By James Ford, 30 April 2019
It's always a struggle to write trip reports. Like cleaning your muddy boots at the end of trip, writing about your adventures is often the last thing on your mind when you get home (after having met your yearly recommended intake of *type 2 fun in just two days). But looking back, it's always worth it being able to relive all the quirky little details that made the time spent in the hills the best weekends of your year.
This year neither Andrew nor I had gone on any proper trips since ourill fated attempt at conquering the Dragon's Teeth with Arlen over Christmas (we ran out of water on Christmas Eve, camped out under a fly [which was not built for 3 people =( ], and drank most of the cider & goon we'd brought, only to receive a night & day of heavy rain). So with a 10 day (for the price of 3) holiday, we put on our boots, filled our packs with food, and snagged a few extra essentials - namely coffee, 2016/17 copies of Heels to drop at huts, a full size camera tripod, and 1.5kg of cheese. Then we set out on our 8 day escapade, with a quote from former Chief Guide , Peter (Pedro) Radcliffe in mind:
"Do you know why you go tramping? I know why you go tramping. It's because you like suffering. You'll swear black and blue that you go tramping for the scenery and the companionship - but what's that 90% of the time? Non existent or cold and wet."
We set on Easter Friday, wandering past the former brewery of Roaring Stag Hut and up to the newly refurbished Cattle Ridge Hut for the night. Then on to Dundas Hut for a rest day, splitting the 6 bunks between 9 people. From there, upward and onward to peaks, ridges, and huts neither of us had visited in our tramping careers (at least, not in the last 5 years). *Strolling* over Dundas & Arete Peaks, we made Arete Biv and Carkeek our home for a night each (unsurprisingly, we didn't have to share them), before losing our way a multitude of times bush bashing down to Park Forks and up to Tarn Ridge Hut. With two days left, we opted for a 10 hour day filled with power walking, semi-technical scrambling, sweetened condensed milk, and a touch of mild hypothermia with 2m visibility for the last hour to Jumbo Hut. Followed by a two hour morning to the Holdsworth Road end with swimming & sunbathing to finish off the trip.
Did we suffer? A little. Would we do it again? Absolutely! Was it worth bringing 1.5kg of cheese and a camera tripod? Debatable.
*Type 2 Fun: Where you had an absolutely miserable time, but when you tell everybody about it you make it sound like the greatest sh*t ever. Until you start believing you had fun, then you go and do it all over again. [Definitions on this will vary from person to person]