Strange hut expriences
ditto. until you have a decent amount of experience you really want to look at being with experienced people, clubs are ready made repositories of experienced people
Hmm. That's what the hut warden in Mitre Flat said to me all those years back - as I say, he put me off tramping completely for a year. That and his condemnation of me as irresponsible for intending to go up over Mitre Peak alone.
My biggest problem was that I believed him. That ingrained kiwi belief that 'NZ is so much more dangerous than everywhere else' - the motiviation behind the warden's condemnation. I've yet to come across more extreme or more sudden changes of weather here that I've encountered in the Pennines & Scottish mountains: fogs and blizzards where literally you cannot see your feet; winds commonly up to severe storm-force (here we get excited about mere gale-force). The tracks, routes and riverbeds are no more remote or obscure than those I've traveled in the Andes an Rockies. And then there's Aus: at least there's always water in less than a day's hike, and nothing here that wants to eat you.
There's nothing wrong with the alternative approach of starting simple and building yourself up as your experience grows. We can all learn by ourselves, if necessary. It's just important to know your limits and only push them a bit at a time. And to realise that alone, you are more vulnerable and so need to be more cautious, and have more backup plans available. Food, shelter, warmth, beacon and/or strict intentions - to make up for the lack of a mate with you to go get help.
problem is the hut wardens see a lot of people who dont have experience on nz type tracks, they've all got stories, people taking wheeled suitcases onto tracks.... wearing summer clothing wanting to climb mountains wearing jandals and carrying nothing but lunch at all times of the year...
any seasoned walker from britain already knows how to cope with bad weather year round... some people from climates where the weather is drier and more stable in summer arent prepared to get hit by bad weather outside of winter. or they've never had to navigate on rough tracks... still the hut warden could have worked out your abilities witha few quick qustions rather than write you off as another idiot tourists as opposed to an outdoor mad pom.... some of the hut wardens i've met have pretty minimal information about the outdoors. one misnamed the trees, creating a whole new name for one tree type....
hehe, i've yet to see really bad weather in auckland... flash flooding is the worst we get. the wind is never anything to worry about. you'd have to try pretty hard to get hypothermia....
I had to teach a hut warden how the hut ticket system worked. He thought that the 2 parts of one ticket was 2 tickets. The hut was a 3 ticket hut so he would take the whole of 1 ticket, butt and all and then part of the next ticket. As I had an annual pass it was no skin off my nose to put him right, much to the disgust of everyone else in the hut.
@waynowski: Yes, agree entirely. I don't doubt there's plenty of idiots out there, but some simple questions are all it generally takes.
Mind you, that said: there's the couple I met coming off the top of the glacier (having climbed it's length) at Glacier Burn between Dart & Caples in trainers with a daypack between them. I still haven't figured if they were ridiculously unprepared, or just so many leagues ahead of me in terms of skill and experience that for them it was just an afternoon stroll.
The difference between my understanding of the seriousness of that trip and theirs is so great that it's clear we're in different leagues: I just can't figure who's league is on top!
Jandles were mentioned earlier Ive gone many places I shouldnt of done in jandles as well but these days I am more careful. My money for your glacier travelers is unprepared. You can go a long way in gym shoes and with care attention and luck they wont let you down but remove any of the 3 factors and they wont save you.
Just because youve done the trip before in the wrong shoes is no guarantee you will do it again.
you've also got some ultralight walkers are so in love with the concept they flirt with danger, they stubornly resist taking a single gram more than they think they can get away with. no room to manouevre if weather conditions turn bad, i read about one guy who was caught in a summer storm, no decent cold weather gear, he was suffering hypothermia and there was nothing he could do about it... the weather cleared, the sun came out and warmed him up, his explanation is that god saved him because of his christian faith...
theres a lot of very lucky people roaming around out there.
i've seen tourists turn up for straight forward club walks and struggle with the coordination and endurance necessary on rough and muddy tracks. they'll be the only ones who fall over despite having walking poles...
I couldn't agree more with Madpoms post at the top of the page . I was waiting for someone else to say it before I did .
The only thing groups have over individuals is that it takes a lot longer to build up skills and experience alone as you have to bite off small bits at a time to be safe .
Yes, I've met some really admirable non-club people who have upskilled on their own, upping the anti in small increments. They are very inspiring. I think there's quite a bit of information available on the net to help with getting the necessary knowledge to support people on this quest. On the other hand, clubs are great for meeting like-minded souls. After all, that's how I met my man.
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