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Heels 1969

Tramping's Not The Word

Tramping's Not The Word

Who can describe the freedom of Friday. The Masterton Railcar. The taxi to Holdsworth. The suppressed glow. The tingle of Powell-here-we-come. Will there be snow? Some on the Gentle Annie perhaps? Will the weather hold? Who knows; who cares; we're off.

Carbide, sweat, mud, blackness, shouting, Lloyd-George, and laughter.

Satisfaction creeps in; just a bit, then a little. A soft bed is a dream, a luxury seldom appreciated.

Feeling quite good still ....

"Wadder we doing Queen's Birthday?"

Not sure, pant, possibly an S.K. Another little tingle.

Different bush; more mud and Mountain House. A stop, page 6water, maybe a Tang, a biscuit; "By God - a food-bonk's-a-bastard on Friday nights."

"Beautiful night so far."

"Lovely; forecast's pretty good; clearing, Southerly, anticyclone on the way."

"Mighty; should be good tomorrow, then."

Out, out and off. Reluctant at first. Automatic, however and slow. Up, plod, up, plod up plod, up, up, up. A test of fitness, this, really. Mustn't let the others know I'm not fit. Hell; wish I could muster a whistle. "Hey Jude." Gasp; Jude-a-Jude-a-Jude-gasp.

First mini-saddle; 2nd, 3rd, 4th; twenty minutes Powell.

snow. Snow. Snow. Insane yells. It's old and dry and around the knobbles of roots and in chinks of branches. Still snow though. I'm stuffed. Who cares? Powell-fifteen minutes. Turning at last onto the flat ridge. Leatherwood. "Leatherwood I love you" - a half hearted spit.

The Sentinel; Tussock; White Nergs; High Ridge. Beams of light; talking, shouting, wild yells. Frrrrrrrost. Snow everywhere. Masses of stars. Look, Masterton, Carterton, Greytown - all gems; lustrous, beautiful gems.

Yipeeeee. Yaaahoooo - echoes everywhere.

I'm last as usual; last nerg now, plod, pause, plod pause, pause, pause pause plod and on. I'm cold now. Icicles - freezing.

A smoke; my kingdom for a smoke, lovely smoke.

Inside; clomp, stamp, frost, primus, smiling, excited talk. "Where's the Lodge-book?" Not bad 2 hrs.25. - 4000ft. Fantastical.

A brew, my pit, satisfaction in a smirk and a smoke. I'm glowing inside.

Tramping is Not the word. It's more.

Traversing Oriwa Ridge is very similar to chronic alcoholism . . . . You're always on the bash.