being lost and getting out

every trip has a story.. this one started with the cancellation of my - supposed to be first grade 2- alpine trip.. Mt murchison in Arthur pass. Combination of bad weather forecast and not so great avalanches condition forced us to ditch our flights and opted for impromptu back up plan in Tararua.

original plan : otaki forks - field hut - dennan peak - rae ridge ( off track )- otaki river back to the car park.

we still did the original plan.. just took us about 18 hr longer than original time ( including overnight sleep in the bush )

There were 5 of us and 2 dogs, all piled up at Mark's car. The dogs seemed to tolerate each other
By 9am we started going up to field hut. Weather is perfect despite the forecast that said it supposed to be raining all day .
11.30 am - field hut  Had some snack and hot tea. Everyone was relaxed and having fun.
2.00 pm : Dennan peak . From the main trail we cut to the right up to the peak.. Off track has begun .
2.30 pm: txt messages to Brandon  " should be out in 3 hrs"  Oh how i was so wrong.
We followed the ridge and somehow ended up in the ridge next to it ( i found this out from my gps afterwards ). The ridge was so thick and had so many fallen trees pilling up making it hard for us and our dogs to pass through. ridge - gully - ridge seems to be the pattern in our effort to find the right path .My mind kept going back to the book that got me into this outdoor thing.. Deep survival, who lives who dies and why..I wasn't scared, we roughly know where we were. We just trying to find the best possible scenario to get out.
 4pm realized that we weren't gonna get out anytime soon and might have to walk in the dark . I stopped drinking my water just in case. 
the dogs were getting tired. Kali is having a hard time getting off big trees and branches so i had to carry her off couple times.
9.30pm decided to get up to A ridge and find a place to sleep. It was clear that wandering and navigating in the night wasn't working for us.

We found water on our way to the ridge. Such a moral boost.

10.30 pm .. brew some hot water and got all our emergency blanket out. The dogs were out ..

the weather was perfect.. no wind and not too cold. But even then we shivered a bit during the night. I laid my hardshell and pack liner in the ground and bundled me and kali inside the emergency blanket.. she stayed close to me through the night.. i think she knows we were keeping each other warm.

we were all worried that our significant other would start panicking and call a rescue but there's still no reception . Until Mark with his brilliant idea putting the cell phone on the ground.. THAT somehow got us reception. I texted Brandon again and my neighbour with brief messages.

Barely slept , we started walking again around 8 am the next day . Daylight made a lot of difference . Everything went great till we encountered pig hunter with his 4 dogs who of course targeted kali ( i'm guessing because she barked at them and her energy level was pretty high )
It was one of the most stressful moment in my life. I had 3 dogs circling me and growling and everything just a blur. Somehow the hunter got a hold of his dogs, i knocked my glasses off. and managed to get the distance from him . Shaking and upset i could barely talk. He apologized but i felt like throwing a hard punch to his face. I left... Kali in the other hand acted like nothing happened.. 
 She jumped to the mud and rolled around.. lay down on top of piles of leaves and slide down.. literally like this dog.
Amazing right? that made me feel a lot better.. and during our next 4 encounter with the pig hunter.. I kept my distance and he kept apologizing. 

We finally got out around 2 pm and sent messages to our friends and family that we made it out.. Oh my neighbour called the cops on me.. luckily when they called me , we already have reception and on our way back to welly.. 

what a weekend  .

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