Harnessing the wind on the way to Dorset Ridge

On the Friday night at 5.30pm, six of us set off in the club van making our way slowly but surely to the Pines to start our walk and making a quick dinner pit stop in Carterton. We arrived at the start of our walk after 8pm and started walking to Mitre Flats hut at 8.30pm. We arrived at the hut by 11.45pm and the light sound of breathing set in 20 minutes later.

At 6.45am the alarm went off and after having breakfast and packing we set out just after 8am to start the climb up to the summit of Mitre Peak. After a few hours of climbing, at 1100m, we reached the exposed part of the mountain. We put on our wind proof jackets as we could feel the wind pick up. As we continued to walk in the exposed area up the mountain our fierce leader was nearly blown off.

It was then decided that we needed to assess the situation and determine whether to continue walking in the exposed area up the peak and along the ridge line to Dorset Hut or to return back down the mountain to Mitre Flats Hut for the afternoon and evening. Kevin pulled out his anemometer to test the wind which ranged from 35km to 70km. After much consideration by the leaders and the team it was decided for safety purposes to come back down the mountain and stay at Mitre Flats Hut for the evening.

On the way down we were fortunate to run into Coda the collie, her owner and friend along the track who were also attempting to climb Mitre Peak and return back to the hut for the evening. Unfortunately due to the strength of the wind they also did not make it to the top. We then returned safely back to the hut at 2pm for lunch and an afternoon rest before our group dinner. Shortly after Coda and her party then returned back and we enjoyed taking turns patting Coda who in return showed us a few tricks that she could do. Dinner consisted of a delicious Tofu Laska and a delicious Vegan Chocolate Brownie cake cooked and walked in by Kevin.

It was an early night for everyone and we were able to have a sleep in and wake up at 7.30am. After breakfast and packing up we then took the same path back to the cars and returned back to the carpark at lunchtime. We stopped for a quick lunch stop at then proceeded to make our way back to wellington and arriving back to the train station while it was still daylight.

Coda has her own Instagram page and you can her follow her at coda_the_collie_in_nz and be part of her adventures throughout NZ.

Video of Kevin Harnessing the wind!!

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