Its not often we will re-blog a summit for Warren’s SOTA blog, though sometimes there is reason to make a little extra effort, like when April fools day rolls around and we decide that walking up 1349 Steps seems like a good idea!! When SOTA kicked off in ZL, Warren was not able to be out on a summit due to other commitments so back in December 2015 at the first chance this was the very first summit we conquered. It dam near killed us, and its safe to say, we could barely walk for a number of days afterwards! Fast forward to 1st April 2017 and the climb up all those stairs was a much easier one and today we can walk! I guess that means though at times it certainly does not feel it, we must be getting fitter?!?!?!!
As it turned out the day was perfect, early morning fog, over-cast skies which started to clear as we made out way to the half way point in the track. Little motivational plaques along the way certainly make for good reading and remind you that every step more is one closer to the top. The summit its-self is not high and only qualifies for 1 point, it almost seems cruel after the effort required to get up there, but thats how it rolls for this one. The track is very well maintained and the same goes for the amount of use it gets from locals and visitors alike. It was certainly a lot busier than when we were here in 2015, but I’m guessing that a lot of folk come out early morning before it gets too hot…..wise move! If you are going to tackle this one, take plenty of water with you and a light load where possible.
Last time we visited we didn’t take the very short detour and go and see the dam, but today we decided to have a nosy. Nothing overly exciting, but hey we can now say – been there done that. The dam was built in 1922 to create a water supply to the local Ngaruawahia township. The track, bush and summit are all on protected Department of conservation land.
Since this is a re-blog we shall keep it fairly short and for those wanting more info on the walk here’s our previous blog from 2015
Once we arrived at the top we climbed the viewing platform and looked out across the countryside with the other people up there.
After a while, we were the only ones up there and Warren rummaged through his bag, assuming he was getting his radio gear out to get started, but no! Next thing we know……
Being that it was a really busy day and we are not the sorts to want an audience what happened next seems like much of a blur and excitement with a bundle of memories we can take away from a pretty amazing place with some awesome views. A place that we visited together as a first SOTA summit. Even covered in one’s own sweat and looking anything but glam the walk to the top of a crazy amount of stairs ended up pretty blardy amazing really!!!! Personally I think Warren’s pretty pleased he can say that he made ZL-SOTA history.
After all the excitement was over and other people had joined us on the platform, still buzzing Warren made his way down to the ground and made some calls to family, I contacted mine and then he got on the air to find his 4 needed contacts.
Of course for those who wondered if this was the end to our pretty special day…..not at all. Once we made out way back to the car, we high tailed it to the coast, to Oropi hot pools to relax and unwind the tired muscles and finished “our day” with dinner for two at a Tauranga Waterfront Restaurant. We cant imagine we will ever be able to top the most memorable SOTA activation for us anytime soon…. probably EVER! But for anyone wondering if there may be the pain of a hill top climb to attend a wedding some day….. NOT A CHANCE! It will be smallish, it was be semi-casual cause that’s just who we are, and sorry folks but for now its “date to follow”
Many thanks to our friends and family, especially to Warrens mum, who worked her charm and professionally valued the ring, and kept Warrens secret for a while, to my parents who spoke to Warren when he snuck away to see them after work recently and of course our many SOTA followers for their well-wishes over the last 2days. Special thanks to each and every one of you!