Wild Workplace (Part Two) – The Routeburn Track

“On a Mish” #59 Wild Workplace – Part Two. The Routeburn Track. Fiordland National Park / Mt Aspiring National Park. 20.3.2009. Once you get over the fact that being wet isn’t going to hurt you (as long as you keep moving), and when you have a nice lodge with a shower and drying room waiting for you, you basically have nothing to complain about. As a young fella I was always fascinated by weather, however as a teenager and young adult I would have never imagined that my future workplace would be one where getting soaked by rainfall and loving it would be part of the daily routine. I find that enthusiasm can wipe away the frown and turn it into a face of wonder and enjoyment…

On this Routeburn mish I had a tough crowd to contend with as we stepped out of Howden Hut(RIP) into driving rain, as we continued our first day on the Routeburn Track. As far as rain goes, we had mostly moderate rain with the occasional heavy downpour. This wasn’t enough water to create a flood risk, however for those who haven’t experienced Fiordland before, then a hike amongst its beauty will be a rain soaked adventure they will never forget. I was stoked to be soaked, and to be with Te Whanau made the experience even better. We made our way from Lake Howden up to Earland Falls and due to the rain the mighty waterfall’s flow was turned up to near max level (before it needed to be completely avoided by using a bypass track). The almighty blast from an angry Earland Falls forces its way through all layers of clothing no matter how waterproof they claim to be!

After the falls we continued along the track and encountered an independent couple in a bit of strife due to one of them having a badly broken ankle. The non injured person had had the traumatic ordeal of – do I go for help leaving my parents alone, or do I stay with them to make sure they are ok? The immense sense of relief on the poor fellas face I’ll never forget as we came around the corner and first called for help on the radio, then began to assist with first aid efforts. The pair were lucky to be in a location where a chopper could land close by, so after watching the machine land and take the couple away we continued on our own adventure, hoping to get through it in a better condition than that unfortunate pair. As far as adventures go this one was living up to expectations and beyond, and there was still so much more to show my family. Nothing but positives came out of my big life change, and a lot of it was thanks to the support of Te Whanau. Now it was time to pay them back in epicness and so far the epicness had been flowing like the water tumbling down in Earland Falls…

Lake MacKenzie

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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