This past week, the group embarked on a backpacking trip through the Tableland Circuit in Kahurangi National Park. Armed with not enough toilet paper and too much peanut butter (among other things), the team walked about 25-30 miles during these four days, many of which were at a steep incline. For meals, the group split up into 3 cook crews; my group consisted of me (Sam), Jaipal, Zephyr, and Harm. For breakfast, we had oatmeal and granola; for lunch, I had peanut butter on Vita-Weats, as well as avocado and vegemite on Vita-Weats. Our award winning dinners consisted of soba noodles, chili beans, and rice and potatoes.
Let’s break it down.
On Monday, we departed from the Nelson YHA and drove 90 minutes to reach the Flora Car Park, which served as our start and end point for the adventure. We set out in the rain and arrived at Flora Hut with almost everyone in good spirits. A group of 6 then ascended to 1462 meters above sea level to reach Lodestone Summit. The other half of our fellowship continued on to the Gridiron Rock Shelters where we later reunited for the night.
Tuesday began bright and early with a walk up to Cloustons Mine and ended with all 12 of us warm and dry at Salisbury Lodge. Wednesday blew us away, with both the views atop Gordon’s Pyramid and the powerful winds that we encountered on the hike up. However, being strong, fearless, ambitious young adults we struggled on for 6 more hours in a full gale to reach Arthur Hut. I’m just kidding. Rather than have a cold, miserable time on the exposed ridge, we chose to cower from Mother Nature and change our route such that we returned to Flora Hut for some z’s.
Thursday arrived all too soon, and some of us weren’t ready to rest our legs. A group of 8 made the trek to Arthur Hut and from there 4 continued on to almost summit Mt. Arthur (snow and hazardous climbing conditions forced us to turn around less than 200 meters from the top ☹️). After a long walk back to the Flora Car Park (remember Flora Car Park?), we returned tired, hungry, and uninjured to the Nelson YHA (are you having déjà vu yet?). Thus, we survived our 4 day ass whooping.