New Zealand Southern Alps, December 2016

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Getting to New Zealand

December 10-12: Flying into the Future, 7500 miles from Vancouver to Christchurch

12 Dec: [Six] companions. So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of [CLC]!

13 Dec 2016: Google, is Mordor left or right? We're on our way!

The Fern Burn Track

Dec 14: Day 1 in the books, relaxing in a hut!

16 Dec: Snow and heat today, just another day in NZ.

15 Dec:  Short hike today - it snowed - where's our summer down under?!

Rest & Transition

17 Dec: It was "bloody hot today!" Finished our biggest day, looking forward to starting the Matukituki Valley track in 2 days.

19 Dec: Rest day today, Matukituki tomorrow.

18 Dec:  Good recovery day spent enjoying the Wanaka Sunday market.

Matukituki Valley Tramping

20 Dec: "We have come to it at last. The great battle of our time." Day 1 of our last big hike complete, prepping for a storm forecasted for next 2 days!

22 Dec: "What do they eat when they can't get hobbit?" The sandflies have attacked and its been a vicious battle. Thankfully we're inside & *mostly* dry.

24 Dec: "Merry?" "What, Pip?" "I'm hungry." Hike out complete, on our way to Queenstown and Christmas Eve dinner!

21 Dec: "The day may come when the courage of men fails..." & that was this day! Weather pushed us back to aspiring hut, now wondering if we'll ever be dry.

23 Dec: "This is it. If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been." Great day hike to Cascade Saddle, 4400ft in 2.4mi!

Celebrating & Feasting

25 Dec: "If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold it would be a merrier world." Merry Christmas from New Zealand!

26 Dec: "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!" Isengard yesterday, Edoras tomorrow, and a stop at Mt. Cook today - great way to spend the last few days!

... And Back Again

28 Dec: "The ships have come, to carry us home." About to board our first flight, next stop: Auckland!

28 Dec: "Well," said Sam. "I'm home." We have arrived back safe and sound from our journey! Thanks to Mark and Joan for picking us up, and thanks to all who followed along with our journey, we hope you enjoyed our updates - more photos soon to come!

Meet The Fellowship

"I will take the ring to Mordor, & I actually know the way!" Our fearless leader Frodo, aka Dom!

"AND MY AXE!" Our natural-born sprinter, Gimli aka Reuben.

"You have my sword! (& great meals)" Our menu planner, Aragorn aka Jeremy!

"We're coming, too!" Our safety spacelord Pippin, aka Frances!

"And my bow! (as well as good gear)" Our elven-eyed gear specialist, Legolas, aka Kestrel!

"You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us!" Our social media lead Merry, aka Ben!