Winters and Somers (Part Two) – Mt Somers Camp

“On a Mish” #103 Winter & Mount Somers – Part Two. Mt Somers Camp. Hakatere Conservation Park.11.7.2017. Many look to the west over the Canterbury Plains at the pyramid that is Mt Somers(1688m), but few reverse the view and view the plains from the mountain that marks the entrance to a much lumpier uplifted landscape. The view is one that satisfies your mountain cravings perfectly, and if you add a sunset and sunrise in the mix the views can become almost overwhelming! A random idea of camping up on the Southface of Mt Somers was now a reality I was living and as the sun began to disappear the show in the sky began…

The magnificent blood orange sunset was matched by the incredible fire red with hints of dark purple sunrise. The free daily show was a good one both at dusk and dawn, and I could safely say my camping idea was a rather good one! The aspects of the mountain meant I couldn’t see to the west, and it was in the west that the heavens were brewing up a wild winter storm.

The brilliant early-ish morning light was a message in the sky that the fine spell was over and soon winter would make the area no place for a human. With the wind starting to build and sky going dark(again!), I had no time for coffee and it was an on the move muesli bar breakfast as I wrestled with my tent in the breezy conditions. My packing wasn’t very pretty, but all my gear was(mostly) in my pack and it was time to get off the mountain.

Not long after starting my downclimb I came across my first and most challenging part of the mission. This was the challenge of getting down the frozen creek without slipping over. No crampons was a silly move, and without them I found it a real mish to get down. With a couple of backside bruises I finally got off the ice and onto easier ground, and thankfully the going got a lot easier as I could use the steps I had plugged into the snow the day before to make quick progress back down to Staveley Hill(1085m).

First Light of the Day

Just before I headed back into the forest I looked back up at Mt Somers(1688m) and the snow covered pyramid looked menacing with black storm clouds as its backdrop. Time to finish the mish as Mother Nature now wants to recoat the mountains white, and as I got back down to my car I was happy that the weather held off (briefly) as I enjoyed my Mt Somers mish in winter!

A Sunrise With a Warning

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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