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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Hayden

Fit for a king (Crown Peak)

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

My last blog post was a hard one to write,

Some of them just fall out of me but I really had to dial in on the Kepler 😅

To my dismay but not surprise, walking through a blizzard can really take a toll on ones immune system.

Something was going around and I was wide open.


Whatever it was hit like a brick shit house, I worked through covid and did a great walk but these Southland sicknesses are something else 👌🏻

I was bed ridden for nearly three days and couldn't bring myself to write about how that weekend made me feel 😅

I know this sounds ridiculous but I almost felt betrayed, the mountains are usually good to me.


When I'd finally finished writing I could see things for what they were.

These mountains really don't give a fuck about me, and that's the best part.

It's wild up there.

These mountains have worn the elements like a badge of honour, they were formed under pressure and will remain pressed long after I'm gone.

Whatever happens in the meantime is all part of the experience.


The following week I was out and about, travelling for work has it's perks 😏

I wanted to get out that weekend,

I just had to keep one eye on the road...


The Crown Range is a hell of a drive, especially mid winter when you're towing some weight 😅

There's a couple of viewpoints you can park up at but I've heard the best one is a little off the beaten path.


There were three routes I found leading to the summit, all good day trips.

I chose to start at the highest point.

I have no problem with walking up hills, I look for them 🤔

Still, I've been packing so much into my outings recently that the idea of a cruisey day sounded good 😅



From the carpark I crossed the road and walked up to the ridgeline, this didn't take long.

On a good day the ridge is the best place to be.



There she is, Crown peak.

About five kilometres away at this point.

To the left the Harris Mountain Range and Mt Aspiring National Park waaaay back in the sea of snow.


 

These rolling hills are easy walking, I could see fading footprints in the snow but nothing fresh,

I had this all to myself.


I was able to smoke a little undisturbed and listen to some of Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man audiobook.

Full disclosure if I'm hearing about the songs then I want to listen to them,

and if I'm listening to them I'm gonna sing along 😝


 

By this point I really wished I had a board,

I planned to strap on my sled but it's a bit big and gets in the way of walking 😒

There were a lot of good runs, but most of my photos were bleached by the sun and I don't wanna show you those ones 😂


I have since bought a board, I just need boots, I found a bag designed to carry it all too 👌🏿

I'll be able to hike up and ride down soon 🤙🏼


 

⏫⏫ The top of Mt Pisa in the distance and

Kirtle Burn Hut tucked in below, where I spent a night last month.


The snow kinda dictated my track, I wasn't taking much notice of markers, just steering clear of any large overhangs. (I'm not looking to add avalanche to my list of experiences 😅)



Would ya look at that 🤯



I definitely came to the best lookout 😌

Most people at this height came up on a ski lift, a dot on Cardrona or Coronet.



When I first moved here everything was so foreign, it really was a world of difference.

Now I've been here over a year and I think I'm more stunned than ever, it's an incredible place to live.


People said Central Otago would be too cold for me, I'm up here in shorts 😂



Two or three KMs ahead of me, I spotted what looked like a hut...

I have since learnt that this is the Crown Basin Mountain Turk.

A converted watertank, it's insulated and even has double glazed joinery👌

There's a few of these in the area and are bookable through Mountainturk.org.nz

This would be an ideal base for future plans🏂🏿


After an hour or so at the top I started walking back down.

The snow was thinning and I was back on Tussock within the hour.

I spotted a couple of people walking back towards the carpark with their dog, they stopped for a bit before I hit this speed bump ⏬


 

I wonder if anyone in that plane spotted me🤷🏻‍♂️😂



They were probably busy looking at all that ⏫⏫


 

Just like that I'm back to civilization and another weekend is coming to an end 😒

On the bright side at least it's a quick half hour drive home,

I think this is the first chapter I dont end with takeaways 🤔

I'm trying to recreate them🍔


Later bo !






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