Or if Tina says we’re gonna climb a mountain, she fucking means it.
Just to remind you…I didn’t bring any of my tramping gear this time, thinking I will sit in Wellington and not get out of there before I’ll go home again.
Then Tina offered that I can stay with her which was just too good to not do it. And then she had the idea to climb Mt Ruapehu with me. Why are all my friends crazy? Does that say something about me? =P
I told Tina, I have no gear but she got everything that I need. So I was wearing hired boots, snow pants and one of Tina’s fleece tops. One of the most necessary things were sunglasses so I bought some ugly ones for 20 dollars. They worked and they saved me from getting snow blind.
Except for being really warm in the beginning I felt good. Then we got to the ski station. Suddenly I had Ida’s words back in my head „Mountains are scenery. Only stupid people and foreigners climb them. Oh wait…“ from nearly two years back. I know that I classify as both. And I almost felt as intimidated as we did before the Kepler track. But that’s okay. Tina was convinced that „we two crazy people“ will show Becky what she’s missing out on right now. Cause when I told Becky I’ll go see Tina and climb a mountain, she said „Well, then I know who it is when there’s a news that two German tourists went missing on Mt Ruapehu“. =P Becky is so not a hiking person. *gg*
We got there, we met Mike, our Canadian guide, and then we took two ski lifts up to 2200m. From there we would walk. In the beginning I felt really stupid cause we were walking right next to the ski track and people would look at us funny. Plus Mike was super-cautious in the beginning and would have us tied together with a rope so he could pull us up when we slide down somewhere.
After about 45min of hiking we made our way across to untouched snow fields. We wanted to get up to the crater lake and probably to the summit. Or rather to one of the summits of Mt Ruapehu. The next hour was quite hard. I was cursing a lot in my head and decided that hiking in snow is even worse than on sand. At least sand is flat most of the times and you don’t sink in up to your knees. O.o As a result of this, I had wet feet in no time.
Anyway, at lunch time (12.15pm) we were up at the crater lake. =D Which was a good three hours hike with one 15min break. „The key to success in the mountains is a slow and steady pace. Just keep walking and don’t stop too often. It burns sugar way too fast if you run and stop, run and stop.“ Mike kept us moving so we had a 30min lunch break at the lake while he went somewhere to do some digging in the snow. He works for DOC so he did whatever they wanted him to do. He came back…“So how is everybody? You’re doing good, girls. What do you think: shall we go up to that summit and then we’ll have a descend down a totally different track than we got up this morning?“ Sure, it’s not like I’ll get up here often in the future, is it? So we had a walk down to the crater lake with more snow up to my knees and then we climbed the summit. Whoa! O.O That was sooooooooo steep!!!! O.O Mike had us on the rope again and since it felt like we’re climbing a wall, he made steps into the snow where we could step on. I tellz you it’s not the best to do when you gotz vertigo…
Summit was on 2670m or something like that.
View was great and we continued walking on the ridge. Also nothing I recommend when you have vertigo. All I thought was „Just look down the other side…don’t think about the drop only a foot away from you…“ =P
Then we started to descend. Mike was trying one way and then decided that the snow is too hard and harsh that way and that we will have to find a different way. He thought about it a bit and came up with a way. „It’s gonna be a nice and long slope. We’ll end up on the other side of the mountain but we might catch one of DOC’s transports from there. Boy, I’m taking you for a hike today, eh?“ That didn’t sound too well. But Tina and I felt good so we walked downhill, digging our heels in as well as we could. *lol* Suddenly Mike sat down. „Alright, this bit is a tiny bit too steep to walk down so we will slide down on our bums.“ *ROFLOL* It was so much fun!!! Of course it also meant that we had snow everywhere afterwards. Also I may quote Tina here (as I would never say such a thing =P) „I feel like I pissed in my pants and it all ran down into my boots. O.o“ *LOL*
Mike became less and less worried about us. He would now regularly disappear around two bends, leaving us his footprints to follow. Another bum slide followed. =D He would wait there for us, instructing us and then slide down.
When I came around the bend where Mike had disappeared behind, I could see him jump to a place and then bumslide from there. This time he was down there without warning us. And I think he did it for a reason. Tina and I were standing up there, looking unbelievingly at the steep part we were supposed to slide down (it looked like a drop for the first couple of meters) and actually felt like shouting „come and get us“ to Mike. *cough* Alright, I did it first. It was fucking steep and fucking fast. I slightly lost control but it was okay, I stopped infront of Mike’s feet. He looked down at me „what are you doing?“ *LOL* =P Then it was Tina’s go. She was shouting and cursing and when she finally let go, she screamed her heart out. *gg* When she also was down, Mike looked at both of us and said „What’s up with all that noise you girls make?“ =P He enjoyed teasing us. And I didn’t realize I was screaming while going down.
For the next half an hour, Tina and I were giggling a lot (getting rid of the adrenaline…it makes you silly) and hoping we wouldn’t have to bumslide again.
Eventually we got into an area again where people were skiing but it still took quite a while to get to the lift that we could take down again.
Tina and I were very surprised that it was only 3pm when we were down again…but that was almost another three hours hike without a break. We were both thinking that Mike hurried that much because the sun would set soon (it was getting slightly cloudy and chilly at that time too). Now we decided he hurried so he could ski afterwards cause he kept telling us we should learn to ski…he’d show us nice tracks. =P
Since we had to return my boots, I took them off when we got to the car…and really I could pour water out of them. *LOL* My socks were completely soaked and I left wet footprints everywhere. *gg* Plus…Tina and I were sunburnt despite baking ourselves in 30+ sunscreen. My hands looked like I’ve been to Italy for a month and our faces were just red. (Today I discovered that the worst part is actually my neck. O.o)
A muchly needed and appreciated long shower later we felt like new. Well, new with sore muscles and sunburn. =P Except for hanging around yawning our hearts out, having dinner and writing Becky an email, we didn’t do anything that evening. In fact…I fell asleep at 8pm. *cough cough* =P
our little cabin in early morning sun light
on the way to the ski lifts
taking pictures out of the car
The Pinnacles…we started the hike…
…down in the white hut on the right side.
me looking stupid…
finally made our way cross-country, away from the skiing people
two crazy people
that’s where we’re going (the little black dots are people)
bit of a view
Mike leading the way
…we’ve reached the plateau that was to be crossed…
Tina and Mike enjoying the view…
…while I take more pictures of myself.
Let’s go on the flat bit…
…and on the going up bit…
…but we made it!!! Lunch break!
Looking at this…
….AND the crater lake!!! =D
that’s a shelter, even though it looks like a bit heap of snow.
Mike and random people
me and da lake…YO!
For da ‘Inas: A tiger also made its way up there. =D
Way to the summit…note the really steep part on the right
the whole thing
that would be me walking up
View on the lake from the rigde
View down the other side
On the ridge…we just look red while the guide is tanned like hell. =P
Tina taking pictures
View on the other mountain
Yeah well, the pictures have to come from somewhere, don’t they?
Almost back down again