By Kate Morris, 07 August 2022
Author's note: this was written in twenty minutes, the night before Heels was due to the printers. I take no responsibility for spelling errors, factual errors, or reckless hyperbole. Enjoy.
T'was a grey and drizzly morning on the Remutaka Pass when ten trampers set off along some unnamed road that led to the rail trail. The walk was fine, it was a fairly boring 4WD track, I think the cyclists had the right idea. The company was good though (you gotta go on a tramp with Joe if you haven't already). There was one river crossing for which most of the group, like the hardened trampers we are, took off our shoes and socks. It started to get interesting when we reached the actual rail trail, passed the 'summit' (not actually a summit!! no stars on yelp) and came across the cool tunnels. Tunnels were indeed cool, four and a half stars on yelp. After a couple more tunnels and an epic swingbridge (4.75), the plan was to have a peaceful afternoon walking back the way we came. However I turned around to see half the group huddled around a phone looking at topo maps and talking in hushed tones. Oh no, this can't be good. Especially since it was the Patrick/Tommy/Alex trio, who have altogether too much energy and too much leg between them. Patrick, with a glint in his eye, informed the group that he thought it was probably doable to bush-bash/ridge-clamber directly to the Remutaka lookout rather than taking the boring way back. And like sheep, we followed him. Down into the gully, up the stream where water was being blown straight upwards, through thick gorse... until half of us decided to be cowardly/sensible (you decide) and take the normal way back. The way back sure was normal and peaceful, apart from our dear Anthony's CATASTROPHIC AND DEBILITATING THUMB INJURY. You'll have to ask the adventurous crew what exactly they got up to but from photos it looks like they had a lovely, windy, mountain-goaty time. Disaster struck when Team Sensible got back to the carpark and realized that both the drivers - and their keys - were somewhere far away with Team GaleForce. A very, very cold couple of hours of waiting ensued, a good part of that being spent in a literal ditch to try and avoid the rain. With darkness falling and phone calls unanswered, we were accepting that the options may be to hitch-hiking or crime ("do you think Patrick would mind if I broke into his car with shoelaces??"). Luckily, Team GaleForce trudged into the carpark just as I was unlacing my boots, and we all made our way home via the Brown Owl fish and chip shop. P.S if anyone knows what ordering 'Zesties' will get you, please please let me know, Google has no answers, this is torturing me.