Earnslaw Burn

Published on May 5, 2014,

When asked how to describe New Zealand,  I can only pull from what I know.  My “Go to” answer… It’s as if someone took Canada, condensed it, trimmed all the medioctiy, leaving a landmass of extremes.  The Earnslaw Burn Track is testiment to this.  The track leads you 20KM into the wonderland that is the Glenochy backcountry, and puts you on the doorstep of one of the great landscapes that defines this country.  In a brief spell of high-pressure my friend Traharn and I laced up and headed for a night under the stars.  Rolling the dice, we left the tent, packed light and ventured into the woods.  Winding up the track, the hours and KM fell.  When we finally stopped putting tread to track the scene infront of us was, well, Mindblowing.  Peaks of hanging glaciers cascaded into waterfalls that brought the surrounding cliffs and valleys to life.  This all may sound a bit deep and ridiculous but it was a truly amazing spectical.  Building rock benches and a small fire we set up a camp to the tune of the harmonica (an essential camping tool).  Evening faded to night.  Wrapped in my sleeping bag with nothing but a roof of stars, the sound of the river, and the odd crack and rumble of the caving glacier, there was no denying that this was Awesome!

The morning broke with clouds overhead and we soon realized that weather in this place is less than predictable.  Just as we finished packing camp, the rain fell.  Hard.  Sporting rain gear, we decided it would be rude to turn tail without having a closer look.  We spent 2 hours jumping over creeks, and climbing the towering face.  When the sloppy cold finally started to bite we made for the valley.  Putting one drenched shoe infront of the other we hiked through saturated forests, back to the car.  With pruned feet and stiff hands, we hit a small cafe in town.  Mending our battered states with Flat-whites and hot chocolate.  One hell of a way to spend a couple days, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again.