Emerging from a COVID winter

Going into the end of March with no Godzone Adventure race on the horizon I had grand plans for an extended summer, the sort of summer that Godzone always cuts short. After finishing up with Godzone there is always a number of weeks of being slightly incapacitated, then just when you start to feel human again, NZ is well on the way into the middle of winter! Like just about everyone COVID had different plans for us all and into Lockdown for just over 4 weeks we all went.

While in lockdown I maintained my cycle commuting, by going out for a bike ride every morning before work and the break from doing anything too long and arduous gave my body a good chance to “recover” to an extent.

When the shackles finally came off I managed to get out for a solo trip into the mountains along with many others who took advantage of the settled weather! It took me until midday to settle in on a plan, but quickly I packed and went for it. I was walking until darkness to get to a good spot which I thought would be off the beaten trail…. however, my first choice of campsite had two tents in it… and then my second choice had another two tents already there as well! So I had to go for a new tent site idea. It wasn’t perfect, but being up high it was very very cold. I had all my clothes on, two sleeping bags and an insulated matt inside a tent and still was not quite warm enough! The cold was worth it for the sunrise the next morning though.

Sunrise over the Waimakariri Valley

Once I was warmed up I headed up higher with a plan to do a good sized traverse from the top of the peak and round to Bealey spur. I reached the peak quite a lot quicker than I thought, and began the traverse, however it was a little more involved than I anticipated and being by myself I started to question the sensibility of what I was attempting. Coupled with the thoughts of sketchiness, I could now see the full route and it was quite a bit further than I imagined.

Given the circumstances I made the decision to head back a slightly different way and short cut back to the car instead. Probably a good call in the end, as it was pretty much the verge of winter and daylight was becoming a precious commodity! As it was I was back at the car about 4pm anyway, and back home in Christchurch right on darkness!

View from the summit


Categories: Climbing, Exploring, Mountain Biking

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