence line which was right on 1000 metres above sea level. Up until this point I had been confident that we could get to the top of the north ridge.

Still Conditions on Lake Wakatipu

After scrambling over the fence, all of the day’s activity caught up with me and a sharp pain began to run down the length of my left leg. Above the fence we scrambled the short distance to a small knoll at 1020 metres, and this would be our summit for the day. What goes up must come down, and this was a down I was not looking forward to. We avoided the worst of the fence line track and made our way down following animal tracks around the scrub and bluffs on the mountainside. The jarring pain continued to get worse as we got closer to the end of the track, and once on the sidle I wasn’t feeling too good at all. The sight of the car and the thought of sitting down was what got me through the last couple of metres, and it was safe to say that our long day of adventure had buggered my old man body. As much as it sounds like I had a terrible time, I loved every minute of the outing. It was a thousand times better than sitting around watching YouTube at home! I knew that the pain would (hopefully) go away, and then all that would remain would be the memory of an epic day out in the mountains. However that was a future to look forward to and I had a very sore hip to deal with at this point in time. Sitting down in the car was the first part of the recovery, and after smashing dinner the couch was going to be my home until my next attempt to move the following morning. It would appear my days of climbing steep mountains are now behind me, for now…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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