Tararua Main Range SK Attempt

After our SMR in April Anthony and I planned to make an attempt on the famed SK route. Dave gave us some compass and gps training, Chris gave us a timing schedule and I got lots of help on the food to take. In December it all came together. The perfect weather window was lining up for December 17th.  We dropped a car at Kaitoke and got a cab to take us to the train at Maymorn. From Masterton we got a cab to Putara and borrowed Tom’s car from the road end to get to and from Putara base camp.

There were 5 groups planning missions from Putara on that day, Marta dropped in at 2.45am to tell us they had turned around from the tops due to the rain and wind, Al, Dave, Paul and Tom were hunkered down in Herepai Hut waiting for it to clear. We got started just after 3am and hit the tops as the sun was starting to raise. It was spectacular climbing up under lights seeing the group in front high on the slopes above it reminded by of scenes from climbing movies. This was the adventure I had been dreaming of. As we hit the tops Danny and Sam sped past on their way to setting the speed record. Once the sun rose and the wind died it got beautiful and hot, it was so clear we could see Hector from the top of Dundas and all the main range in between.

Coming down towards Drac Biv, 7 hours into our 24 hour mission I slipped and rolled badly on my ankle, my SK day was over. I could still walk carefully on it but couldn’t move quickly. I turned around and walked 9 hours out to Poads Road where I was kindly picked up by Anna.

Anthony and Carlos continued on the epic SK route and Anthony completed the full route in one continuous push. An amazing achievement. Carlos headed out at Otaki from Kime with an injured ankle. We are planning the next attempt:)

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