The origin story of the Lambda Trampers/Lattes goes all the way back to 1982 or 1983 when Neville Jackson posted a notice looking for others interested in a gay tramping group at the Lambda gay and lesbian coffee lounge (in the old Peterborough Building).
From that simple beginning, a few years later, a new group called the “Lambda Walkers” evolved, offering tramping trips around Canterbury every other Sunday. Each walk was led by a group volunteer and cars and transport costs were shared. Trips to local spots included Mt Herbert, Mt Grey, Kennedy’s Bush and Port Robinson and even further afield to Peel Forest and Arthurs Pass. Eventually the group added long weekends away to places like Mt Cook, the West Coast, and Kaikoura. The group also instituted social events, such as a mid-winters dinner and a summer picnic. During the early years, Ross Edgar was the unofficial leader of the group and had members around to his place for planning meetings (and often potluck meals), maintaining the growing mailing list (on paper!) and sending out walk schedules three times a year (by post!). Ross also bravely listed his phone number in advertisements (in the newspaper!) and fielded many queries (including “when does the gay bit start?”). A few years ago, the group metamorphosed into the two current iterations:
Lambda Trampers – for longer and sometimes challenging day trips
Lambda Lattes – shorter local walks, ending with a stop at a café.
This split allowed activities almost every week of the year, with the Trampers and Lattes going out on alternating Sundays. It also encouraged participation by a wider range of individuals and abilities. But there is a lot of cross-over between the two groups and they occasionally hold joint events. The groups continue to evolve in both their activities (e.g. overnight tramps and city architecture walks) and methods (now advertise via email, web site, Facebook and Meetup) but the ethos remains unchanged: a welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQ+ people (and their friends) who want to spend more time in the great Canterbury outdoors!