March 26th?of this year I led some amazing people on our first Rabbit Pass trek.
The challenge of the 5 day trek offered great insight of a team working at their best. Rabbit Pass Trek in the Makarora region of the South Island of New Zealand connects the East branch of the Matukituki River which connects to Mount Aspiring and Aspiring Hut. ?Through this journey, we spent a day going up one waterfall face, enjoying the flat top, and then down the back side of the waterfall to the Matukituki valley. We learned some important lessons that will remain with us.
?A Journey of a 1000 miles begin with a single step?.? On the day of the traverse through waterfall pass, conditions were not 100% perfect, as it had been raining hard for the past two days and the tussock (long strandy grass) was not completely dry.? Standing at the bottom, looking up the face and the climb beside the face at first was intimidating to some.
Each small step kept us going onward and upward. Small sure steps and focusing on the exact present moment kept the feat from seeming overwhelming.
?Slow Motion is better than No Motion? We needed to be conservative in our speeds, because of the wet grass, but constantly moving and stopping only for occasional breaks gave us decent progress. The rain had put us a day behind schedule, and the group adapted well to the extra hours of slowly moving forward.
?Sharing is caring? Different days offered different challenges for each team member.? Whether it was taking the load off some during the steep ascents, or sharing snacks when energy levels were really low, watching the group care for each other was a special feeling.
?If You Want to Travel Far, Travel together? There were quite a few river crossings during the trek and with amount of water from the rain, it flooded the rivers to high and swift levels.? Crossing the rivers was a must, and it was done by the six of us locking arms and holding each other?s backpacks to form a strong band pushing through the water.? The strength of the sum of the group was greater than any individual.? There was a great sense of accomplishment when everyone reached the other side of the river together.
The trek itself was a formidable challenge. With the rain, wet weather day, and losing a day watching the weather patterns, it gave this trek another level of intensity.? The group performed amazingly and we all made it through this as a team, to trek another day?