Monday, December 7, 2009

you are a (mountain) goat!

The Goat 2009 - The Pinnicles @ Whakapapa through the mist

The Goat 2009 - race briefing

The Goat 2009 - start at Top of the Bruce, Whakapapa

The Goat 2009 - finish at Turoa carpark

"Have you goat what it takes?" is the question on everyone's lips at this time each year as they tackle The Goat alpine adventure run from Whakapapa ski field to Turoa ski field. The course is on a portion of the Round the Mountain track, around Ruapehu's lower western flanks. It starts on tarseal down the Bruce Road and quickly takes you through barren landscapes, low scrub, exposed ridges, freezing cold stream crossings, and up the cascades that tumble into the Mangaturuturu valley. "20km of hope and 1km of truth" (Mark Watson) culminates in the last tarseal push uphill on "Mama's Mile" to the finish at the Turoa carpark.

This was the 6th Goat, and my 5th working on the event and it just gets better and better. Although it is early summer, at (average) 1500m altitude in a volcano sticking up in the middle of nowhere, the weather can really throw anything at you. We have had nice sunny race days and snowy freezing ones too. On Saturday, it was rain.

Working on the event crew you see some familiar faces year on year and I like talking to people to find out if they have done it before, would they do it again, that kind of thing... Last year I did it too! Having been out on the course myself (once walking for fun, and once running/walking on goat day) I can really appreciate what people are facing out on the course. Looking forward to working on next years event already. And would I do it again? Maybe! Below are some pics from a casual walk I did at the beginning of last year. "It doesn't goat any better than this."

Jan 2008 - the track

Jan 2008 - the track and a view to the west

Jan 2008 - Mangaturuturu Valley

Jan 2008 - the cascades, from the bottom

Jan 2008 - the start of "Mama's Mile" to Turoa