Trip Report – Mitre Peak
By: Yvonne Winn
Source: Southland Section Newsletter (April 2018)
For years I had been drawn to the idea of climbing Mitre Peak, so when the opportunity to join this group of climbers arose, I enthusiastically signed up.
With a short 24 hourish weather window we made plans to catch the boat over at 6:30am on Saturday, summiting the same day, then returning to camp on the saddle. We would drop out on Sunday and meet the boat at around midday.
With such dry weather over summer, and the water source being dubious at the best of times, we carried our own water up. The volume of water carried by party members was generally 3 litres each but I had decided I’d need 5 litres for myself. I was beginning to wonder if I had a drinking problem!
The boat driver tried his best to put us off the climb and did set us on a bit of a wild goose chase by indicating where to start the track, which in fact was a trap-line. The route start is in fact nicely marked at the water’s edge with a whole bunch of yellow tape.
The weather proved true to it’s word, and we enjoyed a spectacularly calm, clear day climbing the peak. I really enjoyed the varied travel. The route starts as tarzan-style steep bush bashing but becomes easy ridge travel in sub-alpine bush. A broad tussock ridge follows, but this gets narrower and steeper, becoming a narrow rock ridge and finally rock faces to scramble and climb on all fours to finish. The more exposed sections seemed to be broken up nicely by easy bits which helped my head space considerably!
Due to my slow progress on the down hill we were bit late getting back to camp, but my cooked dinner tasted fantastic. Meanwhile Erin munched on crackers and humus. The things you do to save weight and water…
So anyway, as it turns out, there were some thirstier members of our group the following morning, with Ashley licking the dew off his tent. The effect was that those of us with water spare took pity on those that had run out and we divvied some of our water out.
The rest of the descent went without a hitch and we were conveniently able to call up our pick up boat with the help of a radio they had lent us. The only problem was then we couldn’t find the beers that Kate had stashed at the drop off point. Desperate searches were had by all party members, and luckily they were found in the nick of time just as our boat pulled up. What a great trip!
Trip Team: Erin Noonan, Kate Hoogeveen, Ashley Kirk, Andrew McFadzien, Ceridwen Hutchinson, and Yvonne Winn
Posted By: Narina Sutherland