Onward to the Zealands

My winter’s trip to New Zealand’s summer gets more and more real. Tickets have been booked, reservations have been made, and our leaders, J and C, have scheduled a “pre-hike” for late October in the White Mountains. The 15 of us will be meeting at Crawford’s and walking in to spend the night at (naturally!) Zealand Hut, where we’ll cook a group meal together and begin to get to know each other. We’ll walk back out on Sunday by way of the Ethan Pond Trail (read this description in reverse).

We’re going to have a gear check on Saturday morning before starting out. I don’t think I’ve turned out my pack for someone since Boy Scouts. But the posted list is similar to mine, and one of the requirements for Head & Hands is “Smile,” so I think all will be well. Because it’s late October and the Whites often get an early snowfall, we’re being asked to bring along traction devices, which will finally force my hand on buying some Kahtoolas. Snowshoes (mine are old, seldom worn, but excellent Heilmans) are being called for, too, though I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to leave them at the trailhead.

I’m ultra excited about this whole experience. I think it’s great karma to be starting it at a hut I associate with many good times, and I’m really looking forward to meeting my fellow trampers. Fifteen’s a great number for a haka.

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