On Monday Alex and Chloe told us how to pack our bags so it was easy accessible throughout the hike. We packed our sleeping bags on the bottom, then our spare clothes (underwear, socks, spare thermals) in between. Then on top we put in all the camping necessities like our trangias, our tents supplies and all of our food for the next 4 days. On Monday night we were all very nervous but very excited because we didn’t know what was going to come.

On Tuesday morning we headed out of Nelson towards the Kahurangi National Park to start are 4 day, and 3 night backpacking trip. On our way to Kahurangi we picked up our guide, Mark. Mark was very knowledgeable about the Kahurangi while also knowing every single thing to know about surviving in the wild. When we arrived Mark gave us an option to take an easy trek, medium or hard. We chose the medium trek because we all agreed that we wanted to challenge ourselves and step out of our comfort zone. The first day was definitely the hardest day. We hiked up Mount Arthur then through horse shoes basin then we approached Gordon’s pyramid. Gordon’s pyramid was a huge mountain we were all so intimidated and we didn’t think we were going up that path but mark instructed us too. After our long struggle up to Gordon’s pyramid we mind it in relief, I was a defining moment once everyone in our group made it up. Then we walked another 2 hours to the camp site, which was under a small cliff rock. It was very relieving. Once we set up camp we set up the tranges and the feast began. The next morning we woke up to an easier day and it started out by mark showing us how to whittle spoons and knives. Then we made our way to another rock shelter.

The third day was not our farthest day but it was likely our most difficult. We started with an off-trail bushwack up a steep mountain. We eventually reached a steep rock wall that we were forced to climb over. To do this we had several ropes hanging down from the top of the about 3m tall cliff. A rope ladder was setup and we had to climb one by one up it. Our bags were attached to another rope and pulled up the ledge by Mark. After everyone had made it up we began some caving. The cave was very narrow, wet and dark. At several points we were forced to carry our packs above our heads to get through tight sections of the cave. The caving was a unique experience that pushed everyone mentally and physically. It was encouraging to see everyone working together and keeping team spirit high. The next part of our day involved some adventuring through a beautiful mossy forest. This was very difficult as we had to navigate ourselves and keep in the correct direction. Much of the terrain was to difficult to walk on so we had to pick our paths carefully. At one point we were descending a steep muddy hill into a beautiful valley. The hill was so steep and wet that the majority of the descent was spend sliding in mud. Following the decent a quick river crossing was all that stood between us and being on actual trails again. Fortunately for us, the river was fairly shallow and we made it across without any fuss. Back on well maintained trails again, it was only an hour hike to a nice hut very near our car park. We stayed there and had a relaxing night whittling and making fires. The next morning we woke up fairly early and headed out. We made it to the van in under 30 minutes, thus conclude our amazing hiking journey.

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Author Pacific Discovery Outreach Posted