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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Hayden

Back to Bathans

Let's go back, eight weeks to be exact, I was chased off the St Bathans Range.


I was infatuated 😅


This became a real problem for me.

I set my weather apps home there.

I was grounded for more than a few weekends over that time and it reheeaally sucked.


Taking my eyes off it and looking to Shotover Saddle recently was great but this was always in the back of my mind.


I'm getting up there this time.



Pulling into the Homestead Campsite that morning and pushing through the tussock felt like a bit of a chore 😅

I've done this before, the good part is a while away yet.


When I was last here I'd identified a neighbouring spur that I could ascend to keep things interesting.

About halfway up I spotted a Hilux Surf making easy work of the 4x4 track adjacent to me.


It seems I'm not alone 🙊


 

The good part starts over that ridge ⏫


This is where the blizzard stopped me last time ⏬🥲


 

Welcome to the good part 🙌🏿

The highest rise on the horizon is the namesake, Mt Saint Bathans.

Though it isn't the highest point of the range it is the most refined and close behind.


From where I'm standing its just under two kilometres away, I'm going a further two.

Because that's where the highest point of the range is👌🏻

This does mean I have to double back a few extra kilometres to Boundary Creek Hut later but I wouldn't have it any other way.


 

Four sets of human prints and one dog,

They can only be from the Hilux I saw earlier and seemed to dissipate atop Mt Saint Bathans, I didn't see anyone up there and was curious as to where they were headed.


There are only so many bunks at the hut 😬


 

Say what you will about this coms shed being out of place but cell coverage was fantastic up here 😆


 

The seasons are a little stubborn at this height 🤏

Check out the difference between an exposed/well shaded area of fence line 😲


Spot Mt Aspiring, shy on the horizon ⏬


 

⏫ This might be my favourite pic, looking back on the highest rise.


From here on out it's mostly downhill ☺️

Mostly...



By this point I'm exhausted, my output and input are not well balanced and I can feel my body eating into its reserves.


I like to think there's a reasonable amount of nutritional value to my salted caramel dusted chocolate cashews though 🤞🏾

They should get me through till dinner.



As the day drew to a close so did the clouds around the mountains, but I didn't mind,

I couldn't have asked for a better day.

I had homebase in my sights, only a wet boot from a failed river jumping stood between me and a hot dinner 🤦🏼‍♀️😂



The hut wasn't overcrowded, with one group camping in and around their 4x4's, only five of us were inside, there was plenty of room 🙏🏻🥱


My roommates may have been Irish 🤷🏼‍♂️

(I'm terrible with accents)


The irish kept the room toasty with a little help from whoever hauled up firewood and I somewhat dried my boot overnight.


Admittedly I wasn't very sociable, I'd just walked nearly thirty kilometres alone and was enjoying my own company.


I may have also been a little high 😅


I was however able to gain a little insight on what to expect tomorrow.




The Irish had mentioned a dozen river crossings 🙄

I generally have a pretty good success rate finding a rock hop path, but I didn't like my chances. You should know I'm too stubborn to take my boots off for this 😅


The Mention of a possible track riding the valley wall got me thinking, after successfully jumping rivers twice, I darted up after what looked like a Cairn 🪨


I can't confirm whether or not it was a Cairn, it felt like more of a goat track at times 😅

Still it kept things interesting I'd rather that than walking a gravel road with wet feet.


 

Scaling the wall was easier at height, with less in the way and a better view ahead.

If in doubt, better to take the high road 🤔


Up here I found infrastructure that led to an old water race likely built by goldminers.


 
 

Now I love the natural world more than most but I'll be damed if that hilux isn't beautiful 😘


The St Bathans township itself is modest but the area boasts alot,

Check out the former goldmine now Blue lake 😮



I said I'd be back 💪🏼

It was a hell of a weekend,

and what better way to top it off than with KFC on the way home.


See ya when you're older 🫡

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