Epics / stories against yourself...
>This would be a better thread if it was personal stories, we've all had them in the first year or two. "Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement..." A chance to tell of times you gained some experience as a result of some bad judgement. Have a few, will join in later.
11–15 of 15
Took a frozen fish curry for the first night dinner. We flew from Wellington to Dunedin to head to the track and my pack must have had a bit of a hammering. Well the container lid came off and it leaked out the plastic bag and into everything. We were on 2 x 5 day tramps and it stank the whole trip. This was back in the day when I kept everything in one big pack liner. The guys moaned the most when it rained and I wore my raincoat which was particularly smelly. They made me walk at the back.
this is gold
Appalachian Trail in the USA, summer 2001, I hiked a very long day, around 46 kms to meet up with a friend celebrating his birthday near the town of Branchville, NJ. We were thrown out of the bar eventually for being loud, ended up hitching back to the bar around 2am from the hotel, I literally fell straight down on my face while exiting the truck. Without question the worst injury I've ever had while tramping.
One of my earliest tramping destinations was Tongariro National Park. My first serious tramp was damn nearly my last. May School holidays, train the Ohakune, night walk up to the old Blyth Hut (1924) and then another day to charming Mangatururu Hut. (For some reason this particular hut still lingers fondly in my memories.) The next day was the traverse around the mountain to Whakapapaiti. It wasn't bad weather, just cool and windy. I don't recall it raining, but the combination of the very poor clothing available to us back then (it was 1969), stupid heavy packs and the multiple climbs and descents gradually wore us down. Sometime late in the afternoon I hit the wall, collapsed face down in a convenient hebe bush and muttered to my mate "not going a foot further". Well it was good fortune that he wasn't quite as far gone as me, and he said something like 'stay there if you want, I'm going on'. Which he did, and then moments later, clear as a bell I heard him yell out "I can see the hut!". He'd walked no more than 20m further to the top of the spurline, which just happened to be the last one before descending into the Whakapapa proper. I reluctantly dragged myself out of the shrub I had landed in and staggered to where my mate was standing. It was a cool, blustery spot and I wasn't firing many cylinders at all, but sure enough there in the distance was the unmistakable little square that was then brand new Whakapapaiti Hut. It took us at least another wobbly hour to get down to it, but once out of the worst of the wind I think I started to recover a bit. We spent 12 days in the park that May holidays, and on one night only did we meet anyone else in a hut. How times have changed. Well that was the one night, we staggered onto the porch and collapsed. Two older blokes (they were likely only in their 20's and I'm eternally grateful to them) came out the door, took one look at us and got us inside, into our sleeping bags and made dinner for us. The next morning they were gone, but we spent the whole day recovering. The rest of the trip went well, we had another fantastic 10 days or so in the park, and it was the foundation of my love of tramping ever since. It was about two years later that I saw the film "Such a Stupid way to Die" (The one with the marvellous Jill Tremain in it) and only then did the penny drop what had happened to us, and how very close to the one way tipping point I had come.
I was really fit at the time, I was postholing through snow sometimes thigh deep along ridgetops in winter in the tararuas, all day, and up and down steep slopes for four days, got sick, couldnt eat, then ran out of food. staggered out of the tararuas half dead. fish and chips never tasted so damned good. Felt like and been chewed up and spat out by the tararuas. was sick in bed for days afterwards. First major experience in really biting off more than I could chew. I"d never had an experience that overwhelmed my fitness co completely before. My fitness had given me a false sense of confidence in my abilities. it was a big come upance and lesson... didnt matter how fit i was, there was always going to be a situation that could get the better of me somewhere out there, I was experienced in the tararuas and i thought i had the measure of it.. it really taught me a hard lesson and woke me up to what could happen. i didnt know it was a place that a trip could turn into such an epic. normally you'd associate much higher more rugged places with such difficult trips.
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