Townley Mountains [Part A]

11-14 January 2018. Even Google knows nothing about the Townley Mountains! The trusty, crusty and sometimes reliable Moirs Guide South contained just two sentences on our proposed route: “The first main tributary of the Florence Stream leads over the tops to Lake St Patrick and makes for pleasant travel. The descent to Lake St Patrick is steep, working down through bluffs on the true right of the waterfall that joins Emerald Steam below the lake.”

With that scant information, we set off for four days in the Townley Mountains.

It was pleasant travel indeed up the Florence Stream. Good deer trails on both banks and generally easy shortcuts across open plains. The steam itself is gorgeous.

Travel up the first tributary started out anything but pleasant. Steep climbing with gnarly sidles across scrubby forested slopes. Not to mention liberal lashings of bush lawyer vine attacking our inadequately protected skin.

We finally reached some flat swampy ground.

We camped nearby, somewhat exhausted and dispirited. Fortunately the going became easier as we continued up valley next morning, passing a lovely lake.

The valley has many wildflowers, including this orchid.

And these daisy bushes.

Fiordland is very dry at the moment. This makes for easy walking in dry river and lake beds.

More wildflowers…

And possibly the last Mt Cook buttercup we’ll see this summer.

We camped by a ridiculously beautiful alpine lake, and climbed a nearby unnamed peak for the view.

And saw yet more wildflowers.

To be continued.
[Posted 17 January 2018.]