A Fridge Sized Rock (Part One) – Cold Peak(1613m)

“On a Mish” #196 A Fridge Sized Rock (Part One). Cold Peak(1613m). Mavora Lakes Conservation Area. 10.11.2016. Injuries are never a good thing, and if you are out in the mountain’s injuries can lead to much worse situations. Having some first aid knowledge is vital when venturing and, on several occasions, I have had to patch myself up mid mish. There have also been times when I have had some close calls when first aid knowledge would have been of very little use when there is a fridge sized rock parked on top of you…

The Mavora Lakes area is nestled amongst the hills between Queenstown and Te Anau. Along with the two lakes there is also a large camping ground just perfect for the whole family and the dog. This mish started with a night alongside the lake for my girlfriend and I to get an early start on our mish up above North Mavora Lake into the Mararoa Valley. Along with the epic scenery we were joined firstly by a gang of hungry sandflies, and then the skies darkened, and my van was shaken by thunder as we prepared ourselves for some much needed shut eye.

Early-ish the next day we were up and away hiking in a post storm environment. Water still dripped from the leaves of the beech forest that surrounded us and the deep ruts caused by 4wd vehicles were full of dark brown muddy water. Dodging puddles was an important part of the beginning of our adventure.

Our plan was to head up around the top of the lake and then head up the Winton Burn Valley to Forks Hut, and from there climb one of the peaks in the area. I’d been to stay at the Mavora Lakes camping ground a couple of times, but I’d never hiked to the very appealing country at the top of the lake. I was excited to explore new countryside, and with the skies above clearing everything seemed to be rolling along nicely, it was great to be out and about and on a mish.

Once we got into a rhythm the hiking was very easy. The trail is part of the New Zealand Trail (Te Araroa), and it is cool to think that many folks have hiked along this section in order from them to say they have trekked the length of Aotearoa. Our wander was going to be much shorter, but I’m sure that it will be just as epic!

At the top of the lake, we passed Careys Hut, which is an excellent little cabin that due to its easy access is usually occupied during the summer. When we stopped for a quick snack, the hut was only occupied by the many rats and mice that had moved in. I’m positive that the basic little building has some tails to tell and would have sheltered many weary travelers in its time.

After our snack we followed the well beaten 4WD / hiking track which began to climb above where the Mararoa River flows into North Mavora Lake. The views were awesome and any sign of the rain from the previous night gone apart from one very big watery barrier. We had run into a problem that was about 20metres wide and very wet….

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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