Very briefly, I’d like to help propagate a request from my local club (Tongue & Meats), who are looking for the stories of anyone who’s attempted an SK in the last few years.
The SK is named for Schormanns-Kaitoke, which represents a traverse between the northern and southern ends of the Tararuas. The Shormanns entrance is no longer accessible, so the normal northern point is now considered to be Putara Road.
In 1997, the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club first published a collection of accounts of SK attempts. The latest of these collections is getting out of date, though, and it’s time for a new, sixth edition.
Several major variants for the SK exist, but the traditional route is via the Main Range. Going back to the early 1960s there’s been an ongoing challenge within tramping clubs and related communities to complete SK traverses within a weekend. The true believers set themselves a task of completing a full day of work on Friday, as per usual, before they’re allowed to leave to attempt it.
Whilst the weekend target is what most people aim for, the very fittest manage it non-stop in times on the order of 24 hours, give or take. These people usually don’t sleep. Lately it’s also become a challenge taken up by the mountain running fraternity, adding new dimensions and approaches.
If you’ve attempted this feat in the past five to seven years, and would like to contribute the story of your adventure to the sixth edition of the compilation (or would just like to obtain a copy once it’s available), please check the guidelines regarding what’s needed, then follow the instructions to contact Megan, the editor.