Thursday, December 20, 2012

In the thick of it

My my, nearly two weeks of neglect! But it's the most positive kind of neglect, that which is caused by excessive activity and exhaustion. On the weekend of December 8th I went to climb at a crag in the Banks Peninsula called Mount Bradley, and on the weekend of the 15th I went for another great tramp with the Christchurch tramping club.

The Mt. Bradley day was pretty funny. Gareth (a Welsh friend) and I were both keen to experience what the guidebook describes as some of the best climbing near Christchurch. Unfortunately, it's also 800m vertically up, and at least 5km of walking. It was also extremely sunny and hot, so by the time we actually made it to the top of a climb, we were so dehydrated it was clear the next objective was to just get *down* without collapsing.

 The vegetation was ridiculously thick all around the climb, both at the belay and at the top. I have a feeling about 10 people climb there in a year. Perhaps it was due to the earthquakes that the vegitation is so thick. The worst part was that it was almost all this prickly shrub called gorse. Bushwacking through gorse is basically hell; I can't imagine it without pants on. To get a feeling for our sun exhaustion at the top, here is an enthusiastic Gareth posing for a picture:

The top. Oh joy.
Last weekend (15-16th) was so nice, I guilted myself into going on a tramp, because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. I joined a group heading to Arthur's pass to climb "The Dome". I'd just be repeating myself if I went over all the details. Great views, wonderful company, yada yada. Interesting bit: got to descend a ~500m scree slope, which was *mostly* good. I can't forget to include the crummy photos, all taken with my phone unfortunately:

Skiin' the scree

I'm so bad at selfies I can't even look at the damn camera.

I was so damn happy to reach the bottom after 10 hours of walking.
I have some more kiwi-isms for you, too:

  • They call street racers "boy racers" (e.g. Vin Diesel is a boy racer)
  • A classic: "Man, that trip was sweet as!" means "That trip was sweet!" but it's used for any adjective, e.g my hiking pole was described as "light as"
  • "What are you after?" is a retail equivalent of "how can I help you?".
  • You don't chug a beer, you "skull" it.
  • Subaru is pronounced "su-BAroo", as in this famous SNL sketch

In other exciting news, I finally made a half-decent looking latte. However, I quit coffee, this being the second time I've quit since I've been here.  I assume I'll be back on the wagon in no time, though. I call this one "the onion":

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