Tough Trails of the Past (Part Four) – Mt Larkins(2300m)

“On a Mish” #6 Tough Trails of the Past (Part Four). Mt Larkins(2300m). Whakaari Conservation Area. Richardson Mountains. 23.3.2014. There have been tough times when I have been out on a mish when I have had to remind myself that I am tackling this mountain / track / morning shift with many modern luxuries that I’m positive the people of the past had wished that they had had. Gortex instead of tweed, and for pleasure instead of the need of an income. We are very lucky to be able to relive tales from the past but do it wearing current comforts. It definitely wasn’t always this easy for the legends who used to trek these tough trails of the past…

In the golden glow of late afternoon I hiked back to the top of Larkins Slip, and then after clambering through the rubble of the slip I arrived at the pile of wood and tin that was Larkins Slip Hut. From the ‘hut’ (at the time it was still marked as a hut on maps!) it was a very pleasant stroll back to my temporary home, Heather Jock Hut. A hut that was still standing proud in its glorious position. As soon as I got to the hut I chucked off my well worn boots and began to recollect my day out in the Richardson Range.

Nothing like chilling barefoot after a big mish. I had a smile of success on my face as I enjoyed a feed watching the sunset behind the Humboldt Mountains. It doesn’t get much better than this!

The wear and tear of the day was beginning to catch up with me so it didn’t take long before I retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag and with ease I was out like a light. On a previous mission to Heather Jock I went to sleep in similar conditions only to wake up to wild wind whistling over the mountains. Even if this did happen I was pretty sure it would have woken me from my slumber.

Early-ish the next morning I peered out of the hut’s door to see a high quality sunrise. As I watched the new day begin I thought back to the old days and how (for the miners) this would have been the normal way to start the day for the miners staying at the hut during the scheelite era. I always wonder if they enjoyed the epic location or did they just treat it like any old work place?

After breakfast I reluctantly left the little hut perfectly located on the side of Mt Alaska(1965m), knowing it would only be a matter of time until I returned for more adventure.

With a definite weather change in the air I knew I had used my days off well, and after cleaning up I slowly made my way back through the history-laced mountainside to the Whakaari car park.

All goals were ticked off and it is safe to say I was rather happy with the outstanding mish into the historic mountains of the Richardson Range. Time to soak in the sweet satisfaction!

Heather Jock Hut

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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