May 08, 2005

The Pinnacles: wherein I am punished by the metric system

So, really, this trip has a lot to do with my ignorance. To wit, I decided to hike up the Pinnacles in the Coromandel State Park today.

It looked easier on paper, largely because the vertical climb was shown in meters. Also, I'd stopped checking the weather report because the temperatures were all in celsius. Incidentally, I'm all for metric (which my mother tells me is no longer being taught to children as the measuring system which will one day replace our quaint system of furlongs and hogsheads but instead as just another system of measurement used by, like, science) but I have a hard time getting behind celsius. Doesn't seem granular enough.

Anyway, the other tricky part is that most people walk up to the Pinnacles Hut and stay the night before making a summit attempt. Due to my accelerated schedule, that wasn't really an option.

Turns out 752 meters is kinda high and a storm cloud-y icon in your weather forecast pretty much means the same thing everywhere. But I made it to the top nonetheless - the last stretch involving a series of metal staircases which were especially fun to climb in a brewing thunderstorm. The views, even in overcast weather, are amazing - it ranks right up there with hiking up Half Dome in terms of both effort and reward.

After waiting out the storm in the hut, I made my way back down in good time. In fact, I got on the road early enough to have an amazing sunset drive out to the Bay of Plenty where I'm staying the night. I saw some beautifully lit sheep on the way which helped relieve the fatigue from the day's exertions (as did the audiobook version of Dune). Tomorrow I'm hoping to check out some thermal pools which, I understand, are even more theraputic.

Program note: Mobile photos are now being posted to Blogger Buzz.

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