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Brodrick Pass

Brodrick Pass: Day 02 Report

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Snow. Yep, snow. We climbed out of Dansey’s, on a road that was quickly falling into disrepair, through a treeless landscape that offered no respite from the “Tailwind” that howled with aggression across the snow-covered tussock. While we would receive no quarter from the wind we would gain respite from the saddle; the steep incline of the roads was more conducive to bipedalism than to pedalism and we spent a majority of the day hiking our bikes up ever steepening switchbacks. To commemorate this initial section of our passage Daniel composed a brief poem. The day was long and the rigors of the terrain spread out our group, each finding their own pace, disappearing solitary figures, mirages in the distance on a lonely road in a empty vacant place. Yes the country is beautiful, but it is silent and empty, there is absolutely no one around and very little wildlife to speak of. From time to time you would see a flock of sheep, but that was it, and after a while these fuzzy land-clouds just became an unremarkable feature in this astonishing landscape.

It felt as if we were traveling through a vacuum or rather one of those atmospheric test machines where they create mini cyclones. The wind was persistent and blocked out all other sound, crackling white noise was the soundtrack to our vision, as if there was a wind tunnel behind our eyes. This was perfect sailing weather. The land felt as if it had been wiped clean, taken back to square one, the beginning. This is a strange experience for us foreigners, this absence and sparseness is found not even in the wide open spaces of the Western US, if you are still for a moment even in the most isolated places the world around you comes alive with movement and sound, there is always something scurrying around, life is busy.

Anthropologists agree that New Zealand was the last major land mass to be settled by man, and that its isolation from the rest of the world’s continents allowed the fauna to develop unperturbed. The arrival of man quickly wreaked havoc on the indigenous species, but despite our best efforts the underlying feeling, the bedrock, subsonic, baseline vibe is that nothing much has changed, or rather nothing is old enough to have really changed.

“This is new country, new space, still very much unaffected by the clinging compounding change of the new millennium. We hiked through the space, pushing against gravity, the wind, and the cold.”

The sun was setting on our second day as we made a final push towards our night’s sleeping hut, we were surprised and relieved when we were greeted by a warm fire, a round of beers, and two amiable deer hunters who had been snowed in the night before. With our shoes and socks set by the fire we laid our heads down and those of us who couldn’t force ourselves to pass out spent the evening as unwilling guests to an all-night concert of guttural staccato John Cage covers. It is possible that somewhere, deep inside the mind of our knowing vocalists, the feeling that man needs to make mark, to leave some trace, the need to have meaning was propelling their apnea, and as their snores careened off the cabin’s wall the wind rushed by our humble little hut, unimpeded by evolution or erosion.

Snow Job

 

Snow. Yep, snow.
I don’t know what that is, but I am willing to bet it is coconut-based.
My Hairiest Adventure - #26 in the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine.
“The Latin phrase pollice verso is used in the context of gladiatorial combat for a hand gesture used by Ancient Roman crowds to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator. However, the precise type of gesture described by the phrase pollice versoand its meaning are unclear in the historical and literary record In modern popular culture, it is assumed that "thumbs down" was the signal that a defeated gladiator should be condemned to death; "thumbs up", that he should be spared. The latter view was popularized by a widely reproduced painting by the 19th-century artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, whose Pollice Verso (usually known in English as "Thumbs Down") depicts a triumphant gladiator looking up into the stands for the verdict of the crowd” - Wikipedia
Before you come here practice these skills, know these skills.
At first the idea of taking your shoes off for each water crossing was smart, who could say how many we would face in our day’s journey? Better to keep your shoes dry and therefore warm when faced with this kind of NZ Tailwind-Summer’s winter-no shelter from the elements-nowhere near our stopping point type situations.
Then at a certain point, after your stream crossing count hits double digits you make the decision to just deal with wet feet. Besides, you planned right, you’re wearing wool socks, and wool insulates even when it is wet, at least that’s the general consensus.
Paul. Still real.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
This road was built along the path that gold crazy miners would take everyday on their way to the Kyeburn diggings. The thing about gold crazy miners is that they don’t dillydally, there not into comfortable hikes, or easy strolls, and their lack of appreciation for things like comfort means that the paths they take are generally the quickest way from one point to the next.
In a country known for its mountains this means that the paths are going to be steep and difficult, and when you build a road on top of these paths you get steep and difficult roads. That’s just how it works.
This is the most sun we would see all day, and it wasn’t even a warm sun, it was like having a someone you love come visit you in prison and tell you that they have found someone new.
Here’s a thought: Did Kit from Knight Rider have a romantic streak? Any erotic desires? If so was it for other cars, or did he have a thing for people?
Like was he in that monkey-raised-by-humans situation, where he felt like he was a human and looked down on other cars, or was he into other cars and if so what kind? American Muscle? Camaros, Mustangs, Firebirds etc.?, or maybe foreign jobs, your German or Italian deals? Maybe he wasn’t into cars but other combustion engine machines, jet boats, lawnmowers, wood chippers, etc. Everybody’s got a thing right?
I mean the dude had a lot of time to think while Michael was out chilling with his crew or hanging with ladies in non-car type situations. Did Kit always want to be left parked in parking lots in the nice part of town, like was that his equivalent to going to the beach? It must have been lonely being the only talking car.

Tailings Hut

 

aka Tailings Creek Hotel
At one time this was a very funny joke.
It’s only after a deep conversation does one understand that these tops and bottoms are actually used as filters in the environmental control systems for some of the hottest nightclubs in Miami, LA, and Las Vegas. The material actually traps the heat that is rising off the capacity crowds who wile away the night grinding to EDM. When Benedict wears this getup his body is imbued with the heat of thousands of raves.
Benedict has a pretty dialed NYC/Berlin/Tokyo artist/club-kids set up that he keeps on hand to bring extra heat to his body. For the uninitiated, the heat from this get up is created by an interplay between his body heat and air pockets in these garments.
Active outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts understand that in order to stay in the game you have to be limber. And being limber means practicing yoga whenever and wherever possible. Listen, do you want to keep doing this? If you want to keep riding/pushing/carrying your bike places then you need to be able to touch your toes, mimic stretching dogs, and make your body bend like a bow, this is fact, this hard truth, this is bedrock unquestionable knowledge.
The rule here is that what goes down, must go up. Its a shitty rule.
Fieldsuits in the field doing fieldsuit thangs.
I know what you are thinking, you’re thinking, “Hey I have been paying attention to this whole Paul might be a robot thing, and you guys have me believing that he is most likely a person, but hey, I have looked back at all the previous photos and now I am not so sure, because I haven’t seen his eyes, and they say eyes are the window to the soul, and I think eyes-soul trumps photo-soul, so now I am not sure if Paul is a human or a bot and I am concerned about the future safety and well being of your group.” Well now you have got me thinking about what you’re thinking about and now I am concerned about the safety of our group, and I was there and now I am here, so we must have been safe, like I should be sure sure, but I don’t know, I don’t know if I am sure sure any longer.

NZ Camp Stove Quesadillas for Southern NZ Tramping

Recipe by @ultratradition

Provided at no cost due to a Club Macho™ Charitable Grant

Benedict's culinary habits are, aside from the omnipresence of yogurt, somewhat hard to pin down. What's not in question is his hobotech bushcamping cook skill—nobody makes something from nothing quite like Poppi does. Hopefully learning about some of his technique proves useful on your next adventure.

  1. Resist the urge to immediately spark up your stove.  Seeing those things light up calls to mind images of Apollo 7’s main thruster igniting as it plows toward orbit and while it’s incredibly intoxicating, it’s rather wasteful when you’re trying to make a canister last a week.  Instead prep your extensive ingredient list in the following manner:
  2. Slice a pile of Vintage slivers and set them aside.
  3. Cut a Remarkable tortilla into about 6 equal triangle dudes.
  4. Start your stove up and adjust the jets to about Mach 1 (low-medium flame. *Caution-never use TopGun Mach 5 setting unless you like char-dillas.)
  5. Set your skillet on top to give you a nice quesadilla platform and scoop a healthy dollop of coconut oil in there and swish it around so it covers the entirety of your cooking surface.
  6. Sandwich some of those Vintage slivers in-between two Remarkable tortilla triangles and place your quesadilla on the skillet and sit salivating while prepping the rest of your ‘dillas.
  7. Don’t get carried away and forget to flip that dude.  When it’s time, and not earlier and definitely not too late, flip it for REAL.
  8. One flip should be sufficient, after it’s thoroughly cooked pull it off and start your second triangle sandwich while you enjoy the first- try not burn your tongue off with molten Vintage
  9. Repeat until satiated.
  10. Hobo Tip: When bushcamping in areas without flowing water, or if you’re just too damn lazy (like we are) to do your dishes after eating, toss that titanium plate covered in Vintage into the flames and let the food and oils cook off. Later after cooling, scrape excess food-char off, and whatever is left on acts as a type of seasoning for future ‘dillas, similar to seasoning a fine cast iron skillet. Any carcinogenic effects of eating burnt food remnants is surely offset by the fact that this consumption occurs while enjoying the fresh air and healthy lifestyle of an active hobo.

Necessary Ingredients & Tools

  1.  Vintage Cheddar: that’s what they call it in NZ and it’s the hardest non fancy-pants cheese you can buy at New World Grocer. Somewhat akin to our familiar Western Sharp Cheddar but with a little gaminess that’ll pucker your palate; they claim it’s aged 24 months, but I went ahead and aged it another week once I unwrapped it and left the block floating around my saddle bag in between sawing off hunks for my nightly quesadilla appetizers.
  2. Remarkable Tortillas: these things are made from a secret recipe, or so it says on the label, but I mainly preferred em for their preservative-free content and durability. They stayed relatively intact despite residing inside a drysack at the bottom of my framebag surrounded by hostile water bottles, tarp stakes, tool roll and a handful of busted chainlinks I somehow found the need to carry with me, all intent on destroying the integrity of these fluffy whole wheat goodies.
  3. Coconut Oil: never leave home without it. Great for cooking, treating sunburn, chain lube, and dental hygiene, this is the true swiss army knife of oils.
  4. SOG Multitool or other sharp instrument.
  5. Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium stove.
  6. Snow Peak screw top fuel canister or whatever brand fuel you can find in NZ.
  7. Snow Peak Trek Titanium Plate (I’ll refer to as a skillet from here on out).
  8. Ignition Source.
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