Mount Owen is beautiful, the views majestic, but halfway up I needed a nap | Naomi Arnold
The first time I walked up Mount Owen, I horrified my boyfriend by curling up beneath one in every of its well-known water-riven karst outcrops and insisting I needed to sleep. We’d damaged up six months earlier than, and had simply gotten again collectively to provide it one other go. That morning, we had been each questioning our life decisions.
The day past had been nice – a respectable seven hours of strolling, climbing a ridge by way of mountain beech, sidling alongside a rocky cliff streaming with water, and clambering up a dry riverbed to Granity Cross Hut, a easy 12-bunk alpine hut simply previous the treeline.
But we’d bickered all morning as the solar rose behind us and we hiked up the massif in the direction of the summit, by way of the bronzed alpine meadow generally known as the Hay Paddock, previous nonetheless mountain tarns reflecting the sky.
It was stunning, but I was getting slower and grumpier, and at last introduced I needed a lie-down in the tussock.
He checked out me, aghast. He actually needed to get to the high – at 1,875 metres, Mt Owen is the highest level in Kahurangi Nationwide Park, which covers the north-western nook of the high of New Zealand’s South Island. The views are majestic. I not cared.
“Go,” I stated, waving weakly from my spot beneath the sun-warmed rock. “It’s sunny. I’ll wait right here. I’m nice. I’m simply so drained.”
He stood over me, contemplating.
“This is not a place to nap,” he stated, and hauled me up like a forged ruminant and prodded me in the direction of the high.
You do want your wits about you on the glaciated marble karst of Mt Owen. Filled with slots and holes, its insides are riven with caves, a few of the longest in the world. To get to the high, it’s important to spend a couple of hours hopping from rock to rock throughout sharply carved cracks. A fall would require surgical procedure or a physique bag, and like all of New Zealand, the climate can change out of the blue.
Finally, I made it. I collapsed on the easy gray rock and watched different trampers sure about taking photos. I lay on my pack and stared into the layers of bluish mountain ranges, hazy in the January summer time warmth as my boyfriend grimly ready himself to spend the remainder of the day coaxing me again all the way down to the automobile, imagining plenty of pack-carrying and whining.
But on the means again down, I got here proper – and once we had been checking out our garbage at the carpark, I realised what had occurred. The freeze-dried meal I’d had for breakfast, a product pattern from a good friend, had really contained two servings of high-energy scrambled eggs, bacon and hollandaise – about 1,600 energy. No surprise I was comatose; I’d had a Christmas dinner’s value of rehydrated eggs earlier than attempting to stagger to the summit. I confirmed him the packet, and he simply shook his head.
Naomi Arnold is a senior longform journalist at RNZ and writer of Southern Nights, a story of New Zealand astronomy
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