Thanks to two covid lockdowns and a back injury, our girls trip to Mt Somers had been postponed numerous times, so it felt a bit surreal when everything *finally* fell into place and we headed down South for our bucket list trip.

We booked our five day expedition style trip with Outdoor Education New Zealand, which (if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time) you’ll know we have used many times before.

On this comprehensive sport climbing course, you will learn everything you need to know to become a safe and efficient climber

Outdoor Education New Zealand

Day 1 – The hike.

I’d planned to do some training for this and I had done a little – but obviously not enough ..

We were told most groups do the trail in 1.5-2.0 hours and although the rest of my group managed to arrive within that time frame, it took me closer to 3.0 hours in the scorching heat!

They all then went off to climb – I on the other hand, decided I’d stay back and “set up camp” aka wallow in the river.

Day 2 – Yet more walking and some climbing

Walked what seemed like a million miles to Honeycomb Crag on yet another blisteringly hot day. Had this crag not been a million miles away, it would have been my favourite.

On our way back, we stopped at Karearea Crag and went over multipitch belaying and abseiling – we’d return here a couple of days later to string pitches together.

Day 3 – More climbing – less walking (thank goodness)

Woke up in the clouds and rain was forecast for the afternoon, so we headed Gecko crag as it’s the closest to the hut. We climbed till lunchtime, then headed back to the hut to go over some rescue skills.

Gecko became my favourite, not only because it was the closest, but I also liked the climbing.

Day 4 – Multi pitching baby!

I wasn’t SUPER keen to do any climbing by day 4 – because I’m “elderly” now and all this walking (and climbing) was tiring. However, I compromised and made my way slowly back to Karearea Crag and rested while the rest of my group did a couple of pitches and I jumped in on the second run through after lunch.

This ended up being the most rewarding day of all for me and probably what I’d most proud of, the rappel back down was also pretty damn awesome – can’t believe I was so freaked out last time I tried it. lolol.

Day 5 – I’m out ..

My group decided to spend the last morning climbing at Gecko Crag, I thought it best to pack up and head back down the trail so they wouldn’t have to wait hours in the van for me to get back.

My decision to bail early, ended up being a great idea as Jack passed me around 2/3 of the way down and I only just beat the girls back!

I definitely should have practiced carrying a full pack prior to the trip – my days of “winging” it and relying on my strength and fitness are well behind me. 😉

The Highs –

Well, I hauled myself up and down a steep arse track – so I still (kind of) got it 😉

Camping – I love camping, although I was slightly worried the night the storm rolled in as I’ve never camped out in heavy rain in the tent I was in (it was fine).

Hanging out with the girls – both Isabelle and Teagan were amazing, no fights, no tears – just a lot of giggling.

The hot chips we stopped for on our way back to Christchurch.

The Lows

Well, did I mention that hill I had to climb up?

The weather was pretty gloomy on days 4-5 and the track was wet when I descended it (which is pretty hard going for me with the injuries I’ve sustained) so it took me 3 hours to tentatively walk down the hill back to the van.

Would I do it again?

Well, never say never, but I’d probably do A LOT more walking beforehand.

Till next time

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