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Two days into my trip to Christchurch, New Zealand, I had the sudden thought to look up the local hiking club and see if they had any trips scheduled for the first weekend of my visit. As it turned out they did and I was able to connect with the trip leader online to see if they might have me along as a guest. This was the first time I used this blog as a ‘resume’ of sorts, and although they did not usually take first time guests on moderate trips, I was able to join based on some of my past hiking experiences captured here!

I was ecstatic and met the group at 7am at the local gas station for the rendezvous. The leader briefed everyone on a change of plans, they were going to change the objective based on the weather the morning of the trip. The mantra, ‘follow the weather’, was one I learned quickly was the way of the New Zealand outdoorsperson. So off we went, to Mount Somers, to me it made no difference as I was just so happy to be in great adventurous company.

We headed up the mountain at about 9am reaching the 1687 metre summit for about noon. I found the group to be fast, but I was also still climatizing and with my winter fitness level. This was a fantastic trip up through the Beech Tree forest into the dry bush and into alpine terrain. The summit was dusted with a fine layer of fresh powder snow enabling the building of a snowperson and some excellent diversity in terrain for the day. Great views and company all along the way, we even caught a brief sight of Mount Cook to the south.

Thanks to the Christchurch Tramping Club for having me along and Michal for taking the risk in allowing me to join his trip. This was the first of five hikes I joined with the club and am happy to report that I am now a member. With thanks for all the comradery, local expertise, thoughtful trip leaders, and bountiful trip calendar.

Five Weeks in Christchurch
Mount Bealey

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