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Published: January 26th 2011
Hello all! It is with great pleasure that I write now, after successfully completing what is considered a difficult tramp by New Zealand standards; Five Passes. It is much like it sounds, five mountain passes through a mostly unmarked route, each section offering its own unique and difficult challenges. I have no doubt that the path we chose was the best approach, as each pass seemed to one-up the previous as far as the views went, supplying us with countless amazing photos and memories that will last a life time. The only negative to our route was several descents that could be described as disturbing in nature, with a slight chance of painful and certain bodily injury border-lining...death. However, I am happy to report everyone managed to emerge from this adventure with no serious injuries only nursing sore as hell bodies. All in all, we spent six nights in the wilderness in tents, carrying everything we need to survive simply with us; there is a certain satisfaction to have all we require only on our backs. This creates a heavy load, especially including the required food for the amount of days we expected, but thus part of what makes the experience amazing. The highlight of the trip had to be near the final pass, where we were privileged to see the stunning Fohn Lakes; pictures will do little justice but at least give an idea of the beauty. A little gem was also in day two, when Chad was fully interested in keeping his boots dry and therefore engaged in a questionable decision that could have been devastating, but instead only became a hilarious story. We were crossing a fairly active river, where Chad instructed Nick not to jump between rocks trying to avoid the water, as it could be potentially bad. Naturally, once Nick had crossed, Chad immediately attempted the exact thing he warned Nick against, by leaping to a large rock across the water. To his credit, the jump was accurate and true, however the target proved to be weak and unstable. As he landed on the rock, it slowly toppled backward, to which I thought was going to pin him underwater and require a aquatic rescue. Fortunately, Chad simply toppled into the water he was trying to avoid, and bodily injury was dodged. Overall, I'd say the whole thing played out about as well as it could have from my point of view. Another excellent thing to report from this tramp, was the change that occurred in Nick over the days we walked. Apparently, Nick had finally built up enough experience points to level his character up after the fifth pass, as once we were down the other side, a light switch was flipped on for him. His speed and demeanor was instantly changed, almost making him into a new tramper; it was an amazing thing to see. Lastly, another noteworthy moment of the trip had to be another chapter in the "Chad Episodes". On the final night, in the middle of the night (per typical), Chad very casually commented to Nick, "One of them has a knife," and then returned to silence. Such comments luckily are met with a mild neglect now and don't cause much alarm.
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This is why I needed you to write this blog...Hilarious stuff...
Luke the Puke
Happy to see your success'. And to hear that Chad fell in the water, after he didn't join me in the river, makes my heart happy. Now I'm just waiting for your turn in the water as well. LOL. Also, I'm happy to hear Nick leveled up, he may now be powerful enough to fight the final boss in any Final Fantasy. Oh ya, it's nice to know that Chad is dreaming of me, of course I'm the one with the knife! I hope your good fortunes and great times continue!
sounds like things are going well
Andrew, We are at a computer in the hotel lobby in Cancun and had a chance to catch up on your trip. Sounds cool and congrats to you guys for completing the Five Passes. We will be home the evening of the 30th and look forward to talking with you soon
Andrew C Arkis
Everything seems to be excellent right now! We are immediately jumping right back into a long tramp (10 days) to Stewart Island in the south. So, an update will be in a little while. Talk to you all soon!