By Luke, 31 January 2019
- Extreme Cyclist: Doug
- Rotorua Cycliets: Lucy, Jeno
- Climbing Cyclist: Emma
- The Walkers: Luke, Florian, Micheal
High were our hearts and egar our minds on that fateful friday when we hoisted our packs and headed off on our adventure. (Actually I was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed but lets not let that get in the way of a good narrative). Our journey began, as they often do, with someone mistaking me for Dom which I shall always take as a compliment even if it does make me question whether anyone understands the concept of height. Heading off around 5:45 pm on friday after we had all finished work we were preparing ourselves to get caught in the inevitable sludge of holiday traffic. Fortunately, however, it seemed that everyone in Wellington had prepared for this buy getting off work early to get an early start on the long weekend driving. This meant that we were faced with open roads all the way to our first night destination of Waikoko Campsite which while very basic served our needs of being unconscious. The harmony of nature/gravel and cars was briefly interrupted by a small argument about when we should get up the following morning.
Morning came and after a quick drive the race between the walkers and the bikers began. I may be slightly biased as one of the walkers but I feel those with the bikes made a pretty poor showing, with the exception of Doug perhaps. We had made it almost all the way to the halfway market before those with wheels were finally able to catch up with us. While we may have been in competition on the way in we were united in sweatyness on arrival with the solution being a delightful swim in the refreshing waters of Lake Taupo. We were eager to get on some rock and before we had even fully dried we were dangling from some cliffs having a delightful time. A very productive afternoon followed with us all getting a feel for the craig and some lessons in route cleaning being learnt or learned because safety third is very important! Feeling satisfied with a good start to the weekend we settled down to a hearty dinner that was much enjoyed.
Doug was up at the slightly painful hour of too early o’clock on the sunday in order to get as much climbing in as possible before heading off to cycle an unreasonable amount of distance in training for some awful sounding race in the South Island. Those of us of a slightly more vertical mindset then got stuck in for a solid day of serious climbing. As the classic Captain Caveman was a bit busy Florian suggested the Captain Caveboy alternative which provided just as fantastic views and still finished on the same stunning rappel. There was some small confusion on the third pitch which resulted in me making a variation at 3 grades higher but I decided to push through and was rewarded with some delightfully exposed climbing up to the anchor. Just before dinner we lost a couple more of our crew to the wheels as Lucy and Jeno headed off to get some redwood riding done in Rotorua. Dinner was an interesting affair as we had decided that the glass jars of pasta sauce were a bit to heavy and we instead went for honey soy stir fry with our penne. This was complemented nicely by some very approachable South African wine in a glass bottle, We agreed not to talk about it… Our final monday resulted in finally getting on both Captain Caveman and High Hopes for some incredible climbing. Everyone was feeling sore but satisfied as we lamented our lack of water taxi while lugging all the gear out to the road end. We had satisfied our mandate of: Climb hard, look good, be safe, climb hard.
Solid trip, perfect 5/7 score.