Two Thumbs Up (Part Two) – Peak 2163m(Two Thumb Range)

“On a Mish” #51 Two Thumbs Up (Part Two). Peak 2163m(Two Thumb Range). Richmond Conservation Park. 22.10.2013. My classic and sometimes very frustrating answer to the question ‘what is your favourite track, trail or trek’ is ‘one I haven’t done yet’. Not knowing what lies ahead keeps you wondering and it can make time fly by due to how occupied your mind is with the new terrain. While visiting old well tested places will still be awesome, it is exploring locations I have never been to that usually gets the big two thumbs up from me…

For many winters I had driven up from Queenstown to spend the cold months working at a ski and snowboard store in Christchurch. During those drives I would fly through Lake Tekapo and give the lovely location a quick glance and then carry on. I finally took the time to actually stop in the lakeside location and then go on a mish in the Two Thumb Range which stands tall above Lake Tekapo.

I had driven from Lake Alexandrina around the southern base of Lake Tekapo and was now at the start of the hiking trail up to Roundhill Ski Field. I had thought that I would have been able to drive further but I looked at the extra distance as more training for future missions.

The first part of my hike was on gently rising ground which steepened when the track got near Coal River. I was already starting to get good views of the lake and the Hall Range on the other side. It was around here that I got a text that my friend was at the airport in Christchurch and was beginning her own quest of hitchhiking to Tekapo. I figured it would take her most of the day so I pushed on with my own quest to climb Peak 2163m. Everything was going along as planned and the sights were increasing in epicness as I gained height, and of course the higher you go the better the view.

Peak 2163m is a classic large rolling hill. This means no tricky sections to scramble up and not many places where exposure can play tricks with your mind. Just simple uphill hiking for a couple of hours. The peak sits south east of the ski field so after walking past the A-Frame shelter near the field I started to climb off track on tussock and rough ground. I looked up at what the real challenge for the day was going to be and after I had a quick drink I began to get my quads and calves pumping upward towards my goal.

While I had been hiking I had been getting updates about where my friend was and as I got near the summit I got a text saying she had found a ride that would take her all of the way to Tekapo. It is about three hours from Christchurch to Tekapo so in order for me to get up and down in time I’d have to get moving!

The wind had picked up near the summit so I had to stop to put an extra layer on and it was while I was stopped that I looked back to see the two largest mountains in Aotearoa. It would seem my hike in a brand new area was going even better than expected…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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