04 February 2008

Epic Camp NZ '08 Day 8

Epic NZ ’08 Day 8 – Coronet Peak Tri

Not everyone rode up the mt. yesterday so they had that little surprise awaiting them this morning. The rest of us weren’t so lucky. But it did look to be quite a bit cooler this time up so that was something to be thankful for.

We rolled out to the lake at 7:30am and Andrew and Tara got left behind and ended up going the long way to Lake Hayes. We had sent the search party out for them! Otherwise for the rest of us it was a nice leisurely 15km wake-up.
We got underway with a swim across to touch the other side and back. Albert announced at the start “I am NOT going to go hard” and when Johnny said go he promptly blasted off the front once again with everyone scrambling to get on his feet. We also had Monica Byrn and support crew Rob joining us so I hopped on their feet for a nice ride the whole way.

Nice day for a Tri as it was calm and cool. G-man and Mark P caught Johnny and I at approx the 10km point and we settled in to prepare for another trip up that 8km climb.
Newsom seemed determined to take it out and there wasn’t much we could do to deny him. Mark P dropped off the back just enough to give me a little breathing room for the run.
The run turned out to be quite a lot steeper than I imagined and it was nearly 1/3 walking for me. Some guys decided to take the most direct route up and were bush-wacking through the tussock. On the chairlift ride down from the summit I saw Rob Chance hiking up with a walking stick! He looked like he might be out there all day.

The final order of the Tri was:
Newsom, G-Man, Me, Mark P, Albert, Toby, Clive, Tara, ???? and to be fair it did seem like most were just content to get to the top and finish.
A special note here regarding our oldest camper (YES! Even older than me!) Andrew Chirnside from Melbourne who completed every session the entire camp. When Andrew wrote to us initially to enquire about attending this camp I thought his credentials didn’t look all that impressive. I thought he’d really struggle to keep up, but he more than proved me wrong. And he did it with good humor and a smile on his face most of the time.

What a view from the top of that mountain. Man.
No wind and you could see about 100 miles. Nothing but wilderness and beyond that thousands of miles of ocean. Being up there really did give me a deep feeling of contentment about my choice to live here on this remote little island.
We then hopped on the Gondola for the ride back down to the bikes and then rolled back to our accom.

With the camp over it was time to get the feet up and after a quick couple of beers to recover (?? was it only me ??) we did some packing and snoozing. We also had a little Q & A to chat about how to deal with the fatigue from the camp and how folks might use it in the context of their season.

We said good-bye to Albert, Clive and Mark Petrofesa who had afternoon flights out of Queenstown. Clive is headed back to Auckland so his flight was pretty easy but I hope Albert and Mark had a couple of pairs of compression socks/tights to wear or else their “cankles” are gonna be atrocious. It is a very long trip from here to anywhere and Kevin and Anthony are heading back to NY, NY tomorrow which is a hell of a trip.

We headed down to dinner at 6 and had a great meal at the Lonestar Café which is know through-out NZ for massive portions. We handed out a few fun awards as we usually do after each camp and then went on in search of some local watering holes. Plenty of those to chose from. Elliott is bartending here this summer so we headed over to his place to begin with. The young MIT grad is an engineer by trade but is taking some time out to try a different life experience here in wild NZ. Hard to imagine him going back to a desk job with that Mohawk!

More tomorrow or the next day in my wrap-up/Epilogue.