This past weekend, I took part in a trip to the St. James Range with the Tramping Club here at UC. (For those who don’t know, Tramping is what they call hiking here). We were told that if you went on the easy route, it took about 3 hours to the campsite if you walked at a good pace. My friends and I decided to take the medium route and was told it would likely take around 6 hours. Boy were we in for a surprise. We started the tramp at 11am and after about 2 hours on the easy track, the groups started splitting off. The medium group went off the main trail and we climbed up to the ridge of a mountain, where we followed the ridge upwards. It was a beautiful trip. The views were amazing and it was really fun, but as the hours kept going by, we started to wonder just how far away we were from the campsite. Every time we got to the top of a peak, there was another one awaiting us. There came a point where we only had a few hours left of daylight, and some people in the group were really exhausted, so we decided to walk down a different ridge than we had originally planned. There were a lot of pricker bushes to dodge and loose rubble to scramble down, but we made it down to the bottom in about an hour and then found the original trail again and followed it for another hour and a half to the campsite. Back on the trail, there were several river crossings we had to go through which weren’t terrible, except that the water came up to your knees, so regardless if your boots were waterproof, the water went into your boots, so our boots were sloshing water for the last hour. We finally arrived at the campsite around 9:30pm with some blisters and bruises, but happy to be there. The tramp was really fun, I just wish I had been prepared for an almost 11 hour ordeal. They told us in the end that the easy route was about 50km round trip (about 31 miles) and that the medium route was even longer, likely closer to 60km (about 40 miles). Needless to say, it was a bit of an epic tramp.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Katie Steike and I'm a junior at the University of Rochester, studying molecular genetics and music. I love reading, playing soccer, and going on hikes and adventures! I'm going to be studying in Christchurch New Zealand for spring 2014 and I'm excited to become immersed in the Kiwi culture and explore the beautiful country!</span></p>