The Next Stage

Good morning everyone! It has been a bit! I feel an update is sort of in order, both in their personal world, and my Tramping plans!

In the last post, I talked about taking the plunge with my skin reduction surgery. What has been exciting is that in the duration, I have made a couple of decisions to make a video series following my progress and recovery. I will be sharing those from YouTube in the coming weeks! I didn’t want to be redundant and share the same information, but don’t worry. I am going to keep everyone in the loop with that journey.

The other big thing is looking ahead to next year’s physical goals. With the Tongariro Northern Circuit firmly in the rear view, I start too look towards the next season and what I want to accomplish.

Last year, I had to shift my goals around a bit. From missing out on the Milford, and then the closure of the Waitakere Ranges a month before my Hillary Trail experience, I landed on my First Great Walk within New Zealand, and was not disappointed. This year, I have decided to do two big events, one in February, and one in March. I will also include a couple of smaller adventures along the way.

So lets begin with the Spring Training season.

With my skin surgery happening last week, I am now in a 10-12 week recovery period. For a surgery of this magnitude, there are different levels of recovery.

  • First there is the post surgery recovery, which takes about two weeks. This is where I have drains in my body, I am to stay close to home, and no driving or major movements except when necessary
  • Next, there is the 2-4 week period where I will slowly get back to “Normal.” Swelling should start going down more regularly, pain is less, and things are generally getting back to normal.
  • From 4-6 weeks, my body shape is settling down into place, the swelling is pretty much over, and the scar tissue will finish “hardening”
  • From 6-12 weeks, the scar tissue will begin to soften and change. And while the scar will take years to fade, it will finally settle during this face. From Week 6 and later, I will be able to walk, and gym and do all the things, but I will ramp up slowly to make sure I don’t over do or push anything.

After the three months, this should put me at the beginning of my Tramping Training season; Mid September, which is a perfect time to begin stretching my legs in the region again.

With the Waitakeres closed for the foreseeable future, I am setting my sights on the Hunua Ranges to the south of Auckland and a few trails outside the Waitakteres to the West. I hope to do the Te Henga Walkway, and I may go over to the Coromandels on a weekend or two to do trails over there.

My goal is to once again do trails most weekends, leading up the Labour Day weekend.

For Labour Day, which is in late October, I am considering an 1-2 night trip to either the top end or the Coromandel, or over to the Kaimai Ranges about 4 hours from Auckland. Both of these areas will be new to me, and I will be able to test out my new body, and likely some new camping gear!

From October, I will be planning more day hikes in and around Auckland, and over Christmas and New Years, try for the Pinnacles Overnight walk.

And from there, I plan two large events for the summer months.

First, I will be doing the Routeburn Track down in the South Island. The Trail which is next to the hugely popular, and already fully booked Milford Trail will take me through the Southern Alps over 3 days. The trail will be shorter than the Tongariro, 32kms, but I suspect that the views will be what draws me to the place. It will be my first major walk on the South Island.

Then, In late March, I will do do another trek. I will go to Stewart Island, and do a Cross Island Trek with my Father In-Law. This has a lot of personal connections for me. My Father in Law has been instrumental in helping me on this incredible journey, and it to be able to have a few days with him to bond, learn, and grow, something I am very exited about. While not a Great Walk (I will do Rakiura another time), we will traverse across Stewart Island to see incredible birds, sights, and hang out on New Zealand’s Third Island. The walk there should be around 40-50 kms, and it all depends on what we want to do on the last two days.

Of course, plans are made to be changes, and remembering last year, I want to make sure that I don’t get *too* wedded to these plans. However, I think I have a busy season of Tramping ahead of me.