Guerrilla Training for the General Insurrection (GTGI), also known as Anarchafairy’s Summer Tramp (AST), also known as my Annual Brush with Death (ABD), took place over New Years this year, up to Mueller Hut and then over Ball Pass (in Aoraki National Park), with the added benefit of me surviving it.

Honestly, this was most sustained amount of terror I’ve endured on a tramp so far. Sure, we look as though we’re smiling in some of the photos, but in between shots I assure you we were busy crying (well, I was).

Incidentally, the most terrifying moment on a tramp was crossing an 1800m pass in sleet and rain, high winds, with mild hypothermia and in a lightning storm with an ice pick sticking up from the back of my pack. And the most dangerous was the time we all came down with hypothermia, and one of our team stopped being able to talk properly, lost motor control and wanted to sleep in the snow.

Ah, the memories.

The following photos do not do the sheer steepness of the slopes and my sheer terror any justice.

Ball Pass 8

The weather was bad on the first day, so took a side trip up to Mueller Hut and camped a little way up the ridge.

Ball Pass 1

Breakfast at the base of Ball Pass.

Ball Pass 2

Ball Pass 3

Ball Pass: 2200m.

Ball Pass 4

Aoraki/Mt Cook from the top of the pass.

Ball Pass 5

Me! Freaking cold and coming down.

Ball Pass 6

The only photo that does the steepness any justice.

Ball Pass 7

Aoraki, from campsite, day 4.

Ball Pass 7

No more photos from here on out. We came down the wrong way — down a 45 degree scree gully with rock fall, and we only realised we’d gone the wrong way once it was too late to climb back up, or out sideways. We came to a bluff and ended up having to throw our gear, piece by piece, down the bluff, and then individually climbed down. I wanted to cry… it was so terrifying.

Also, if anyone finds a digital camera somewhere in a gully down from Aoraki, we’d very much like it back. Thanks.

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