N E W Z E A L A N D
NZ $10.90 incl. GST
what's a story worth?
For my birthday one of my sons bought
for me a ‘thing’ called StoryWorth.
Basically each week it sends you a
topic and asks you to write about it. It
covers everything from “what was your
mother like as a child?” to “how have
you changed since leaving school?”.
Once the site has gathered enough
stories it then makes it into a hardbound
This week’s question was one that
had me pondering for some time, but I
thought I would share it with you. “What
adventure do you remember the most?"
Having had such a lifetime of
adventures, how do you possibly
choose one. But this is one that stood
out as it was an adventure I felt I was
lucky to make it back from.
It was an 8-day rafting trip with Ultimate
Descent down the Karamea River in the
middle of winter in the mid 1990’s.
It is a grade five river (bear in mind
grade 6 is unraftable). The day we flew
in by helicopter it was snowing hard and
that night there was a big earthquake
that changed the flow of the river. Add
to that, the snow and rain created an
additional one meter of water flow on
the river. To make matters worse when
the helicopter left in a rush, they took
half of the food back and all of the toilet
By the end of day two we had run out
of food and had to eat dried chickpeas
that had been stored in the ground from
a previous trip.
monumental. Twice, Fritz, one of the
support kayakers came up to us in the raft
and said “if you fall out in the next kilometre
you will drown” and then simply paddled off.
We portaged dozens of rapids far too big
to raft and also now unknown because the
earthquake had changed the flow of the
river, it was all new. End of day five 80%
of the people were walking zombies, who
could hardly hold on let alone paddle.
The mountain radio did not work (before cell
phones) so we could not be helicoptered
out, so we had to simply do our best.
The images here show what it was like all
the time. If you look closely, you can see
Mike Steel grabbing a woman that fell out
in the death zone, cannot recall her name.
Mike pulled her back in the raft but in doing
so dislocated her shoulder.
No one drowned but it was such a difficult
trip it is used by Outdoor Qualification
providers to show how a good trip can go
really bad really quickly.
Hmmm no toilet paper; my sister was
reading a book that got thinner and thinner
as the trip went on.
Luckily not all our adventures have such
dire consequences, but it seems that the
ones you make it back from are the ones
that you remember.
If you have a story to tell – it does not have
to be life or death feel free to reach out to us
as we like featuring stories by our readers –
send direct to the editor:
Steve Dickinson - Editor
Each day was freezing, and the rapids
yoUr AdventUre staRts Here
As spontaneous as the weather. The Haven is up for anything,
with technology features to keep you warm, dry and looking good.
23 Locations Nationwide - www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ | firstname.lastname@example.org 01
Lise Billon and Kilian Echallier ski touring in Engelberg, Switzerland.
MATTIAS FREDRIKSSON © 2021 Patagonia, Inc.
Image by Derek Cheng Image provided by Nick Pascoe Image by Eric Skilling
Image compliments Red Bull Content Pool
14//The Ultimate Obstacle Course
with Aniol Serrasolses
Old Man and Lake Chalice Circuit
Training for success
30//Central Otago River Journeys
with Nick Pascoe
36//To the Island
Take the weather with you
42//Rider on the Storm
46//How to train your emotions
with Dr Sven Hansen
50//Go with the flow
The joys of climbing
56//Chasing the human connection
In adventure photography
72. gear guides
96. active adventure
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BEHIND THE COVER
This photo was taken in 2019, on one of the
busiest days of the season on Mt. Ruapehu at
Whakapapa ski field, so I decided I wouldn’t use
the lifts because they were jam packed. I took the
Valley T Bar up to the top and bootpacked around
for some better and untouched lines near the
resort boundary line.
I hiked about twenty to thirty minutes above the
lifts, stopped for a break with some friends and
took some photos. I noticed these two skiers
traversing the cornice and climbing one of the
Pinnacle peaks. It seemed like they were thinking
about dropping into the backcountry, with a twenty
meter drop below them. I happened to have
my camera out, saw the opportunity and left my
friends to set up the shot.
we ARE climbing
The Pinnacles, Mount Ruapehu - Image by Chris Chase
With my body on the edge of the cornice, I zoomed
in to them and framed the shot with the peaks
behind. I shot quickly and managed to get a few
good ones. Not a minute after I shot the photos
did the cloud consume them and they had to
retreat from their position.
EDITOR & ADVERTISING MANAGER
Mob: 027 577 5014
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NZ Adventure Magazine is published six times a year by:
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Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped selfaddressed
envelope. Photographic material should be on slide, although good quality prints may
be considered. All care is taken but no responsibility accepted for submitted material. All work
published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without
permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and made all reasonable
effort to ensure the accuracy of material in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of
this magazine that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for loss or
damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of
information contained herein and the publishers make no warranties, expressed or implied, with
respect to any of the material contained herein.
Whereever we go,
our preferred car
As the weather cools across the country
it's timely to lean towards those drinks
that warm us up. Hot toddy style drinks
are steeped in history as before ice was
readily available it was common to serve
drinks not only at room temperature but
hot. Originating in India and made from
the sap of palm trees, hot toddies date
back to the 1700s. Commonly known for
their medicinal touch for poorly peeps, why
not get creative and drum up a hot cocktail
to batch up on those cold winter nights and
preferably next to a fire.
Make in a hot toddy glass
1 jigger (60mls) whiskey
1 barspoon of agave - leave out if you
want a less sweeter option
A couple of cloves and a cinnamon stick
A quarter jigger of Tangelo Liqueur @
A few dashes of orange bitters
Top with hot rooibos tea with vanilla and
stir gently with a cocktail spoon.
Follow Sue on Instagram: @cocktailontherock
To sign up for the weekly newsletter: www.cocktailontherock.co.nz
Virtual Reality, WI5+/6
Banff National Park, Canada
For over thirty years Bivouac Outdoor has been proudly 100% New Zealand owned and committed to
providing you with the best outdoor clothing and equipment available in the world. It is the same gear
we literally stake our lives on, because we are committed to adventure and we ARE climbing.
Photo: John Price
World Class Indoor Climbing
First visit $25* then free for a week!
Fantastic community, beginners
welcome, boulder classes for all ages
and abilities, inquire now.
* Discounts for youths and own gear
Student Mondays, entry $15
Unit 17, 101-111 Diana Drive,
Wairau Valley, Auckland | 09 278 2363
“Northern Rocks is an indoor bouldering facility, we
foster community, growth and positive experiences for
people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”
OFFICIAL GEAR SUPPLIER
PROUD SUPPORTER OF...
How would you like to improve your photography skills whilst
being hosted in in one of the most beautiful parts of the world?
Chris McLennan has led photography expeditions all around
the world, but Glenorchy in the South Island is his home and
certainly one of his favorite places to photograph. It is not
hard to see why he chooses to live in this amazing location.
Chris has been running photo workshops from his home in
Glenorchy since last winter. These small, intimate photo
workshops (Glenorchy Photo Homestays) are a great way
to advance your photography skills in a one-on-one setting.
You will be guided to spots in Glenorchy to photograph the
landscapes that only a local will know. Not only will you
learn new photography techniques but you will work on post
production as well. Each workshop is customized to suit the
The mountains around Chris’s home will draw you in but
so will the weather. The landscape and sky gets incredibly
moody as dramatic weather rolls in. There are endless
photographic locations that change with fog, clouds and mist
in the most beautiful way.
08//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
Glenorchy Photo Homestays were designed to
accommodate groups of 1 – 4 and staying in Chris’s
home allows for photography on the fly. If the night sky is
clear the back yard is a perfect place to learn more about
The 2 night, 2 day photography workshop will start with a
meet and greet on night 1 and includes airport pickups if
required from Queenstown, all transportation, photography
workshop, access to private land and modern comfortable
accommodation in Chris’s home.
Come stay in Chris’s home, learn from him and experience
Further information and bookings:
WITH WARREN MILLER
In early May Warren Miller’s 71st feature film screened across New Zealand in
cinemas and will rage through winter till mid July.With the days getting shorter and
snow hitting the alpine areas, it is a great reminder that sliding on snow is not too far
away and a new Warren Miller film is about to launch. Warren Miller Entertainment
(WME) and Adventure Entertainment (AE) are excited to announce to Warren Miller
fans that the tradition continues, with the cinematic release of the brand’s 71st film,
Future Retro presented by Switzerland.
In Future Retro, progressive, young female skiers Lexi duPont and Amie
Engerbretson journey to the heart of deep-rooted ski culture in Switzerland, and
freeskiers Baker Boyd and Victor Major rip the endless peaks of Iceland, using a
1,300-year-old farm as their base camp. A trio of world-class snowboarders Elena
Hight, Danny Davis and Nick Russell travel to Antarctica and witness the impact of
Legendary skiers Scot Schmidt and the Egan brothers show a new crop of athletes
how they were responsible for the extreme-skiing movement of the ’80s and ’90s,
and the next generation of skiers and riders show us what it means to challenge the
status quo. From competitive triumph on the road to the podium at the World Cup
in Killington to pushing boundaries of big-mountain skiing in Alaska, Future Retro
presented by Switzerland will be that connection—past, present and future.
Future Retro presented by Switzerland, was premiere on May 7 in Auckland, the first
city in the Southern Hemisphere to screen the film, before moving right across both
North & South islands. All movie goers have the chance to enter the Major Prize
competition which includes fantastic overseas holidays, gear, beer and more! Get
your mates & family together to get the stoke fired up for winter and witness some
amazing skiing & snowboarding on the big screen.
Join this collective experience as the legacy continues.
Go to warrenmiller.co.nz to learn more & purchase tickets.
Jim Ryan | Kaylin Richardson | Lexi duPont | Amie Engerbretson | Baker Boyd |
Victor Major | Forrest Jillson | Tanner Rainville | Tom Day | John Egan | Dan Egan |
Scot Schmidt | Jack Lovely | Maria Lovely | Parkin Costain | Elena Hight | Danny
Davis | Nick Russell | Marcus Caston
70,000 followers can't be wrong
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
12//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
@ adventuretraveller @ adventurevanlifenz
Despite the limitations 2020 imposed
on us all, it didn't stop Spanish
kayaker Aniol Serrasolses and a
crew heading to Chile to set up the
ultimate natural obstacle course
featuring a 25km descent down a
snowy volcano, sailing through
dense forest before landing the
world’s first double kickflip in a
kayak over a waterfall, and finally
setting down on a glassy lake, all at
speeds of over 100kms.
The route started at the summit of the
volcano, went through the forest near
the slopes of the Palguín river, over the
Tomatita waterfall on the Captrén river
and culminated in the Villarrica Lake –
connecting water, land, wind and fire in
a single journey.
"These are the elements where I feel
most alive. I've always felt comfortable
connecting mountains, forests and
rivers. I can't imagine a life away from
them," says Serrasolses.
"The part on the snow was
kind of the hardest part as a
kayak is not really made for the
snow, so you ride it like a sled"
The ambitious project didn’t go hitch-free, though – the high
speed the kayak reached when gliding over the snow caused a
"The part on the snow was kind of the hardest part as a kayak
is not really made for the snow, so you ride it like a sled. You
go really fast but you’re kind of out of control. On one of those
descents I lost control before reaching a section with ice blocks.
I hit one of those blocks at about 80kph and it sent me flying
more than 10 metres. I tried to control it in the air, but in the end, I
ended up falling on totally hard snow."
“That crash is next level as the snow was pretty hard. Definitely,
that one hurt. My idea was to go around those pieces of ice and
avoid them. Before doing that move, my kayak started spinning
out of control. So, I went straight onto the ice and it sent me into
Previous Page: Aniol stands at the top of the old lift station before dropping in. This station maintained itself intact after
the eruption of the volcano in 1984
Above: Flying off a cliff in volcano Rukapillan and high speed riding through the slopes
Above: Wall ride in the rio Nevados.
Following page:: Aniol launches a Switch Panam off 18 meter Tomatita falls in the Captren river
16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
As if high speed and unusual kayaking terrain
weren’t enough, when he reached the waterfall,
Serrasolses scored a manoeuvre never seen
before on a kayak: the first double kickflip.
"The trick is to do two full rotations in the air. It's
been tried for many years surfing waves in the river
or the sea, without success," says Serrasolses.
"This time I managed it on the first attempt and I
couldn't be happier. The next one will clearly have
to be the triple, won't it?"
"This whole concept was to take kayaking out of
its element, rather than always down rapids and
waterfalls," he explains. "That double kickflip is a
double rotation and it’s been attempted many times
before, but no one has ever succeeded. This time
it just went really good. I got two rotations on my
first try but it took a lot of commitment to do it off
that height. If you don’t land correctly, the impact
on your back is hard… Actually it’s hard even if you
land it correctly!"
So is he planning to go even bigger on his next
project? Perhaps not: "Over the last few years
my focus has been a lot on the progression of
the sport – the hardest waterfalls, the biggest
water rivers, the highest waters. As I’m getting
older, I want to do more creative stuff and more
shooting and projects to put kayaking in really cool
locations, where it hasn’t been seen as much."
OLD MAN AND LAKE CHALICE CIRCUIT
By Eric Skilling
"Despite being at less than
2,000 metres high, the low
cloud and steep barren ridges
made us feel like we were on
top of the world."
It is easy to understand why the 3,000 km Te Araroa Trail
crosses the Richmond Range. If you wanted to show
off New Zealand it would be a crime not to include this
spectacular bit of country – rugged and exposed peaks
with unique vistas ringed by stunning native forests which
hide crystal-clear streams and waterfalls and arguably
the loudest concentration of native birds outside of any
sanctuary. It seems bold to single out less than 100km of
the Te Araroa but do the miles to those barren tops and you
get to enjoy the superb landscapes that are reckoned to be
“…. amongst the very finest along Te Araroa ”.
Spending time here is a reminder of why hiking is becoming
You would be a little crazy to attempt the more exposed
sections of the track in bad weather. Along with those views
come exposed drop-offs that will keep you focused even
when the weather is great, with the added challenge of few
chances to refill water-bottles as you traverse the ridges.
But this is sunny Marlborough so it is more likely you will
get enjoy those landscapes in brilliant sunshine and cooling
breezes especially if like us, you arrived there just after
Christmas under a cloudless blue sky.
There is plenty of choice in the park with 250 km of tracks
and 30 huts, but our party of six were attempting a four-day
circuit that would take us from Lake Chalice to Old Man hut,
a day trip to summit Little Rintoul and then a return via the
Goulter river back to the lake.
Driving to the start of the track is an experience by itself
although we managed it without the aid of 4-wheel drive.
The gravel road quickly narrows to a narrow winding track
with plenty of switchbacks and a fallen tree to negotiate.
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Stopping at the Enchanted Lookout is well worth the
vista of the meandering Wairau River, its banks marked
out with a kaleidoscope of neatly outlined paddocks and
orchards, to the rugged gullies and landscapes of the
Raglan Range and the distant Kaikoura peaks, tipped
with snow after a recent snowfall.
After a short walk we emerged from the pine forest and
found ourselves looking down at a tranquil scene - Lake
Chalice hut nestled in beech forest, bordered on one
side by a noisy stream making its way down to the lake.
Even better, that was the last of the pine trees.
Arriving at a hut in early afternoon has its perks.
Firstly, you get to book a bunk for the night much to
the disappointment of the Ashburton Tramping Club
members who arrived a few hours later, but we also had
enough time to enjoy the 6.5km circuit of Lake Chalice,
a far cry from the more challenging terrain we would
face over the next three days. Formed by a massive
landslide two thousand years ago the lake has no outlet
stream, with the lake draining through landslide rubble
to the Goulter Stream. Overnighting in Lake Chalice hut
was a pleasure.
Next day we followed the track into the forest. This is
steep country. But so spectacular. The forests vary from
podocarp to lush beech forests, scattered with ancient
rimu, rata and kahikatea, and chilly but crystal-clear
streams that make carrying full water bottles a waste
of energy. The streams were flowing deep enough to
offer up some priceless photos and videos but shallow
enough to avoid wet boots.
The track itself is mostly up. Lots of up. When it is not
going up it follows the contour through a marked but
largely unformed track. However, we were cheered
on by tui, robin and the one-bird orchestra that is our
Finally, after an about seven hours or so we emerged
out onto Old Man ridge and quickly forgot all aches as
we soaked up the wilderness eye-candy from the ridge.
It had been a tough day but the vistas around us made
the effort all worthwhile.
The track then followed the ridge line through mountain
beech draped in fronds of moss followed by barren
rocky outcrops and scree slopes. Having climbed over
1,000 metres to Old Man ridge, the loss of almost
200 metres in altitude down to Old Man Hut was as
disheartening as watching a weka making off with your
lunch, but it was still a pleasure to emerge out onto the
large grassy clearing into the shadow of Little Rintoul
towering several hundred metres above us.
Finding a relatively flat clearing as large as this was
pleasantly surprising considering the steepness of the
surrounding country, which was just as well as we were
going to share the site with 3 other groups that night.
We set up camp and then sat down to a well-earned
dinner and large cups of hot, sweetened coffee in the
cooling evening. A little after dusk a cool damp mist
rolled across the ridge which was enough to send us
all to the warmth of sleeping bags and a tent. I certainly
appreciated the warmth of my Macpac gear.
Enjoying a couple of nights at this site was one of
the many highlights of a memorable trip. I cherish the
nights spent in a tent drifting off to sleep to the calls of
weka and morepork (check out “the joy of camping”),
but both mornings I gave up trying to pick out the
various bird calls in the dawn chorus. There seemed to
be a competition to be the loudest, most melodic bird
of the morning, all for our benefit. There were just too
many calls to identify individual species, so I just lay
back in my tent and savoured the moment.
Later that morning the walk back up to the ridge with
day packs and a cooling westerly turned out to be a
breeze compared to the previous day’s efforts. We
emerged from the bush-line into bright sunshine and
scrambled through the sparse vegetation onto the
shattered rocks on the slopes of Little Rintoul.
It did not feel all that long before we were making
our way cautiously along the narrow track with its
steep drop-off and onto the barren summit. The views
seemed way out of proportion to the effort. It was
like we were on top of the world with the steepness of
the ridge around us and the low cloud blanketing the
valleys to the west. To the east the mighty Kaikoura
Range stood out on the horizon, still white-capped after
the snowfall the days before we arrived.
Seven hundred metres below Old Man Hut looked
small and vulnerable against the vast beech forests
and ridges that surrounded it. It took a bit of effort by
our long-suffering leader to prise us off the peaks and
ridges that day.
Top left: Lake Chalice and Old Man Circuit / Top right: Evening mist rolling into the Old Man campsite had us all
clambering into the warmth of our sleeping bags early that evening.
Clockwise from top: Scambling the barren rock up Little Rintoul, with Old Man Hut a mere spec 700m below us / Hiking
through the dense podocarp forests with the crystal clear streams and birdlife was a real priviledge / North back along
the ridge from Little Rintoul with two of our party on the sub-peak / The surreal atmosphere of moss cover mountain
beach on Old Man Ridge
22//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 23
Eventually we made our way off the ridge and back to a
deserted Old Man hut. That evening we enjoyed another
one of those very satisfying meals and watched as Little
Rintoul turned red in the sunset. Then as so often happens
after the shared experience of a tough and exhilarating
few days, the banter flowed, and new friendships were
Walking out alongside the Goulter river next day turned
out to be a bit trickier than we expected. It wasn’t quite
believable that the time given for the mostly downhill hike
back to Lake Chalice via Goulter river was the same seven
hours it took to climb up along Old Man track. Perhaps we
were a bit light-headed at the thought of that beer chilling in
the fridge at Linkwater and the New Year’s Eve celebrations
that night. Regardless, we took a cursory look at the Topo
map and decided the recommended time had to be wrong.
The Goulter River is one of those classic crystal-clear
South Island rivers, cascading over multi-coloured smooth
rounded boulders, and which we crossed more times than
I would care to remember. Seven hours after leaving Old
Man we emerged onto the clearing at Lake Chalice hut, with
sodden boots, a few aches and several scrapes bearing
witness to another solid day’s efforts.
for a stroll.
CASS VALLEY, NEW ZEALAND
TEMPERATURE 9° | ELEVATION 1783M
As usual all that effort was forgotten once we were back
at Linkwater, enjoying the company and banter of fellow
adventurers in the garden bar of the local restaurant, a wellearned
beer in hand and a meal cooked by someone else.
Unfortunately, none of our group welcomed in the New Year,
but I think we could be excused.
The Richmond Range is another gem in the crown that
is the New Zealand wilderness, offering jaw-dropping
panoramas, dawn-choruses that you will reminisce forever,
beautiful beech forests and enough challenging climbs
to make that evening meal and coffee the tastiest, most
satisfying you have enjoyed in an awfully long time. A great
setting for some shared challenges and an opportunity to
make new friends.
Thanks to Macpac, Keen, Backcountry Cuisine and Jetboil.
Top to bottom: Spirits were high as we left Little Rintoul and headed back to an empty Old Man Hut / The view from
Enchanted Lookout across the Wairau River Valley and the mighty Kiakouras is well worth the stop / We crossed the
crystal clear waters of the Goulter Stream more times than I care to remember
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TRAINING FOR SUCCESS
American mountain biker Kate Courtney reveals her training regime and 2021
goals. With a cross-country World Championship and overall World Cup title
already in the bag, Kate Courtney is rightly viewed as one of the world’s best
mountain bike riders. But the 25-year-old is only just getting started and has
created the ultimate home backyard training set-up to help her add to her already
significant haul of trophies. Known as her fitness fortress, the area boasts a
well-stocked gym complete, zwift set-up, ice bath and even her very own outdoor
sauna. Here is what the American had to say about her training regime, the
importance of recovery and what she hopes to achieve during the 2021 race
What’s your first memory of cycling? My first vivid cycling memory is riding on the
back of the tandem with my dad. We went out in the rain, there was no-one else on the
mountain and the weather continued to decline. We ended up seeking shelter and we
found five crumpled up dollars in my dad’s saddle bag, so we got blueberry pancakes.
Of course to me that was the most epic day and for the longest time that’s what cycling
was; a way to spend time with my dad, to get out and if I’m lucky, get some blueberry
I think the connections that you form while cycling are really unique, partly because it’s
a sport where you can be side by side, or on the tandem I was behind and you can talk.
It's really a great way to connect with people, whether it was my parents, my brother
growing up, or now some of my closest friends.
What does your typical training regime look like? I would say my lowest weeks are
15 to 17 hours on the bike and my biggest weeks are 25 to 30 hours, but those are
rarer. I consider strength training part of my fitness training and I spend anywhere from
two to six hours a week in the gym. I trained a lot more volume last year, as I didn’t
travel much and did 20 to 25 hour a week of training, every week.
I approach it on a two-year cycle and last year was what we referred to as a
development year, which also changes this year quite a bit and that for me is quite
exciting. I think it’s producing different results and I’m definitely coming into this second
year approaching Tokyo more rested physically and mentally.
The focus this spring is on the high-intensity, knife-sharpening race prep, which is my
typical race build up; you do base, you have to do moderate training, then I start in
spring to do intensity and for me that’s in the form of training camps.
I just got back from Malibu where we did ‘Mali-Boot Camp’ with three of my old teammates.
We design these camps to really push me and help me progress towards
racing, then training gets a bit more intensity-and recovery-focused once we hit the race
I do yoga, I do mobility work, I work with a PT and do a lot of recovery activities outside
of training like foam rolling, ice baths and saunas. And number one – very good sleep!
"For me, I think preparation is the antidote to those
challenging situations, because at the end of the day
you can only control what you can control."
How important is recovery in the training process?
I think that’s the frontier of sports performance right
now. If you are always going at 75 to 90 percent of
max, you never recover, but you also never hit that 100
percent. It’s about using your motivation and your skills
at planning and resting to maximise those important
sessions and avoiding those medium-effort, mediummotivation
which burn you out in the long run.
Do you find it hard to switch off on your rest days?
I’m working on it! I’m proud of this year; I’ve taken more
complete rest days and that’s something that I used to
not do. I use Whoop to track my recovery and every day
that I take as a complete rest, the next day I’m in the
green, so it definitely works.
It’s a challenge for me managing how much I do on
these rest days, because I have to do something during
and I think my dog has been my secret weapon! I’ll
take him for a walk, I’ll take him to the beach; I’ve done
something, but it’s quite relaxing.
What about the mental side of fitness and health
– do you train that? Definitely! I work with a sports
psychologist and I have for the past five years. I
personally think that the mental game is a huge part of
success, but it’s also a huge part of just being a healthy,
happy person in the long run. I think that dealing with
situations and emotions requires certain skills and
perspectives that need to be developed and for me
that’s done through sports psychology, plus reading,
journalling and all of those kinds of things where I give
myself space and time.
Do you get nervous before races and if so how do
you manage that? I do, definitely; I think everyone
does and I think nerves are a sign you really care about
something. For me, I think preparation is the antidote
to those challenging situations, because at the end of
the day you can only control what you can control. If
you manage those things, hopefully the outcome takes
care of itself and if it doesn’t, hopefully you’ll have more
opportunities in the future.
Do you use online training as part of your
preparation? I’m doing my first Zwift race! I’m trying
to embrace the opportunities that we do have to stay
in shape, not just ‘in shape’ in the normal way – I can
train – but I think there are some things you definitely
get from competition that you can’t replicate and that’s
what I learned last year. You can race yourself around
as much as you want, but for your central nervous
system actual racing is just a different stimulus. We’ve
been looking for more ways to incorporate that into
my training, whether it’s Strava segments, getting
fast people to ride with or compete with, or even Zwift
racing, which I said I would never do! I’m doing some
small warm-up ones, some very random races, because
I think that there’s some finesse to it, but I will report
What about the research being done into female
athletes training around the menstrual cycle. Is that
something you look at within your training? I have
and I’ve worked with Red Bull on that. I think it’s very
important and very interesting that people are finally
looking at the differences between men and women.
Hopefully there’ll continue to be more studies, not just
around menstruation but also nutrition in the future and
training. I think a lot of these baselines that we take for
granted are based on research done primarily on men
and so that kind of cutting-edge research is going to be
important moving forward and it’s exciting that they’re
finally doing more.
What drew you to study human biology – did it
come from your interest in sport or is it something
you’ve always had a passion for? I think it was a little
bit unrelated to cycling. I studied human biology, which
at Stanford University is a very interdisciplinary major
and we have a lot of freedom to tailor it to your interests.
I was interested in global health and technology
innovation, so it was a very Silicon Valley thing to be
I really enjoyed learning about health, less on a
biological individual basis and more on an aggregate
basis. Of course we had to take bio and get all of those
fundamentals, but I was more interested in public health
and global health level of analysis and that’s certainly
something that’s been very interesting this year!
Did your studies include wearable tech? It was
health tech and wearables, mobile apps, those kinds of
things. And being where Stanford is, in Silicon Valley,
meant it was a really unique experience – we got a lot
of exposure to local start-ups and people coming in and
telling us about things that might be on the horizon,
which was really exciting.I hope to head back to some of
that someday, but I enjoy focusing on bikes right now.
Where does your confidence come from? I heard
a definition of it recently that was ‘confidence is the
belief that you can uphold promises that you make to
yourself’. You can develop confidence from different
parts of your life, but for me it’s about believing that I
can do things that I set out to do on the bike.
It’s a strategic combination of working on mental skills
and managing the external environment to give me an
opportunity to build confidence. It’s not always going
to be linear and perfect, but if you’re progressing and
getting better, you’re going to feel great!
Previous Page:Kate Courtney / Right: Kate in action.
Images by Emily Tidwell / Red Bull Content Pool
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By Nick Pascoe
There are Graham Sydney paintings on walls
throughout the country portraying the rolling
tussocked hills of Central Otago. It’s known for
wine, fruit, the rail trail, and stunning summer days.
However the high plateaus hide other gems and
in amongst them you can find a network of New
Zealand’s best wilderness rivers.
A cold winter brings snow to the mountains and hills.
When this starts to melt and run off the area becomes
a whitewater kayaking destination with rivers such as
the Nevis, Waikaia, and Shotover, being established
spring classics. Whitewater kayaking in New Zealand
can be a fickle sport, requiring specific river levels, and
complicated access plans. This has left many areas
unexplored and new adventures to be found. With
vision and a well timed Saturday evening phone call
Will Martin and Shannon Mast roped myself and Max
Rayner in to take a look at the Upper Pomohaka River.
Sunday started with a flat tyre, snow beside the road
after a late spring storm, and then two hours of fourwheel
driving to the top of the Old Man Range where
a snowdrift stopped us in our tracks in the heart of
Central’s rolling hills with no river in sight. An hour of
hiking with our boats saw us exploring the gold mining
relics at the historic Junction hut, and relieved smiles
on our faces as the river had enough water to float our
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It was 1pm and we had 20km of unknown wilderness river
in front of us, so we promptly pushed off to enjoy the first
few kms of stunning alpine country. A few boulder choked
rapids kept us on our toes, until we came around a bend to
see a horizon line in the river and a lone ancient beech tree
far below us. With the river looking like it dropped off the
edge of the world we expected a big portage and got out to
inspect the rapid, to be pleasantly surprised to find a clean
3m waterfall and boulder gardens. This was our entry into
the beech forest, and a section of amazing whitewater. We
made quick ground until encountering a more technical and
consequential rapid. By this point it was late in the day, and
our margin for error was disappearing along with the sun.
We opted to bushwhack our boats up and around the rapid.
I made an unfortunate misstep and gathered some cuts
and bruises from a gravity assisted descent at one point,
but we all made it back to the river safely. Our stoke came
back with just a few paddle strokes on the river, and we all
shared high fives half an hour later when we popped out of
the beech forest and could relax and watch the sunset as
we floated the few kilometres of flat water.
We loaded our boats onto the waiting vehicle as it got dark.
Satisfaction levels were high, but the trip wasn’t done yet
with our other vehicle still parked way up in the hills where
we’d left it that morning. A layer of low cloud had moved
into the Teviot valley, and we crawled our way up through
the mud and the murk onto the top of the Old Man Range
once more. It was 11pm at night and we were above the
cloud for a stunning moonrise, while crossing all fingers
and toes that we didn’t get a vehicle stuck in the snow or
mud. The cards fell our way, and I made it back to Wanaka
at 1am thoroughly exhausted but stoked on exploring a
new part of our backyard.
A couple of weeks later conditions aligned once more, and
five of us found ourselves at the Aspiring Helipad at midday
on a Monday. It had rained the day before, and we hoped
that the North Branch of the Motatapu River would now be
at an ideal water level. As the heli gained elevation it was
odd to gain a new perspective of our local area, Glendhu
bay, Treble Cone ski area, and Wanaka itself. Only a few
minutes later we found ourselves very much alone, high
in an alpine valley with no marked access. Our friend Ben
Young had done his chopper pilot training in Wanaka,
and regularly flew this route as he gathered his hours.
This river was his project, and after taking a moment to
appreciate the snow capped mountains, we set to our task
of discovering what the river held downstream.
It was low volume and bouncy to begin with, much like
a poorly shaped water slide. The alpine setting was
spectacular though, and the moody afternoon light painted
a stunning picture as we found a few bigger rapids and
drops to really get our hair wet. It was not long until the
river grew in size and became consistently steeper.
The quality of the whitewater increased, however the
opportunities to stop were slim and margins for error
low. We took our time, settling into an efficient leap frog
style where one person would get out and scope the line
through the next rapid, and then if things looked positive
wave us through. In this method we moved at a solid pace,
with periodic interruptions to stretch our legs by walking
around a rapid that was not going to leave a kayaker in a
Distance wise we began to get close to the confluence of
the North and South Branches of the Motatapu, however
we were conscious that the valley still looked a long way
below us. We weren’t wrong, a particularly long section of
tight continuous whitewater awaited. This section would’ve
required linking consequential move after move for almost
500 m, and while it seemed each move was possible we
were conscious of the dwindling daylight and the fact we
were still a long way from home. In the best interests of
leaving our future selves something to aspire to (and more
honestly our own self preservation in the moment) we
opted for the tramping with kayaks option. Our portage
put us back on the river at the top of another steep rapid,
however we could see a pool at the bottom and too many
great moves to ignore so we took turns at paddling the
best rapid of the day. After emerging from this mini gorge
thankfully the river did finally ease, and we popped out at
the confluence with the South Branch.
The sun was low in the sky, and floating through the far
mellower whitewater we had ample time to appreciate the
revegetation work going on around the Motatapu river.
This was highlighted with one more mini gorge and two
harder rapids amongst the beech forest. We emerged to a
stunning sunset over Glendhu, rather thankful for going two
from two and again escaping nightfall on the river.
Spring had a kick in it’s tail though, and another weekend
rain event lined up the Otago headwaters. This time my
friend Cam Kerr and I had our eyes on another close-asthe-crow-flies
Wanaka river, the Dingle Burn. Our ambition
was to paddle from its source below Highlander Peak
where it starts life as a small stream and follow it 30 km out
to Lake Hawea.
The weather was clear and sunny as we left Wanaka, but
got steadily more gloomy as we approached the Ahuriri. A
flooded river and muddy 4wd access into Ahuriri Base Hut
boded well for our kayaking, but not so much for the uphill
grunt to come. Our planned access route was to tramp
600 m up onto the crest of the mountain range separating
the Ahuriri valley from the Dingle Burn, and then descend
to Top Dingle Hut. The climb was a proper slog, but we
were able to move surprisingly quickly on the old farm
track. Standing at 1450 m with our kayaks looking across
to the snowy peaks of the Barrier Range was a stunning
and surreal moment of ‘why did we think this was a good
The rain turned right back on for our descent, which was
to prove more technical and scary than the kayaking to
come. The track was muddy and slippery, and our kayaks
were acting like anchors trying to drag us to the bottom
of the hill by the fastest route possible. There was a real
sense of relief when we reached the friendly fishermen and
warm fire of Top Dingle Hut. The crux of the trip was now
in front of us; how good had our weather forecasting been,
and was there the right amount of water in the river for our
Previous Page: Cam Kerr high above the Dingle Burn, earning his paddle strokes - Image by Nick Pascoe
Right: Shannon Mast in the upper reaches of the North Branch Motatapu River - Image by Max Rayner
Following Page: Cam paddling past a massive landslide in the lower Dingle Burn - Image by Nick Pascoe
32//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
The river was banks full but still running clear and blue, and so we
pushed off into the flow to see what was downstream. We quickly
found ourselves in a grassy hydroslide, watching the mountains
recede behind us. The paddling was amazing; scenic, and continuous
whitewater with a couple of mini gorges to add a little spice. Far earlier
than we expected we found ourselves beaching the kayaks and
tramping up to Cotters Hut. The cosy hut was to be our home for the
night, and we settled down for dinner and desert while watching the
deer emerge onto the flats.
The next 6km of river entered a gorge, and we were excited to see
what was to come. We quickly had big smiles on our faces, it was
fun non-stop rapids, underneath a spectacular beech forest tunnel. A
few fallen trees in the river kept us on our toes, but we made steady
progress and emerged from the beech forest into the home stretch
towards Lake Hawea. Lunchtime saw us at Dingleburn Station, feeling
thoroughly content with the trip.
With New Zealand’s borders closed our eyes have been forced to look
inwards, and it’s apparent once again that there is plenty of adventure
right here close to home. We’re blessed with an abundance of
wilderness, suiting exploration by all manner of people and methods.
The takeaway from our spring first descents, and a silver lining of the
last twelve months of upheaval, was a renewed appreciation of the
people and places that we have here in our home.
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TO THE ISLAND
By Lynne and Steve Dickinson
“The world is beyond us,
It's too enormous
But oh, the island is just right,
It's the perfect size”
Day one: Weather with You:
“Everywhere ya go, always take the weather with you”
When I noticed Crowded House’s “To the Island Tour”
were performing at Church Road in Napier at the same
time that THL Holdings were offering specials on their
campervans, it was like a ‘perfect storm’ for a road trip.
It was the end of March and the day we picked up our
camper the sun was shining and the temperature gauge
read 25 degrees and the forecast for the week was
nothing but sun. With recent mountain bike purchases
itching to clock up some miles we booked a camper
with bike racks and off we went. Often one of the issues
hiring a campervan for a short trip, is the hassle of filling
in the paperwork, picking up the van, however, this was
far from our experience; when we picked up our Maui
camper, it was slick in and out and on the road.
Little Waipa Domain on the banks of the Waikato River,
our first stop, is not far from Lake Karapiro. This free
camping spot had plenty of space, and to our surprise
plenty of lake edge parking. We backed up to the river's
edge, unhooked our bikes, locked the doors and headed
off on the Waikato River Bike Trail. One of the joys of
having a campervan is that you are right near where
you want to be, in an amazing setting and it’s super
The Waikato River Trail officially begins at the
Pokaiwhenua Stream, just off the State Highway 1 on
Horahora Road. I had unwittingly stumbled on the trail
during the Spring Challenge Adventure Race at the end
of 2020 and was keen to revisit it again. The trail covers
over 100km and takes in 5 lakes and 4 hydro dams, but
the trail is accessible from many locations along the way
so you can bike as much or as little as you like.
We started at the Little Waipa Reserve, an undulating
section that follows a distinct path alongside the Waikato
River. It is incredibly picturesque and it meanders across
a well maintained gravel track before hitting the 500m
continuous boardwalk over the Huihuitaka Wetland.
According to the map and web research, the 6.2km ride
is graded intermediate, however I would have graded it
a little less.
One of the issues with spending the afternoon biking is
the need to feel clean at the end of the day. Although
our camper was completely self-contained, we were
surprised to find that the Little Waipa Domain offered
toilets and not just showers but hot showers! This is not
how remembered freedom camping in NZ. Impressed.
Day Two: Now we're getting Somewhere
“Lay me out with your heart
Now we're getting somewhere
Push me back to the start
Now we're getting somewhere”
One of the keys to an interesting road trip is to stay off
the main roads. So although we were heading towards
Taupo, we stuck to the backroads via Whakamaru Dam.
It was here that we picked up the Waikato Bike Trail
again. This section of the track goes from Whakamaru
Dam to Atiamuri, a distance of 24 km, graded
intermediate. On the entrance to the trial is a number for
a shuttle service so if you don’t want to do the return trip
you can organise to be picked up. We decided to bike for
a while and then simply turn round.
The start of the trail had no elevation but wound
backwards and forwards through the trees along the
river edge with large rock faces and pastoral lands
creating an impressive backdrop. A couple of km along
we reached the Lake Whakamaru Reserve, another
fantastic free facility right on the river's edge.
From here the trail became more technical as the path
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narrowed and the turns became tighter. Graded an
intermediate (grade 3) due to the fact that there were
drop offs on the river's edge, however it was not too
challenging, just super fun. Make sure you follow the
blue markers and the orange arrows as there are few
places where the trail divides.
After a few more km the trail ran alongside Highway
30, linking Whakamaru Dam to State Highway 1 at
Atiamuri, and ran alongside this for a km or so before
darting back into the trees alongside the river. This part
of the trail allowed you to see the river in the distance.
There is something engaging riding alongside the
banks of a river as auspicious as the Waikato. At this
part, where it widens out more, you can appreciate its
significance in New Zealand’s history.
We continued along for another hour or so before
deciding to turn round and head back to our car for the
drive into Taupo. We stayed on the backroads enjoying
the scenery and avoiding the major roadworks that
seem to be plaguing every major road in NZ at the
Unfortunately there is only one way to Napier, so we
headed across State Highway 5 for an hour or so
before turning off towards Glenfalls DOC camp, the
takeout point for the first adventure race I had ever
done over 13 years previously. We backed our camper
right up to the river and watched the sun set behind the
alluvial landscape overlooking the Mohaka River.
Day Three: Four Seasons in One Day:
“Even when you're feeling warm
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day”
The night had been clear but cold and when we woke
up it was hard to see more than a few feet in front of us
due to the thick mist that had settled over the Mohaka
River, and the temperature had dropped to a chill 5
degrees. So we packed up camp and headed into
Napier for a more cruisy day of bike riding around the
vineyards. By the time we reached Napier the sun was
shining and we were back in singlets and shorts.
We had been told about Ash Ridge Winery in Roy’s Hill
as this was the place where “On yer Bike” was located.
Knowing little about this part of Napier we decided
to check them out and get a lay of the land. On Yer
Bike offers bike hire and exclusive access through
the surrounding vineyards, so if you don’t have your
own bike this is the place to start your travels, and Ash
Ridge Winery was the perfect spot to begin our wine
tasting experience. Our hostess, Denise, explained
the wines and the uniqueness of the more boutique
wineries, and provided us with excellent tips about how
to plan our day.
You would think that biking between vineyards could
be a bit of a hazard, but the thing is that it actually
slows down the drinking process. We, however, chose
to drive to Trinity Hill Winery and then to the last
vineyard (in this case Abbey Winery and Brewery),
and explore on bike from there. Unfortunately this
meant that we spent more time imbibing that we did
cycling. All I can say is that we were thankful that the
campervan was close by and we could “sleep” the wine
off before having to drive anywhere.
Hawkes Bay has some clearly marked Freedom
Camping areas in some top waterfront locations.
We had already checked out Perfume Point which
overlooks the harbour entrance with a surf break right
Previous Page: Biking along the Waikato River Trail
Above: Enjoying a beer after biking, at Little Waipa Reserve
Clockwise from top left: The Waikato River Trail just past Whakamaru Dam / Four seasons in one day, mist surrounds our
camper at Glenfalls DOC site / Delicious breakfast / Relaxing alongside the Mohaka River
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in front so we headed there for the night. However
at 2am the music started. Peeking from behind our
curtains we witnessed a rather dishevelled looking
local, dropping pots and pans from the back of his
car while he was attempting to locate his fishing gear!
With AC/DC blaring from his car speakers full bore,
sleep was impossible. So we decided to move… bad
decision… Keeping with the music theme of this story,
we should have known it was better to “love the one
Another Freedom Camping location on the app
provided by our Maui Camper hire company, was
the Pump Track but this was full with campers so we
moved further south to the next spot. We should have
known something was up when we pulled in and the
parking area was full of cars, all of which had steaming
windows, meaning there were people inside.
Unwilling to wake anyone up with the noise of our
camper backing out we pulled in to the last remaining
gap and settled down for some much needed sleep,
by now it was close to 3am. Within half an hour two
more cars arrived, parking directly behind us, blocking
us in and the occupants got out to loudly continue their
conversations right outside our window. At this point
we felt it was evident we had taken some “residents”
parking space and their conversation was meant to
intimidate us. They achieved their goal and we offered
to get on our way. By way of apology, one of the late
arrivals yelled repeatedly, “my wife and baby are
sleeping in that car.” At first we just felt relieved to have
got away and then retrospectively it hit us how sad it
was that a mother and baby were sleeping in their car,
and they were obviously not the only ones.
Day Four: Distant Sun
“Still so young to travel so far
Old enough to know who you are
Wise enough to carry the scars
Without any blame, there's no one to blame”
Napier and surrounds is all about biking and walking,
there are trails everywhere you look. Slightly jaded from
our previous night we decided to explore some of the
trails close to where the concert was being held later
in the day at Church Road. On the advice of Denise
from Ash Winery, we parked the camper behind the EIT
(technical Institute in Taradale) and hooked onto the
river trail towards Puketapu.
The gentle meandering path alongside the river
provided a perfect antidote to a long eventful night. You
can ride the trail on one side of the river and cross the
bridge at Puketapu and return on the other. The trail
runs alongside vineyards, orchards and the river bank
and we were amazed at the number of people out using
the trail. We reached the bridge and on the other side is
the cute local pub, The Puketapu, the perfect place for
a mid-ride beer, wine or brunch…
With the concert not starting till later in the evening,
there are plenty of options for passing away a few hours
so we headed up to Mission Estate winery for a lazy
lunch in the garden. Then we parked the campervan as
close as we could get to the event at Church Road, and
were able to relax until the event started and we were
only a few minute’s walk away.
I have always felt a very strong connection with music,
the fact that it can transport you back to a time and
place in an instant. So when Crowded House opened
up with “Distant Sun”, I was immediately taken back
over 20 years ago to Waiheke Island, when Crowded
House was a constant on our CD player. For the next
couple of hours we were treated to a nostalgic trip down
memory lane and were impressed with everything about
the show, from their musicianship, stage presence and
the intimate atmosphere.
As the concert came to an end it signalled the final day
of our roady and knew it was time to head back towards
home. With the adrenalin still pumping (and a fair few
miles to cover) we hit the road and made it as far as
Taupo before settling in for the night at Reids Farm
Freedom camping spot on the banks of the Waikato
River (another impressive free camping spot).
Day Five: Don’t Dream it’s Over
“Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over.”
The following morning the rain arrived, almost reflecting
our mood of sorrow that our road trip was coming to an
end. As we drove the final miles towards Auckland you
could feel the pressure of the city start to weigh down
on you as the trees and fields were replaced by traffic
and buildings. As we neared the drop off area at the
airport it was with a little sadness that this roady was
over. But the joy of hiring a campervan is that all we had
to do was drive up, smile, hand over the keys, and walk
So instead of lamenting that the trip was over, we
simply got back home, picked up the phone and booked
another trip. And as the song “To the Island” goes, “the
world is beyond us, it’s too enormous, but oh, the island
is just right, it’s the perfect size.” Time to go explore!
“Dont' dream it's over”
For excellent campervan hire contact www.maui-rentals.com/nz
Clockwise from top left: The Waikato River Trail / On the Tutukairi River trail in Napier / Crowded House thanking the
crowd (compliments of Crowded House) / The Puketapu
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RIDER ON THE STORM
Angelo is a 21-year-old storm chaser from the port
city of Salerno, in the south of Italy. Two years ago
he took up storm chasing, a hobby that has led
him to photographing extreme weather around his
tempestuous home region of Campania and beyond.
This is the story of how, and why, he does it…
As I child, I was terrified of storms. Especially those that
occurred in the summer, when a strong contrast between hot
and cold air made them particularly violent. I remember one
occasion in August, when I had just turned six years old. I
was out shopping with my parents just a few kilometres west
of Salerno when suddenly there was a loud noise coming
from the direction of the Apennine Mountains.
A huge cumulonimbus cloud split the sky in half, with hot and
sunny weather on one side, and a very strong thunderstorm
on the other. As the storm got closer, lightning fell a few
hundred metres from us, and hail whitened the streets in
minutes. This was a totally new experience for me, and I ran
into my father’s arms in terror. It’s a memory that remains
with me to this day. I was afraid. But I was also in awe.
Like the pull of a gripping horror movie, my fear morphed
into fascination as I grew older. When a thunderstorm
broke out at night, I would rush to my window to witness the
night’s sky put on a brilliant show. As a young boy without a
computer, I wasn’t able to access meteorological forecasts
or detailed weather maps. But if I heard thunder, or sensed
the sky was threatening, I would wait giddily in anticipation,
ready with my parents’ camera in the hope of capturing a
fleeting moment forever.
This led to my interest in photography, focusing mainly
on the beautiful landscapes that form my home region of
Campania. Here in Salerno, we are fortunate to have the
Amalfi Coast to the west, and Cilento National Park to the
south. Our coastline overlooks the southern Tyrrhenian Sea,
between the Gulf of Salerno and the Gulf of Policastro. It is
an area of natural beauty, and a perfect canvas on which
storms can paint their beguiling magic. Before long, my
landscape photography focused almost exclusively on the
niche that was getting the most attention and bringing me
the most joy: storms. What once frightened me now gave me
a strong adrenaline rush, especially the first time lightning
struck just a few metres away and resulted in a spectacular
photo. From that moment on, I realised that I absolutely had
to chase storms in southern Italy. It became almost like my
The storm season in southern Italy lasts almost all year, but
the best time to hunt is from March to November, when the
contrasts between cold and warm air are at their highest. At
the end of winter, with the lengthening of the days and the
longer daylight hours, the ground heats up more than in the
colder months. Consequently there is more energy in play.
Living a few kilometres from the southern Apennines,
thermo-convective thunderstorms often occur during the
afternoon. They are characterised by the development of
huge cumulonimbus ‘anvil’ clouds that develop up to the
highest limits of the tropopause: the boundary in the Earth's
atmosphere between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
At the height of the thunderstorm season, it’s possible to
see storm cells at sea, often associated with the arrival of
a cold front that accompanies them. These are viewed as
being more dangerous, since the warm sea provides more
energy than the spring or winter months. Most of the time
they develop at night, when it is easier for us storm chasers
to photograph lightning associated with waterspouts or
For me, the best conditions in which to shoot storms
are when there are isolated thunderstorms expected.
This ensures the rest of the sky is clear and clean,
especially during the darkness of night when you can
admire the lightning bolts flashing out from the storm.
Known as ''positive lightning’’, it is perhaps the most
fascinating electrical manifestation that can develop from
thunderstorms. These are extremely powerful discharges
that are among the longest lightning that can be observed
during a thunderstorm. Arising from young cumulonimbus
clouds, they have the peculiarity of appearing to fall from a
great distance from the cloud that generated them.
After consulting the weather bulletins and the medium and
long-term forecasts, my storm chasing friends and I decide
where to position ourselves the day before. Then three or
four hours before the storm is due to arrive, we’ll jump in my
Jeep Renegade and head to our chosen spot. My standard
equipment includes my Canon EOS 200D camera, my
various lenses (70-300mm, 50mm art, and a 14mm), and
– key to a good shot - my fixed camera tripod. Given the
chase lasts most of the day, snacks are a must.
People often ask me about the dangers of storm chasing.
Put it this way: my parents are not too keen with my chosen
activity. Before Covid, my day job was as a wedding
photographer. They certainly preferred me photographing
newlyweds, because it is of course a lot less risky. But it’s
also a lot less exciting!
The truth is that storm chasing is quite dangerous,
especially to those who set out to chase storms without
acknowledging the risks, or respecting nature, or doing
their research. Most accidents caused by lightning occur
outdoors. You are most at risk in the mountains, but all
large and exposed places such as a lawn or a soccer field
can be a dangerous place to be during a storm. Especially
anywhere in the presence of water, such as the sea,
beaches, piers, docks or outdoor pools.
But it is not only lightning that is dangerous. Among the
most dramatic and worrying effects of climate change is
the increasing extremes of weather phenomena, destined
to become increasingly violent as temperatures rise. A
frightening change that is already underway has seen
hurricanes becoming more powerful and destructive.
Near the coasts, if you are near large plains, you can also
experience waterspouts or tornadoes that can be very
dangerous to human life. I once witnessed this danger
myself, and I’m thankful that I live to tell the tale.
It was the evening of October 3rd, 2019. Some weather
models had offered a small chance of thunderstorms, and
right on the Gulf of Salerno there formed a self-healing
thunderstorm. This is a phenomenon that feeds itself and
regenerates due to the contrast between the warm and
humid low altitude air and the cool and drier high altitude
air. On this occasion, it brought gusts of over 100km/h and
a flurry of hail, hitting first the city centre, then the coastal
In a hurry to capture it, me and a friend positioned ourselves
a few metres from the beach to shoot some lightning.
And while the picture that came out is amazing, I was
almost killed as two bolts struck just a few hundred metres
from our beach. It was a moment of pure terror, since we
were positioned just steps from sea level! It was an epic
experience, but really scary. Would I do it again? I would.
But with a few more precautions this time.
On another occasion in 2020, I was on the beach at Cilento
National Park with friends who were surfing in the sea. A
strong Atlantic disturbance had scourged southern Italy,
bringing thunderstorms that resulted in huge waves in the
Tyrrhenian Sea. After a few hours, a strong storm formed
over the Gulf of Salerno, slowly approaching us. All of a
sudden, electrical discharges came down a few hundred
metres from the surfers! I had to call my friends out of the
water because of the very dangerous situation. It was a
captivating and epic thrill. My photos of that day resembled
the scenes of foreboding and doom from Netflix’s Stranger
Recently I started working for Extreme Weather Club, which
works to promote and publish the work of storm chasers all
over Europe. But one day soon I aim to expand my storm
chasing journey beyond Italy’s horizons. I would love to go
to Venezuela where electrical storms are guaranteed almost
all year round on the Catatumbo River and Lake Maracaibo.
It's one of the most fascinating places on the planet for
those drawn to extreme weather.
Another dream trip would be the USA, where it’s possible
to see and photograph supercells, tornadoes and lightning
all at the same time. My hope is to one day join a team of
storm chasers in the USA and around the world, working
with The Weather Channel or National Geographic. Maybe
that will be the day that my parents finally accept my chosen
To read more about Angelo’s storm chasing experiences in southern Italy, head to DiscoverInteresting.com
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44//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
Physiology in a Nutshell
how to train your emotions and mind
There are times when conditions,
fitness and skills are perfectly
matched, yet the mission fails.
Here, the adventurer must
understand and master the
domain of emotion and mind.
Scenario 1: Fear and the flight
Imagine you are well on your
way to a summit through a
difficult stretch of rock. The
climber above knocks a flurry of
rocks over you which fly past you
into the abyss below. Your body
tenses, eyes widen, lips pull back
and you become stiff. A wave
of fear engulfs your body. All
you can think about is the awful
consequences of an imminent
error and a fall (worry). You start
to tremble, hesitate and cannot
move forward. Every move
presents ghastly consequences.
You are having a flight reaction.
Scenario 2: Anger and the fight
A client you are guiding fails
to follow instructions putting
the group and mission at risk.
Your eyebrows furrow down
and in, the heat of anger
By Dr Sven Hansen, MBChB, MBA. Founder of Resilience Institute
Dr Sven Hansen is an amateur climbing and lifelong outdoor adventurer. With a background in special forces and sports
medicine, he works with executives, professionals and athletes to build the resilience needed to achieve excellence.
rises to your chest, fists and
face. Your mind says it is all
their fault (rumination). You
shout and dress the client
down aggressively. The group
is shocked, and the client
dismayed. The rest of the trip is
awkward. Their reviews damage
your reputation. You just had a
Scenario 3: Overwhelm and the
The waves are huge on an ocean
surf ski race. You have spent
months training and thousands
of dollars preparing. As you
begin to ride the rising swells,
uncertainty rises. Are you out of
your depth (doubt)? A massive,
turbulent wave rises behind
you. Instead of paddling hard,
you brace and panic. You fall off
your ski. Pounded by wave after
wave, your mind becomes numb.
You cannot remount, lose your
boat and paddle, and have to be
rescued. You just had a freeze
Those who have pushed the
limits will recognise these
reactions in ourselves, our
colleagues and our clients. While
we all study conditions, work
on our fitness and sharpen our
skills, often it is these reactive
emotional and mental states
that ruin a mission. What if we
were to master and train these
We frequently hear phrases
such as: “Keep emotion out of
it.” Better advice is to understand
and master emotion and the
associated mental states.
Best advice is to understand
and master emotion and the
associated mental states.
Recent work in neurobiology helps
us understand how we either react or
respond to acute adversity. We can
process emotion in two ways. Option
one, under pressure is to default to
unconscious reptilian reactions – flight,
fight and freeze. The unseen emotion
overwhelms the mind and drives
automatic reactions. In combat, we call it
These reactions are driven by two almond
shaped bodies called the amygdala in the
temporal lobes – just inside the skull and
adjacent to the earlobes. Unconscious
emotional systems have been available
since the time of reptiles. In the absence
of an alternative response, these
reactions have been selected and
retained by evolution in our brains today.
In flight, fear activates the sympathetic
system pumping out adrenaline (body
tension) and nor-adrenaline (mental
tension). With blood pumping fast and
under pressure to lower limbs, our legs
become stiff and tremulous. There is an
overwhelming drive to escape, rather
than engage, the situation. The mind
spins in worry or panic.
In fight, anger activates the sympathetic
system to drive blood under pressure
to the chest, fists and jaw (again
sympathetic). The overwhelming drive
is to attack, hit, bite or shout. The mind
spins in blame and rage at the person.
In freeze, we activate the lower and older
part of the vagus nerve. This tenth
cranial nerve runs from the brain to
pelvis – the longest pair of nerves in
the nervous system. When activated,
we can feint, void bowels or bladder,
collapse, burst into tears, or collapse
Adventurers seek to match skills
to significant challenge – what we
describe as the flow state. Flight, fight
and freeze reactions will unravel your
mission. Embarrassment, regret and
Experts have laid out a number of
options to understand and master
these reactions. When we do, periods
of flow in moments of extreme
challenge drive inspired and superskilful
action. The result is enhanced
The physiology of flow is now well
studied . You will recognise it when
your mind becomes quiet – often to
the point that memory is lost. Timekeeping
stops – and time can stretch
or compress. The experience has a
feeling of grace. Afterwards it feels
absolutely great – thanks to the flood
of neurochemicals such as dopamine,
endorphins and anandamide.
Flow is an altered state of brain waves
(theta and gamma), neurochemicals,
sensory awareness, complete
absorption, focus, and fluid responses
to dynamic situations. It is so enjoyable
to the adventurer, that we keep going
back for more.
The requirement is a well-trained
Vagus Nerve. The new and upper parts
of the Vagus nerve drive the calm,
control and connect response. When
we exhale, relax our face, calm our
emotions and thoughts, and focus fully
on the moment at hand, the new (or
ventral) vagus fires. We experience
calming, slowing, and focusing. Trust
increases establishing the basis for
playfulness, connection and superior
Flow is an altered state of brain waves (theta and gamma),
neurochemicals, sensory awareness, complete absorption, focus,
and fluid responses to dynamic situations. It is so enjoyable to the
adventurer, that we keep going back for more.
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Acrophobia – a crippling fear of height
Perhaps one third of people suffer a fear
of heights. The reaction is flight. It ranges
from a mild anxiety near a 16th floor
window to being crippled with nausea,
shaking, clinging and collapsing. For an
adventurer this is life limiting. The options
to solve this are clearly agreed:
1. Acknowledge and engage: the
experience is not fun, so your being
avoids the situation. Accept it full and
resolve to engage in re-training your flight
reaction to a skilfully managed response.
2. Map your reactions precisely; physical,
emotional, mental: write down each
experience you have had. Describe every
part of it until it is a clear object without
any emotional turmoil. Tell the story and
use humour to accept the inappropriate
reaction. Get comfortable with the
discomfort. Remain resolved to succeed.
3. Prepare and visualise: while this is
normally done before a situation you
can do it afterwards. Simply create the
experience from memory or in your
imagination. Work from the widest
context and move inwards to seeing
yourself and the objects around you.
Visualise clearly the height and the risk.
Notice the feelings and thoughts. Name
the discomfort of fear, exhale, remember
this is just your imagination and create
the next action you could take. See
this being successful. Visualise the
successful mastery of the situation, step
by step. Continually name the feelings,
tame them and reframe them into action.
The more realistic your visualisation, the
greater success you will have.
4. Develop a strong relaxation
response: this requires daily practice of
at least 8 minutes per day. Remember
that calm underpins curiosity and
courage. Calm is the antidote to
fear. Train your vagal nerve daily.
You can use heart rate variability
monitoring (www.heartmath.com) or
virtual reality to add precision (www.
5. Accept, exhale and execute: starting
with smaller challenges, now you must
expose yourself to triggers. Every time,
you feel the smallest reaction execute
your trained response. Accept and
name it. Exhale and tame it. Execute
the next step with deliberate courage
(reframe). If the reaction becomes
strong, be willing to take a moment to
sink into a relaxation practice. Focus on
one step at a time.
6. Build your stories of success: every
time you succeed, go to your journal
and unpack it. If you prefer, tell the
story. Video analysis can be helpful. Be
specific in laying down a clear memory
of being able to take a step through
your fear. You want to lay down a bed
of memories that will support you the
next time you stretch your longing for
The truth that many authors fail to
share, is that it takes thousands of
hours of focused, deliberate practice
with clear goals, and quick feedback
(coaching) . To establish our skills, we
need safety. However, to truly master
flow, we must increase the challenge
and risk to the point that we flirt with
an amygdala hijack – flight, fight, and
Here, we are working with the Vagus
Nerve. We must seek to be fully alert to
the emotional signals of fear, anger and
overwhelm. Name the emotion, tame
the emotion and reframe it for action.
For example, when fear presents, feel
it fully and describe it, use a calming
practice to tame it, and reframe it with
curiosity and focus on the challenge at
It is this edge between unconscious
reaction (amygdala hijack) and
deliberate, trained response under
threat (flow) that separates the great
and the average. A trained Vagus nerve
is the physiological foundation.
One third of people suffer a fear of heights. The reaction is flight. It
ranges from a mild anxiety near a 16th floor window to being crippled
with nausea, shaking, clinging and collapsing. For an adventurer this
is life limiting.
Six Practices for Flow in Extreme
1. Take care of your recovery and
If you seek to master this edge of
performance, you have to secure
your sleep, skilled recovery and deep
relaxation. These three components
must be built into your life so that you
can activate the new Vagus nerve. Get
at least seven hours of sleep at the right
time for your clock and with enough
deep and REM cycles. Practice slow,
diaphragmatic breathing every day.
Meditate if you can or explore the Wim
Hoff Method if you want to be a little
2. Map the process of your own
This is the awkward work many of us
avoid. The critical first step to mastery,
is to understand when and how your
ancient biology undermines your goals.
Look for times that you have avoided
conflict (flight), had angry outbursts
(fight), or shrunk away (freeze) in the
face of challenge. Ask those close to you
when they notice these reactions. Work
through the situation and the experience
until you can see it clearly. Define clearly
how it blocked your intention. What were
the consequence you want to avoid next
3. Define clearly the response you are
Write down how it might have worked
out if you had mastered the reaction
and responded with calm, focused skill.
Rebuild the process that would have
to unfold to succeed. For example: I
feel my anger. Breathe out and pause.
Take a moment to consider the other
person’s experience. Resolve to engage
with calm and respectful resolve to
communicate the imperative for change.
Describe how it would feel to have this
powerful conversation. How would it
improve the outcome for others?
4. Master your own tactical calm
We are often asked to rise to the
challenge. Preferably, relax, exhale
and sink to the level of your training (an
ancient Greek phrase adopted by Navy
Seals). Rapid (or tactical) calming is the
doorway to flow. Experiment with the
best practice to achieve rapid calm. For
me, it is to breathe out slowly through
my nose and bring my full focus into
the moment. Practice it every time you
stretch for a challenge. Lock the routine
down so it becomes automatic. Once
you do your Vagus nerve is trained and
fit for purpose.
5. Seek presence and connection to
A key element of flow is to be 100%
present and connected to the challenge.
This means suspending thinking about
past or future and being fully immersed
in the moment. It is called transient
hypofrontality meaning the prefrontal
‘thinking cortex’ is silent. While we must
be aware of the emotion, we resist the
temptation to flight (and worry) or fight
(rumination on past).
6. Train on challenges just above
your skill zone
While we must maintain our basic
fitness and skills in safe and secure
environments, the adventurer must
practice at the edge of discomfort. Kotler
suggests reaching for challenges 4%
above your skills. This puts you in a
state where arousal is activated enough
but not too much. In this arousal we
practice tactical calm and mastery of the
skills we seek.
48//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 49
GO WITH THE FLOW
By Derek Cheng
Drive the ice tool into the vertical ice. Doesn’t stick well? Swing
again, hitting the same mark. Close the eyes as it strikes
to protect from ice blowback. Bring the feet up and kick the
Ice climbing engages every pore, every spectrum of every
sense. The sound the pick makes as it strikes the ice. The
scent of the sheer chill of the winter. The feel of the handle as
you pull up on it, lock off, and fiddle in an ice screw.
It's a pursuit that immerses you so deeply that you forget
everything else. Only the singularity of the experience exists.
Time flutters by as if irrelevant.
There are several activities that can place you in a flow state
- mountain biking, skiing, surfing, trail-running. I have pursued
climbing in all its forms across the globe because, for me, it
delivers enriching experiences and intense doses of euphoria
more than anything else.
What is it that makes climbing such a potent high, compelling
some of us to give up financial and geographical stability and
pursue an activity that yields nothing tangible?
I was in my 20s when I first flew to South America on a oneway
ticket to Patagonian granite, snowy Andean peaks, and
Cuban limestone. It was the first time I was exposed to dirtbag
life and the freedom of chasing rock and ice in wild, remote
places. As soon as I came home, I started saving for the next
fix, which I thought would be the last hurrah before the lust for
dirtbaggery would fade, replaced by responsible hankerings
for a family, puppies in sweaters, or a home with a white picket
fence.But that never eventuated and I’m still chasing the high.
50//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 51
The onset of Covid-19 has simply seen such adventures
become New Zealand-centric; I spent the last summer
exploring the remote corners of the Darran mountains in
Climbing has been shown to help depression, likened to
meditation, and even compared to the kind of mind-blowing
awe that accompanies profound shifts in neural networks.
But any claims about what the brain does during a climb
are yet to be rooted in any real science because, according
to climber and neuroscientist Dr Ashlee Hendy, we lack the
technology to scan the brain of someone as they climb.
The anecdotal trail led me to psychologist Dr Mihaly
Csikszentmihalyi and his seminal 1990 book Flow: The
Psychology of Optimal Experience. Flow, he says, is the
state of being so immersed in an activity that it makes time
and the ego melt away. “Thoughts, intentions, feelings, and
all the senses are focused on the same goal. Experience
is in harmony,” Csikszentmihalyi writes. “We feel a sense
of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that becomes a
landmark in memory for what life should be like.”
Csikszentmihalyi interviewed people from all walks of life,
including athletes, artists, musicians and chess masters.
Among the flow-junkies he quotes are climbers, one of
whom says: “You look back on awe at the self, at what
you’ve done. It just blows your mind. It leads to ecstasy,
to self-fulfillment.” Says another: “It’s a Zen feeling, like
meditation or concentration… It’s like an egoless thing, in
a way. Somehow the right thing is done without you ever
thinking about it or doing anything at all. . . It just happens.”
And yet I vividly recall terrible climbing experiences when
things haven’t clicked, or fear has crippled the experience.
Flow, Csikszentmihalyi says, can happen when the
perfect amount of challenge tests your skill set. If it’s too
easy, you succumb to boredom. If it’s too much, you’re
consumed with anxiety. But if the challenge stretches you
to the limits of your ability, conditions are ripe for flow.
Climbing also ticks the key boxes for Csikszentmihalyi’s
flow triggers: intense focus on the present moment, clear
goals, immediate feedback, high consequences, rich
environments, and total, physical awareness.
Csikszentmihalyi says a key ingredient is transient
hypofrontality - a less active pre-frontal cortex, which is
the heart of higher cognitive abilities. It collects data and
assesses risk, conducts analysis and makes plans. This
also makes it the home of self-criticism and self-doubt,
which are impediments to flow.
This idea is reinforced in journalist Steven Kotler’s
book The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of
Ultimate Human Performance, which collates more recent
research. “Parts of it [the pre-frontal cortex] are temporarily
deactivating,” says psychology professor Arne Dietrich in
Kotler’s book. “It’s an efficiency exchange. We’re trading
energy usually used for higher cognitive functions for
heightened attention and awareness.”
In the flow state, the intuitive parts of the brain take the
wheel. Alpha waves (the brain’s basic resting state) and
theta waves (also present in states of deep meditation, or
just before falling asleep) are more active, instead of beta
waves (associated with concentration, learning, but also
fear and stress).
Kotler proposes that flow has enabled giant leaps in
performance in extreme sports through a relatively short
period of time. His book looks at, among other things, the
free-soloing feats of Alex Honnold and the speed-climbing
exploits of Dean Potter, who talks about yielding to The
Voice in his head that intuitively guides him. (The book
preceded Potter’s tragic death in a wing-suiting accident.)
“When I’m really in tune with it, really deep in the zone, I
get to a place where I disappear completely … when time
slows down, my senses are unbelievably heightened, and
I feel that oneness,” Potter told Kotler. “And that’s why I
climb. I crave these experiences.”
Cameron Norsworthy, co-founder of The Flow Centre, says
flow doesn’t have a monopoly on high performance. But he
adds that it is rare to be flow-free and climb at the limit of
He says climbing is especially flow-worthy because it
demands total focus. “The constant struggle, mental
and physical, draws us away from our normal waking
consciousness. You can walk into a gym and be selfconscious,
but halfway up the wall, reaching a difficult point
when you reach the crux, all your self-consciousness can
disappear because the task demands it.”
Climbing, he adds, also pushes you to keep improving.
“It keeps us wanting to do more so that we can feel flow
again. And in order to experience it at an equal or greater
intensity, we keep seeking more difficult routes to hit that
sweet spot. It creates this growth principle that continuously
pushes our abilities, keeping us hooked on that next climb.”
Other conditions that can enhance flow include
novelty, unpredictability, and complexity. Some risk -
and associated fear - also helps, because it releases
norepinephrine, which mobilises the brain and body for
action. But too much, as any climber can attest, and the
experience just crumbles into a stressful fight for survival,
regardless of whether there is any real threat. I recall
climbing a route on Mount Taranaki, after a year away from
climbing, where topping out didn’t bring any satisfaction or
joy - only profound relief.
These flow conditions provide a key to climbing’s unique,
multi-layered tremendousness. Concentrating on one
discipline can bring great joy, but if bouldering or sportclimbing
don’t get you high enough, there’s always tradclimbing
and multi-pitching, aid-climbing and big-walling,
alpine climbing, free-soloing, and questing up lines of
frozen ice with sharp, metal points extending from your
hands and toes. There are always new skills to master,
new limits to push, different manifestations of fear to
master. Even within each discipline lies an infinity of
varying challenges—from slabs to overhangs to roofs to
corners to cracks.
Previous Page: Frazer Burley steadies himself on Shades of Beauty, a WI4 multi-pitch ice route in the Columbia Icefield Parkway, Canada.
Right: Chris Davis climbing Burning Spear (22) on the epic rock tower known as The Moai, in Tasmania, Australia
Following Page: Kiff Alcocer soloing the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire in the Bugaboos, Canada.
52//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 53
Another unique feature of climbing is that
you don’t have to be the best of the best
to unlock the climbing goodness. Success
is best measured against what lies within.
And although success on the hardest
climbs are undoubtedly memorable, it’s
overcoming a challenge - especially ones
that seemed doubtful at the time - that
really enhances the experience. One of my
most vivid moments of climbing joy was
on a route called Mari (17) at Arapiles in
Australia, a grade that is easy for me now,
but which lay at the edge of what seemed
possible at the time. I battled through
the dreaded pump at the crux, and then
topped out from frigid shade into divine
sunshine, triggering a potent rush that left
me beaming for hours.
Another was my first experience of
climbing a new line on a virgin face. The
third pitch of Ka-Kaa (21), in Morocco’s
Anti-Atlas range, was full of thin,
questionable gear and tenuous, technical
moves. On the fifth pitch, a piece of rock
exploded when I tested a piece of gear,
but I managed to catch it in my hand and
toss it harmlessly to the ground before
gathering my composure, and then
climbing through an intimidating roof.
And every time I’ve ventured into the
world of ice-climbing, the unique bold,
cold, no-fall adrenaline and breathtaking
landscapes almost always deliver a feeling
of being reborn, redeemed, revived.
Novelty. Unpredictability. Abundant
complexity. Challenges at the edge of
your ability. Success that can unravel a
new perspective on what you’re capable
of, and see continual improvement. Toss
in landscapes that push the boundaries
of sublime beauty, and sharing the
experience with someone in your special
tribe. Stir into a smooth, powerful potion.
I’m now in my 40s, but I have as much
climbing-wanderlust as when I was in my
20s. Because in the end, to quote Jack
Kerouac, “You won’t remember the time
you spent working in the office or mowing
Or, as civil rights leader Howard Thurman
said: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask
what makes you come alive, and go do
it. Because what the world needs most is
more people who have come alive.”
54//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 55
By Chris Chase
How the idea of photographing the human connection to nature helped keep me
enter into a new industry.
“One foot in front of the other.”
That’s every hiker’s advice to their friend in the group who
they knew was a questionable call on if they could handle
the walk or not.
If you don’t give that advice, the person struggling could lose
hope and get down on themselves, but also the rest of the
crew would recognise their fate. That for the rest of the trip,
they will have to help this person get through the ordeal...
most likely by sharing the weight from their bag and lightning
their load...or have to call off the trip.
Seven simple words can mean the difference between that
feeling of awe atop the mountain or the miserable sensation
of admitting defeat and turning around, never getting to see
what you walked all the way there for.
Seven simple words mean the difference between growth
and stagnation, success and indignation, pride and shame.
Seven simple words can get you through just about anything,
and those are the words I repeated to myself throughout my
journey from being a school teacher in New York City to an
adventure photographer in New Zealand.
I started taking pictures of the outdoors in high school, when
I would go on day walks with my friends and family back
home in the suburbs outside of New York City. We would
walk along local bike baths, streams and larger regional
park trails wandering until we were bored and wanted to turn
back. Sometimes that would be hours and would go into
the dark, but we always enjoyed being in the moment and
feeling uninhibited by schedules and expectations.
When I started bringing my camera on walks, I would snap
photos haphazardly and with no real focus. I just thought
having the camera and getting some pictures meant I could
have proof that the walk happened.
Too often though, cameras and nature become synonymous
with ‘landscapes.’ People are quick to want to show others
the proof that they finally got to that place they bragged
about climbing one day or skiing down and they just snap
a random picture of the mountain peaks or the view with
And it is safe to say that at first, I fell into that trap too.
When I would take the photos, I didn’t know how to train my
eye yet and took photos of just about everything.
As I went out on more adventures with my crew, I started to
realise everyone who came out with me wanted the iconic
arms outstretched, on top of a peak looking out into the
world kind of picture...and of course being the only one with
a proper camera out there, I would begrudgingly oblige.
But little did they know that after I gave them their one nice
picture, I kept taking more. I would zoom in really close
to them and their face and walk forward or run at them to
make them laugh. It started as a joke but I soon realised how
interesting those photos actually turned out to be.
Because it was more of a candid shot, their smile would
Right: Two Skiers atop Mt. Ruapehu Pinnacles Ridge scoping out their path into the backcountry.
56//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 57
e truer, warmer and wider. The rest of their face might
be contorted and their stance awkward, but after every
photoshoot that we would do on these mountain tops, we’d
look at the photos on the camera and would break out
laughing because I captured very real moments of emotion
and the fun that we were having together up there.
Around the campfire or back home after a long mission, those
photos were the ones that were talked about the most. Those
photos were the ones that, although they were candid, were
more interesting and story worthy.
It was during these hikes and adventures that I soon realised
what was really interesting for people to see was how being
out there doing this activity made them feel. What was
missing in all of those quintessential landscape photos was
the human connection to the outdoors.
So I started to turn my camera on the people I was with.
The fascinating thing I learned taking photos of people up
close was that in the middle of whatever activity we were
doing, be it mountain biking, hiking, or snowboarding...the
subjects of my photos were never really aware of what their
bodies were doing.
I would usually run ahead and hide in the bushes, or climb
a tree to get the right angle and wait for a good moment to
snap the photo. As I waited, looking through the camera
viewfinder, I would watch and notice what their bodies were
doing. If we were hiking, was someone taking a massive step
or grabbing onto a tree for support? Were they about to hit a
jump on a mountain bike and making the all too familiar ‘oh
crap this is a big jump’ face?
Whatever it was, I felt like I tried to wait in the right place
for the right shot. It became easy for me to capture these
in between moments and made for some truly interesting
In the photo, you could see what the whole experience was
like for that person. You could see the struggle, the hurt, the
random excitement over a cool plant or animal they saw.
So much about the human experience can be photographed
if you know what to look for and when. The trouble is, that
special moment of connection happens so quickly, like action
and adventure sports, that if you are not ready for it you won’t
And that happened to me more times than I could count when
I was starting out. Blurry pictures, too bright, too dark, wrong
shutter speed, eyes were closed. You name it, I’ve had it out
there in the field...and boy was that frustrating!
I had no clue about camera settings and let the camera do all
of the work. I wasn’t confident in experimenting because I felt
like I’d lose the opportunity if I didn’t.
One foot in front of the other, Chris. One foot in front of the
This mantra helped me when I went to university to study
marketing. I left photography alone for a while because
studies became intense. I ended up not liking the program,
but took one course that would unknowingly put me on the
path to New Zealand.
It was an entrepreneurship course designed to help us learn
entrepreneurial skills through teaching inner city children how
to create and run a business.
A lot of these children came from poorer areas, so equipping
them with these skills at an early age could help them get out
of situations they couldn’t necessarily control. I didn’t realise
it at the time, but I was helping them follow the same mantra
too. One foot in front of the other.
I loved this course not only because of the skills I passed onto
the children, but because of the human connection it brought.
It was powerful enough to make me change my course of
study and university.
Just when I thought I was onto something and had it all
figured out, I changed schools, and studied to become
a teacher. At first I thought it was just another roadblock,
another shoe in the mud. I was feeling like an exhausted
hiker. But when I arrived at my new university, I realised it was
hours away from the hustle and bustle of the NYC area and
surrounded by nature. Things here would be different.
Top left to right: My brother Mike, my original adventure buddy, after we summited a mountain in New York at sunrise.
My trusty Atlas photo backpack. This thing kept all of my camera gear gear safe throughout the hike!
It's always a treat when the photographer gets a photo of himself! Can you feel my connection to the watermelon here after
9 days of hiking?
Above: Mountain biker having fun on his bike, Whakarewarewa Forest trails, Rotorua
58//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 59
At SUNY Plattsburgh was where I grew my appreciation and
understanding for the outdoors. It was a cold place, getting
to -30ºC sometimes for days or weeks at a time.
And yet every snowstorm, rainy day or rough weather day, I
was around the campus taking pictures.
Being at this school allowed my excitement for photography
to come back and the studies were going well. I spent a lot
of my free time outdoors and found new crews of people to
go adventuring with. Same story and same routine of going
out together, doing some awesome extreme sport, capturing
photos and sharing them with the friends on the trip.
People liked them...but not much more than that.
Sometimes they would occasionally share them on social
media and they’d say thank you but it didn’t seem like the
photos fully grabbed their attention. I knew what I was after
all along in sharing this human connection with others, but
I started to feel like it was ironic that these photos weren’t
really shared beyond myself and the person in the picture.
I wasn’t sure if it would go anywhere.
Again my interest in photography ebbed and flowed, I
graduated university to become a teacher and had my
sights set on coming to New Zealand and teaching here.
After two years teaching in NYC, I found a job in Auckland
and began my New Zealand career.
I immediately fell in love with this country and decided to
find fellow adventurers like myself. I knew New Zealand
had so much to offer in terms of untamed wild and I
couldn’t wait to explore it. The trouble was I read stories of
international hikers thinking they knew it all in the NZ wild
and giving solo hiking a go, only to get into trouble and have
to get rescued.
I wondered how to find a group that I could safely go with to
learn about the outdoors here. I found a social adventure
company based in Auckland and started going on trips with
them. I quickly fell in with this group and went on hikes and
snowboarded just about every weekend I could. It seemed
like the group for me.
Much like at home, I knew to always bring my camera with
me on these missions. I would of course focus on the
dynamic scenery, but as I started to form friendships with
people in the group, I noticed how easy it was to get them to
be in front of the camera for me.
I quickly realised how effortless it was to leverage the
friendships I was developing in order to obtain these candid
We would have so much fun on our adventures and the
camera never seemed to get in the way, so I really felt like
I could get up close and personal to my friends in these
moments and create photos that showed what it was truly
like to be out in the New Zealand outdoors.
After each trip, I’d post the photos to social media and more
and more comments came in. I noticed people would save
them as their new profile pictures or share them with family
and the pictures would even get featured on the social
adventure company’s website and social media pages.
I was onto something once again, this time it felt different
because my pictures were being seen by more eyes and
being shown around the country to other adventurers.
What was similar about this situation to my photography at
home in the States was we were outdoors and having fun
Those seemed like they were key ingredients to a
memorable trip and I realised as long as my friend group
and I were having fun on these trips, the content I produced
would reflect that.
I kept going on more weekend getaways and was exposed
to more and more adventure sports New Zealand had to
offer. I started learning how to prepare for and do overnight
hikes, and my adventures in the country grew more and
All with my camera by my side.
In the past three years of being in this country, I have
amassed a wealth of knowledge about the outdoors here
and engaged with incredible athletes and everyday people
while they pursued their hobbies and seeked to achieve the
benefits that come with being an adventurer.
I am happy that all of this time I have been able to be right
beside them in their journeys and figured out a way to
insert myself into sometimes very personal situations and
moments of achievement or even failure.
I have been lucky to shoot photos in the outdoors just about
every weekend since I arrived here, and everything I had
learned thus far would prepare me for my latest and most
intense adventure to date, hiking a portion of Te Araroa, the
NZ long trail that goes from Cape Reinga in the north island
to Bluff in the south island.
If there was a time I needed to remember the hiker’s
mantra, it would be standing at the lighthouse at the Cape
up north, looking down the coast to the start of the track.
On New Year’s day 2021, eleven brave hikers and I set out
to walk the first major leg of Te Araroa for 10 days, from
Cape Reinga to Waitangi. This trip was slated to be the
hardest and most dynamic one I had ever done to date.
All of that time outdoors with my family and friends prepared
me for this adventure, and all of the practise getting in
people’s faces during the adventures and taking photos
would come handy here because I made it my personal goal
to document the hike for everyone with my camera.
I had never hiked with so much camera gear, 10kgs to be
exact, let alone hiked for more than three days at a time...so
much of what happened on this trip was entirely new to me.
Top to bottom: My Te Araroa hiking crew at the Cape...before we got sandy!
Looking south onto Te Araroa and 90 Mile Beach, from the northern edge
60//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 61
I had to wrap all of my individual camera gear in dry bags,
carry four extra batteries to last all ten days, and make
sure I had several backups of memory cards just in case
things went wrong when we were out there. I bought an
amazing 40 Liter hiking pack specifically for camera gear, so
I managed to stuff all of it and then my food and clothing on
top of that. 18 or so kgs later, we were off and walking Te
Like any hiker, I dealt with my own personal struggles on the
walk. Blistered feet, dehydration, mindless walking. I wasn’t
exempt from everything the other hikers felt, and yet I had
to manage capturing their experience. This was the biggest
adventure of my career thus far and I couldn’t miss out no
One foot in front of the other…
I kept pace as best as I could, and kept my camera on my
shoulder ready to fire if the moment called for it. As life
would have it, I had to hitchhike after two days and leave my
crew because my blisters were so bad. I struggled with that
decision because I tried so hard to put one foot in front of
the other...I needed to be there to capture the moments for
I was ashamed, but I had to do what was best in the end and
take another route.
I had done that for years with my photography up until this
point and would feel terrible about missing this chance to
capture such an intense adventure.
Lucky that after only 2 days rest, I was able to meet the
group again and carry on to finish in Waitangi, having hiked
7 of the 10 days together.
Hiking and documenting Te Araroa was, and has been, the
pinnacle of my photography career thus far, but looking back
on everything that needed to happen to achieve this wonderful
goal, I could not have done it without the hiker’s mantra.
I continue to pride myself on taking shots that embody the
human connection to the outdoors, and I was able to capture
that on Te Araroa but I recognize now after what seems like
years and years in the making, this industry requires trust in
yourself and trust in those around you.
Trust in the process has helped me think past the shame,
focus on the growth and ultimately reflect on how lucky I am
to have now worked with big names in the industry and see
my photos around in everyday life here.
It is a long road to notoriety in this business, but if you are
willing to put one foot in front of the other, you will eventually
reach your goal and realise that the long path to success is
worth the pain.
I never would have thought I would go from being a teacher
to now an adventure photographer, but I wouldn’t change it
for the world.
What I wonder now is...where’s the next adventure going to
To see more of Chris's work, check out www.chrischasephotography.com
Above: There is a reason it is called Twilight Beach. A beautiful sunset on night 1 of our 10 day adventure
62//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
UNIVERSAL BLUETOOTH® HI-FI AUDIO AND COMMUNICATION
SYSTEM FOR AUDIO-READY SKI AND SNOWBOARD HELMETS
The first major snows are starting to fall across the
Southern Hemisphere, and snow lovers are gearing
up for the imminent resort openings. Of course, the
usual pre-season rituals are being performed; watching
videos, keeping tabs on the weather, getting an edge
and wax… and searching for that amazing new piece
of gear that will kick this season off right.
Of all the exciting new technology available this
season, now available to Kiwi and Aussie snowsports
enthusiasts is a way to convert their snow helmet into
an audio and communications marvel.
THE ALECK 006 - UNIVERSAL WIRELESS HELMET
AUDIO & COMMUNICATION
Aleck 006 is the wireless audio system that brings premium
sound and push-to-talk communication capability to any ski
or snowboard helmet. With simple, glove-friendly controls for
music and instant group communication from anywhere on
the mountain, Aleck 006 puts your playlist at your fingertips,
keeps your squad in touch on storm days, and makes
meeting up for aprés easy. Any day on the snow is a good
one, but the Aleck 006 makes every run better.
GROUP PUSH-TO-TALK COMMS
We all know how to use a walkie-talkie, and that’s how Aleck
006 works—just press and talk. The Aleck GO! app (iPhone
and Android) lets you easily switch channels between single
users and as many custom groups as you want to create.
Keep a family group and a big friend group, and add friends
and family members on the fly.
Aleck 006 is tuned for the optimal helmet audio experience right
out of the box, with crisp highs and hard-hitting lows from its two
40mm titanium drivers. Need a more individual audio experience?
The powerful in-app equalizer allows you to fine-tune the treble,
bass, and midrange until you nail that signature sound.
GROUP GPS MAPPING
Losing touch on the mountain is all too easy, especially on
storm days and among riders with different ability levels. With
GPS tracking in the Aleck GO! app, you can map the location of
everyone in your crew—whether you’re waiting at the lift for a
friend or you’re the one who’s gone AWOL!
Aleck 006 features a low-profile, lightweight design that’s
compatible with any audio-ready snow helmet—at least every one
we could get our hands on.
Pick up the Aleck 006 now at Torpedo 7 or www.Aleck.io
15-17 OCTOBER 2021 SPRING CHALLENGE NORTH NAPIER, HAWKE’S BAY
FOR MORE INFO AND TO ENTER: WWW.SPRINGCHALLENGE.CO.NZ
Make time to have adventures
with your friends!
64//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
SO IS THE SNOW!
The temperature is dropping and so is the snow on the
mountain tops. Many people are now turning their mind to
decide upon a winter adventure for the year. This raises
many questions some of which include:
• Where is the best place to go for what I want to do?
• What gear do I need to pack?
• What skills do I need for the type of adventure I would
like to have?
• If I am going into the backcountry how much do I need
to worry about the avalanche risk?
• Where should I stay?
• Who else can I go with?
List goes on and sometimes is seemingly endless!
However, the answer to these questions may be somewhat
simple, namely find a reputable guiding company and let
them do the work for you! Obviously, the benefits of using
a guide vary considerably depending upon your skills,
knowledge and the type of experience you are seeking.
However, the list of benefits of being guided on your next
winter adventure, not surprising, is also very long.
66//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ 67
AEROSIZE AIRBAG SYSTEM
WITH HYBRID STRUCTURE
Lightweight, safety-tested and stylish, 'vest ONE' by
AEROSIZE is the world's first certified avalanche
airbag compact vest.
Geared towards people exposed to the danger of snow
avalanches, the vest contains AEROSIZE’s patented
hybrid airbag system that’s smaller than your average
avalanche backpack kit. However, the airbag retains
the standard capacity of 174 liters when filled up,
offering protection for off-piste snowboarding, skiing,
snowmobiles and rescue teams.
After pulling the trigger of Vest ONE, compressed gas
from the cartridges inflates only the airbag structural
chamber, therefore the airbag frame grows and
stretches the fabric of the airbag walls. The rest of the
volume of the airbag is filled automatically with
air sucked in from the environment, allowing
AEROSIZE to minimize the size of the components,
the whole system, and the final product.
The most important feature of the vest and the system
is its small size and compatibleness with most of
regualr backpacks (also specialized ones), thanks to
it user stays protected with removed backpack. The
design underlines the function of the vest while the
aesthetics intend to underline its reliability,
professional use and compactness.
For more information and to purchase go to
Backyard Brains Trust
Qualified guides such as IFMGA or NZMGA have
hundreds of days experience in the backcountry and have
spent generally a decade or more gaining the knowledge
and experience to guide clients. Put these qualified guides
in a team and you have hundreds of years of experience
all in one place. If this team cannot find you the adventure
you are looking for, then something is wrong.
In addition to helping you find the right adventure, the
combined brain power of our guides also helps ensure that
we have a wealth and depth of knowledge in terms of the
local terrain and an institutional depth of current condition
knowledge to find the ‘good stuff’ and avoid ‘the bad stuff.’
In the backcountry ski-touring with a guide who knows
the snowpack and understands the avalanche conditions
makes a lot of sense. For those of you who don’t have
the time or inclination to be this up to speed with snow
safety the guide can most certainly maximise the amount
of time you can spend skiing as opposed to managing
snow safety and avalanche risk for yourself. If you are the
kind of person who has spent countless hours and dollars
attending avalanche awareness courses and love doing
your ‘snow profiles’ and ‘log book’ there is still a lot to learn
from a guide. As well as seeing how your guide reads the
snow on the day, your guide will also have the benefit from
the collective input of snow safety professionals prior to
heading into the backcountry. If you want to tap into this
knowledge may come away from you day with more than
We all know that whenever you go somewhere new a
significant amount of time is often spent route finding, or
dare we say it, getting lost! Obviously a guide knows not
just the terrain and the route but more importantly where
the best snow is! So where you ski with a guide you tend
to spend a lot less time on navigation and a log more time
on fresh lines.
The often-forgotten benefit of an experienced guide is
that they can also be a great mentor that can support your
learning in the field. They can take time to evaluate your
skills and help with progressions to expand your toolbox.
Your guide can ultimately support you to develop skills that
can enable you to have more adventures on your own.
More often than not people are surprised by what they can
learn by spending time with a guide, whether it was their
intention to develop their skills further or not!
The backcountry has many inherent risks. This is a fact
and one that should not be underestimated particularly in
Aotearoa. Undertaking a trip
To find a guide near you check out:
68//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
PHOTO : ©Blake JORGENSON
KEEPING OUT THE COLD
merrell Haven Mid Lace Waterproof Women’s $329.00
As spontaneous as the weather. The Haven is up for
anything, with seam sealed waterproof construction,
100 grams of insulation and grip for traction during
merrell Moab Adventure Chelsea Polar Waterproof
Get all-day comfort with the same out-of-the-box
fit you expect from Moab. This Chelsea delivers a
lifestyle look, waterproofing, insulation and traction
for winter weather adventures.
Outdoor Research alti gloves $249.99
Modular, waterproof/breathable gloves with
revolutionary 3DFit Technology. PrimaLoft
HiLoft and upgraded liner with PrimaLoft® Active
for better moisture management and improved
sealskinz Cold Weather Mid Length Sock $89.99
The original, 100% waterproof, windproof &
breathable mid length sock. The inner lining is
crafted from fine Merino Wool to insulate and
regulate temperature making this perfect for use in
colder weather conditions.
merrell Tremblant Polar Waterproof $349.00
Designed for frozen winters. This mid-cut boot takes on
cold conditions with super-comfortable, 200 grams of
low bulk insulation and a waterproof lining. Stay warm
and dry in the Tremblant boot this winter.
AEROSIZE VEST ONE (PRICE 749 EURO WITH 4 GAS
CARTRIDGES - 2 INFLATIONS)
First compact avalanche airbag vest. This system
allows you to use almost every type of backpack, and
protects you even when you have your backpack off.
Volume of the airbag 174 litres. Total weight with 2
argon cartridges - 1985g.
Macpac Traverse Tights $129.99
Weather anything in a pair of toasty fleece tights
made for every winter adventure. Perfect on hikes and
camping trips around the snowline, the soft polyester is
paired with elastane for stretch. Just as suitable when
it’s freezing at sea-level, a mesh pocket inside the
waistband (men’s) and side thigh pockets (women’s)
are perfect for holding keys or other small items.
Macpac Ion Polartec® Fleece Hooded Jacket $229.99
An active mid layer made for comfort when you’re
anything but comfortable. The structure of Polartec®
Power Grid increases its ability to provide
breathable warmth while decreasing weight and
improving compressibility — perfect when you’re
making the most of the outdoors. Also available as a
Black Crows Camox Birdie $1399.95
A womens specific, incomparable mid-fat all terrain
ski reputed for its tolerance and playfulness. The
association of a very progressive flex and good
length side lines brings great manoeuvrability and
strong hold at high speed. With a DNA derived from
freestyle, the progressive and supple flex makes it
easy to handle and adapted to progression; whereas
its side lines give a very effective and stable edge.
Creativity for everybody on all types of terrain.
Black Crows Serpo NEW 93mm Ski $1499.95
A newcomer in all-terrain skiing, the Serpo is
designed for the piste and partially for off-piste.
With 93mm at the waist, it’s a good carver, it’s there
to really play with the terrain with its good flex and
responsiveness together thanks to its layer of metal
for grip and stability.
Black Crows Mirus Cor NEW 87mm Ski $
A brand new UFO, the Mirus’ Cor is a ski for
performance and design, to achieve an alliance
between two worlds: freestyle and the most angular
curves of today. Built with a fairly long rocker and a
split tail, it allows short curves for playing, for piste, and
for the side of the ski run, it is carving in a black crows
approach and/or all terrain freestyle. Accessible, wellbuilt,
and creative from any point of view.
Outdoor Research Carbide Bibs $499.99
Waterproof, 3-layer 40D Pertex® Shield protection
with versatility and comfort. Features internal stretch
mesh gaiters and reinforced scuff guards. 696g (med)
KEEPING OUT THE COLD
sealskinz Waterproof All Weather Ultra Grip Knitted
The original, 100% waterproof, windproof &
breathable knitted glove. Offering grip and an equal
balance of warmth and breathability. Ideal for use in
all weather conditions.
Rab Kaon $399.95
Hybrid jacket with 70g of 800-fill power RDS-certified hydrophobic European goose
down in hood and body, Stratos synthetic insulation in shoulders, cuffs and hips.
Ripstop nylon fabric, stitch-through construction, YKK reverse coil chest pocket, YKK
front zip, half hem drawcord, stuff sack.
Rab Microlight Alpine $399.95
Filled with 143g of 750-fill power hydrophobic down, RDScertified,
water-resistant Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave
fabric, harness-compatible hand pockets, two-way front zip
with insulated zip baffle, stretch cuffs fit over gloves, helmetcompatible
hood with an internal stretch gaiter to seal out wind.
black diamond first light stretch hoody $449.99
The perfect layer for backcountry rock walls, big alpine faces, and frigid weekend ski tours,
the Black Diamond First Light Stretch Hoody is the ultimate in dynamic four-season insulation
that breathes efficiently and stretches with your every movement. Other colours available.
Rab Xenon $349.95
Stratos recycled polyester synthetic insulation, ripstop
lining and outer fabric, under helmet hood with
stretch binding, two-way opening YKK front zip with
insulated internal zip baffle and chin guard, zippered
handwarmer pockets, internal zippered pocket, stuffs
into pocket, elasticated cuffs, hem drawcord.
74//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
SALEWA WILDFIRE EDGE GORE-TEX® $399.90
The Wildfire Edge Gore-Tex® is an approach shoe that can be adapted from hiking mode
to climbing mode - Simply tighten the switch-fit lacing system at the rear eyelet and then do
them up. The Pomoca Speed MTN outsole offers enhanced grip and friction in both dry and
SALEWA VULTUR EVO GORE-TEX® $699.90
Our Vultur Evo is an extremely robust alpine boot with a rugged Perwanger suede leather
upper, durable TPU toe cap and full protective rand. The waterproof GORE-TEX® lining
offers insulation and climate control; For mountaineering, mixed routes and glacier crossing,
the stiff nylon and carbon loaded fibreglass insole ensures hybrid crampon compatibility,
while the Bilight midsole provides good walking comfort. The Vibram® WTC outsole has an
aggressive tread for high traction and a climbing zone at the toe for precise footwork.
Fit: WIDE / Weight: (M) 940 g (W) 785 g (pictured)
Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket $349.99
The new version of this best-selling jacket has a dramatically
reduced carbon footprint yet maintains its quality and
performance. Warm, windproof, water-resistant, it uses incredibly
lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold
Insulation Eco with 55% post-consumer recycled content,
wrapped in a 100% recycled polyester shell and lining. Fair Trade
Rab Electron $549.95
800-fill power European goose
water-resistant Pertex fabric,
various baffle sizes reduce
bulk, 170g fill weight,
YKK zips, elasticated cuffs,
internal security pocket.
KEEPING OUT THE COLD
SALEWA ALP TRAINER 2 MID GORE-TEX® $399.90
The Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX has a suede leather
and stretch fabric upper with a protective rubber
rand. Featuring a GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort
lining for optimal waterproofing and breathability,
and customizable Multi Fit Footbed (MFF) with
interchangeable layers allows you to adapt it to the
unique shape of your foot.
SALEWA MOUNTAIN TRAINER 2 GORE-TEX® $399.90
Our MTN Trainer 2 is a hard-wearing and versatile
low-cut alpine approach shoe with a high-quality
1.6-millimetre suede leather upper, full protective
rubber rand, a fast-drying GORE-TEX® Extended
Comfort lining and a Vibram® outsole.
Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 458 g (W) 396 g
Outdoor Research Refuge air
Hooded Jacket $399.99
Water and wind-resistant jacket
that helps you retain heat while
working hard using the adaptable
VerticalX Air insulation that keeps
you warm when you need it and
rapidly moves moisture the moment
you start to perspire. 424g (w/m)
Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoody $449.99
Taking lightweight warmth to a new level with durable, abrasion-resistant Pertex®
Quantum with Diamond Fuse Technology that protects the 800+ fill goose down
without adding weight. Pertex® Shield with Diamond Fuse fabric adds weather
protection to the hood and shoulders. 436g (med)
Outdoor Research Refuge Hooded Jacket $419.99
Water-resistant jacket using high-loft VerticalX
synthetic insulation technology for resilient,
breathable performance keeping you warm even
when wet and so compressible it stows into its own
hand pocket. 569g (m/l)
Rab Valiance $699.95
With 170g of 800-fill power RDS-certified hydrophobic
European goose down, nylon inner, Pertex Shield
taped waterproof outer, bonded narrow box-wall
construction, synthetic insulation filled hood and
cuffs, helmet-compatible, wired peak, YPP zips, hand
warmer pockets, internal security pocket, drawcord
hem, stuff sack. WWW.OUTFITTERS.NET.NZ
SALEWA raven 3 GORE-TEX® $599.90
Our Raven 3 GORE-TEX® mountaineering boot has an abrasion-resistant fabric
upper to offer exceptional stability, durability and performance, all in a lightweight
construction. The protective rubber rand and external TPU toe cap increase comfort
Fit: WIDE / Weight: (M) 829 g (W) 629 g (pictured)
Macpac Pulsar PrimaLoft® Hooded Jacket — Men's and
A technical climbing jacket suitable for on-snow
activities. Pertex® Quantum outer fabric provides
exceptional breathability, PrimaLoft® Gold insulation
offers outstanding warmth in wet conditions, and 100%
recycled fabrics are all responsibly-sourced. The hood
is helmet-compatible, too.
kiwi camping Morepork 1 Deluxe Swag $499.00
Designed with 2 large storage vestibules and 2 entrances, porch for added shade, generous inner height,
‘no-see-um’ mesh, 7.7kg pack weight and handy storage pocket.
kiwi camping Tuatara 2.5 x 2.5 Awning $399.00
Offers 6.25m² of covered area for sun or rain protection. 200g polycotton canvas awning, twist-lock
design, adjustable height and mounts directly to existing roof rack.
Macpac Rapaki 25L Backpack
Built to last a lifetime, the Rapaki
25 has been a staple for years.
The latest version is made with
a 100% recycled lining and 3D
Moulded Mesh back panel for daylong
comfort in the hills — or on
your daily commute. It also has an
attachment for your walking poles,
two zipped pockets, a front mesh
stash pocket, removable hip-belt,
and its padded laptop sleeve is
Gasmate Hiker Stove $59.99
Ideal for serious backpackers with a 170mm support
span. The adjustable flame control provides over
10,500 BTU output. Lightweight with foldable arms
and piezo ignition.
sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power bank
Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive
battery capacity you can keep all your devices
charged no matter where your adventure takes you.
Macpac Amp Ultra Running Vest $249.99
Made for trail runners of all levels, the Amp Ultra helps you
go further, faster, safer. It has room to keep an extra layer,
snacks and walking poles within arm’s reach, and two
500ml HydraPak soft bottles are included so you can stay
topped up on-the-go. Designed to sit higher on your back
for stability, the adjustable front closure makes it easy to
create a perfect fit. Available in three sizes.
Low Prices Everyday
Free NZ Shipping on
orders over $150 for
Members Earn Equip+
shop online or instore
Kiwi camping Rover Lite 3cm Self-Inflating Mat $99.99
Compact to pack and carry, the Rover Lite self-inflates in minutes. The tapered design can fit in a
sleeping bag, 1830mm long and 550mm wide.
gasmate MR Heater Portable Buddy $399.00
Portable Buddy is a propane gas heater that is both
lightweight and robust heating up to 18m². Featuring a
low oxygen and accidental tip-over safety shut-off.
kiwi camping Harrier 4 Tourer Tent $649.00
This tourer tent is designed without a central pole that take up valuable space. Made from 320g polycotton
ripstop and a heavy-duty PVC bucket floor.
62 Killarney Road,
P: 0800 22 67 68
78//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
ack country cuisine $9.29 - $13.89
CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried chicken
and pasta dish, served in a creamy italian style
sauce. Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)
MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE (Vegan) Mushrooms
with tomato in a savoury sauce, served with noodles.
Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)
back country cuisine
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING $12.89: Our take
on chocolate self-saucing pudding, with chocolate
brownie, boysenberries and chocolate sauce. Gluten
Free. Available in regular serve (150g)
ICED MOCHA $4.09: Our mocha is made with
chocolate and coffee combined with soft serve to give
you a tasty drink on the run. Gluten Free. 85g.
SOFT - PLASTIC
Deep Creek Brewing- Sentinel $8.99
STYLE: Hazy IPA AVB: 6.5%
This White Tiger Sentinel is inspired by one
of the four guardians of Chinese mythology,
which represents the autumn season. Enjoy the
beautiful passionfruit and a sprinkling of guava
Deep Creek Brewing- Sentinel $9.99
STYLE: Sour -Ginger and Peach AVB: 4.5%
Fresh New Zealand peaches combined with the
perfect amount of ginger bring to life this playful,
delicious and refreshing latest addition to our sour
family. Tune in with the Ukulele!
NZ’S NO.1 MEALS
radix nutrition EXPEDITION 800 | Plant-Based
Turkish Style Falafel $15.90
These 800kcal meals are designed for extreme
energy requirements. They’re light weight, taste
delicious and suitable in all environments.
radix nutrition PERFORMANCE 600 | Mexican Chilli
with Organic Beef $14.90
These 600kcal meals are the perfect lunch or dinner
option for hikers and adventurers wanting to take
their performance to the next level.
FEED YOUR ADDICTION
Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and
development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are
made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole
new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s
online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able
drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are
a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.
Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No
matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will
have you covered.
New Zealands largest independent Outdoor and
Never have a dead phone
again! Because now you can
charge straight from the Sun
with SunSaver. Perfect for
that week-long hike, day at
the beach, or back-up for any
emergency. Check us out at:
small group guided
packrafting trips and
courses from our base
in Queenstown New
Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor
clothing, footwear and equipment from the best
brands across New Zealand & the globe.
Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel
& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &
casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.
Whether you enjoy
cycle trails, road
biking or walking,
Adventure South NZ
can help you to explore
New Zealand at
your own pace.
Full-service outfitter selling hiking
and mountaineering gear and
apparel, plus equipment rentals.
Specialising in ski & snowboard
touring equipment new & used;
skis, boards, bindings, skins,
probs, shovels,transceivers &
Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills
or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last
and engineered to perform — proudly designed and
tested in New Zealand since 1973.
Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment
specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place
for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor
clothing and more.
Our motto is “Going the
distance” and we pride
ourselves on providing top
quality outdoor and travel
equipment and service
that will go the distance
with you, wherever that
Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional
outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.
Offering the widest variety,
best tasting, and most
nutrient rich hydration,
energy, and recovery
products on the market.
Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.
Stocking an extensive range
of global outdoor adventure
brands for your next big
adventure. See them for travel,
tramping, trekking, alpine and
lifestyle clothing and gear.
Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,
Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, Adventure Tents,
Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.
Jetboil builds super-dependable
backpacking stoves and camping
systems that pack light,
set up quick, and achieve
rapid boils in minutes.
Supplying tents and
camping gear to Kiwis
for over 30 years, Kiwi
Camping are proud to
be recognised as one of
the most trusted outdoor
brands in New Zealand.
Reusable, BPA free water bottles containing a unique 3-in-
1 filtration technology providing clean safe drinking water
from any non-salt water source anywhere in the world.
Our very own online store where
you will find hard goods to keep you
equipped for any adventure.
Radix provides freeze dried
meals and smoothies made
with all natural ingredients.
These are perfect for
athletes and adventures
who care about their health
and performance. Gluten
free, Plant-based and Keto
options are available.
Get 10% off your first order online.
Excellent quality Outdoor
Gear at prices that can't
be beaten. End of lines.
Ex Demos. Samples. Last
season. Bearpaw. Garneau.
82//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#226
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Be part of where the world is going and discover
a completely new way to shop.
Visit qoin.world to find out more.
SOAKED IN ADVENTURE
It was a brisk morning as we stood in the paddock listening
to the final safety briefing before the start of the Soaked in
Adventure race held in Whakatane in late May. Although the
event has been running for the past few years, it is the first
time Team Mis-Adventure had taken part. The idea of another
weekend away with our adventure friends was the main
incentive, but we also liked the idea of a new challenge. A
weather bomb was predicted to hit the east coast the following
day and we just hoped that the weather would hold until then.
The Soaked in Adventure Race is a team sport which involves
running or trekking and mountain biking. Check points are
collected along the way and you complete some exciting
mystery activities. You find out where the start and finish line
is the week before the race and will not see the course maps
until the morning of the race. Once you receive your maps you
can plan and strategise your course route and you must stick
together and complete the race as a team.
The race began in the paddock of a farm out the back of
Whakatane, in Taneatua and was split into two sections,
trekking and mountain biking with some mystery activities
thrown in for good measure. We set off first on the trek section,
with around 28 checkpoints to find. The terrain began on
typical NZ farmland; wide open space with plenty of uphill’s
before heading through a muddy swamp and into some
native bush. The first few checkpoints were fairly easy to find,
however checkpoint 8 proved a bit of a challenge.
By now we were in fairly dense bush and after scrambling over
fallen trees and down a very steep slope, we found we were
completely alone. We had started the race with over 85 teams,
but there was now not another person to be seen or heard. To
be honest, this is the part I love about adventure racing, the
feeling of being completely alone and having to rely purely on
your own navigation and sense of direction. This is something
usually reserved only for the teams either out the very front,
forging their own paths, or for those who go in the wrong
direction, like we did. Luckily we had not strayed too far from
the "path" and so decided to turn back. As we were navigating
our way down a stream, there was a loud noise beside us, it
seemed we had startled a lone deer, which then darted out
from behind a bush and disappeared up the bank on the other
side. It was super cool and worth getting lost for.
Once back on track we continued the trekking section (approx.
10-15km) and the first mystery activities before picking up our
bikes and heading out for the final section of the race (approx.
25km mountain biking). The scenery continued to surprise,
with stops at the most beautiful river for one of the mystery
activities. The freezing cold water on our feet was a nice way
to ease some of the aches and pains and also wash off the
animal poop that had collected during the walk.
For most of the ride we appreciated the scenery and enjoyed
nearly every km, except for the 500m vertical hill that we had
to push our bikes up. Our quads and calves were burning and
unless you had your hand on the breaks when you stopped to
catch your breath your bike would have tumbled back down
to the bottom again. Although I hated every single step, I
did get to witness some real teamwork. Those who found it
a little easier, dropped their bikes at the top and went back
down to help team mates who were struggling, and this is
what adventure racing is all about. The downhill section that
followed almost made up for it… but not quite!
We crossed the finish line 5 hours 48minutes after we started,
our aches and pains almost forgotten in the euphoria of having
pushed ourselves to our limits once again.
Soaked in Adventure runs three events through the year:
Soaked in Adventure Whakatane: May 22nd 2021
Soaked in Adventure Cambridge: July 3rd 2021
Wander Woman Russell: November 13th 2021
For more information or to enter checkout: www.soakedinadventure.co.nz
TO BE IN TO WIN FIVE NIGHTS AT
PACIFIC RESORT RAROTONGA
IN THE BEAUTIFUL COOK ISLANDS
• Five nights in a Premium Garden Suite
for two people
• Free use of kayaks, snorkelling gear,
beach towels and sun loungers.
• Daily Tropical Breakfast at Sandals
• Free scheduled daily activities at the
• Free Kids Club (for children aged 6-12).
• Daily guest welcome orientation on the
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
• Travel is valid 01 November 2021 to 31 May 2022
(with blackout dates from 25 Dec 2021 to 10 Jan
• Accommodation is subject to availability at time of
• This prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash.
• International and domestic flights are not included in
• This Prize cannot be combined with any live specials
and tactical campaigns in the market place and
cannot be booked via any travel professional or
• All other expenses are the responsibility of the prize
• Pacific Resort Hotel Group strongly recommends the
prize winner purchases travel insurance at the time
of booking the prize accommodation.
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium
AITUTAKI LAGOON PRIVATE ISLAND RESORT-ADULTS-ONLY • COOK ISLANDS
Float over the world’s bluest blue.
Aitutaki. Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler’s favourite island.
Indulge in the ONLY Overwater Bungalows on the ONLY private island resort
in the fabled Cook Islands (just west of Tahiti) at the ONLY resort set directly on
the World’s Most Beautiful Lagoon. Heaven sent for romantic escapes, birthdays,
anniversaries, honeymoons ... and even second honeymoons.
For guests aged 16+. Pure bliss.
Aitutaki Lagoon | COOK ISLANDS
email@example.com | www.AitutakiLagoonResort.com (Live Chat avail.)
P +682-31 200
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF A VERY LONG TUNNEL
Experience the Cook Islands’ Signature Beach Resort
• Rarotonga’s best 4 star Full-service beach resort | 110 rooms/suites/bungalow/villas
• Prime, secluded white sandy Aroa Beach | Best snorkelling in Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve
• On Rarotonga’s southwest sunshine coast | Sizzling sunsets
• Extensive free activities - stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling (all-tide), kayaking, tennis, gym,
beachfront swimming pool, learn to dance the hula, make a lei, play the ukulele, husk a coconut
• Kids & Teens Stay + Play FREE (to 16) | Free Moko’s Kids Club (4-11) | Free Teen Zone (12-16) | Creche
• Captain Andy’s Beach Bar & Grill l Function + conference facilities
• SpaPolynesia | Seventh Heaven All-Inclusive + Over The Moon Wedding Packages
Slip off your watch, your shoes, your cares and immerse yourself in Paradise
Aroa Beach + Lagoonarium | Rarotonga | COOK ISLANDS
P (+682) 25800 | firstname.lastname@example.org
www.TheRarotongan.com (Live Chat avail.)
The travel bubble that opened between NZ and the
Cook Islands on May 17th was more significant than
the opening with Australia a month earlier. On May
17th we opened to the Cook Islands and we saw a
different kind of bubble open, a bubble for recreation
not income generation.
SANCTUARY RAROTONGA-ON THE BEACH-ADULTS-ONLY
Sure, for the Cooks Islands themselves it is the
tourism lifeline that they have been waiting for;
a financial input that will put them back on track.
But for New Zealanders, it gives us an option for a
winter escape, a chance to travel again, relativity
freely and in many ways, it is a hope for the future
...here you have
Tourism makes for a considerable percentage of
country’s yearly GDP, and you will all know how
this loss of tourism has affected New Zealand. For
example, pre-pandemic, China was our second
largest-tourism market after Australia and the
expenditure by 390,000 Chinese visitors in 2019
hit a record high of $1.7 billion. The combined 3.9
million overseas visitors who came to New Zealand
in 2019 spent the equivalent of $47 million a day!
But it is not only us, governments worldwide are
also struggling to find creative ways to restore
the inbound cash flow streams associated with
international tourism and travel, and so now we are
looking at a new word and new concept the ‘travel
Travel bubbles, also known as travel corridors,
green corridors, and corona corridors, are
essentially an exclusive partnership between
two or more countries that have demonstrated
considerable success in containing and combating
the COVID-19 pandemic within their individual
Counties like us and Australia then go about reestablishing
a mutual relationship by opening up
the borders or section of the border to allow people
to travel without the on-arrival quarantine period.
Sometimes these corridors are one way traffic like
Niue; you can fly from Niue to New Zealand and not
have to isolate (that option if flying to Niue without
isolation is not yet available).
Stylish boutique resort for guests aged 16+. Set on secluded Aroa The Beach ‘option’ to be able simply to fly to Australia and
lapped by Aroa Lagoon Although Marine Kiwis do Sanctuary, not have very Rarotonga’s big wings, they best snorkelling. the Cook Enjoy Islands is part of the subtle internal change
complimentary stand-up themselves paddleboarding, made more than 3 kayaking, million overseas snorkelling & that fish happening feeding in the us all. It’s not to say they we
trips 2019, which basically ground to a halt in March will all re-plan our New Zealand holiday, but it is a
crystal clear blue waters, tennis, learn to dance the hula, make a lei, play the ukulele,
2020 and the tourism infrastructure that entertained bending of what has been a ridged rule. You can
husk a coconut. Bluewater the incoming Grill, and swim-up facilitated those bar, swimming leaving, ground pool, to spa, now tour travel desk, just for fun. Sure there are some risks,
24 hour reception a & screeching security. halt. All Sanctuary guests also have full access Covid has to an all ability facilities to change and cause chaos
at adjacent sister resort, The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium.
Aroa Beach + Lagoonarium | Rarotonga l COOK ISLANDS
email@example.com | www.SanctuaryRarotonga.com (Live Chat avail.)
P +682-25 800
AITUTAKI LAGOON PRIVATE ISLAND RESORT-ADULTS-ONLY • COOK ISLANDS
Float over the world’s bluest blue.
Aitutaki. Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler’s favourite island.
Indulge in the ONLY Overwater Bungalows on the ONLY private island resort
in the fabled Cook Islands (just west of Tahiti) at the ONLY resort set directly on
the World’s Most Beautiful Lagoon. Heaven sent for romantic escapes, birthdays,
anniversaries, honeymoons ... and even second honeymoons.
For guests aged 16+. Pure bliss.
Aitutaki Lagoon | COOK ISLANDS
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.AitutakiLagoonResort.com (Live Chat avail.)
P +682-31 200
The combined 3.9 million
overseas visitors who came to
New Zealand in 2019 spent the
equivalent of $47 million a day!
anywhere. But as more people get vaccinated, that
vaccine passport will become mandatory on some
airlines and border crossings, so a safety structure
will emerge that will allow us to travel.
There are several countries that have travel corridors
now in place and it is far from an ideal solution but is
undoubtably a step in the right direction. The issue
is however, as each country extends its bubble to
a second or third or fourth destination, what impact
will that have? Currently there is discussion between
Singapore and Australia; would that, if formed, then
impact on the Australian - New Zealand bubble
as Singapore will have an air bubble with Hong
Kong and and Hong Kong has relationship with
relationships with both Japan and Taiwan. It gets
Already these travel bubbles have proven to be a
godsend for those looking to get their economies
back on track and for those of us looking for an
overseas escape from the NZ winter.
For all of us we can see that the bubble, even with
its limitations, is a light at the end of the tunnel where
one day we will be able to once again travel freely.
SANCTUARY RAROTONGA-ON THE BEACH-ADULTS-ONLY
...here you have
Caring luxury | Local flavour | One of a kind
Stylish boutique resort for guests aged 16+. Set on secluded Aroa Beach
lapped by Aroa Lagoon Marine Sanctuary, Rarotonga’s best snorkelling. Enjoy
complimentary stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkelling & fish feeding in the
crystal clear blue waters, tennis, learn to dance the hula, make a lei, play the ukulele,
husk a coconut. Bluewater Grill, swim-up bar, swimming pool, spa, tour desk,
24 hour reception & security. All Sanctuary guests also have full access to all facilities
at adjacent sister resort, The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium.
Aroa Beach + Lagoonarium | Rarotonga l COOK ISLANDS
email@example.com | www.SanctuaryRarotonga.com (Live Chat avail.)
P +682-25 800
1191 Pukaki Street, Rotorua
p: +64 7 348 4079 | w: regentrotorua.co.nz
3 DAYS ON MAEWO ISLAND
With dense jungle, towering peaks, and expansive, isolated
beaches, the tiny island of Maewo, one of the most easterly
islands of Vanuatu, is calling adventurers who love the
romance of going off-grid. If you’re looking to switch off
from the chaos of life back home, with little access to
electricity and internet reception, Maewo makes for the
perfect escape. Whether you want to explore life under the
surface as you venture into underwater caves, or you’re
ready for a challenge above sea level, hiking to some of the
island’s many waterfalls, experience true Melanesian island
hospitality and culture, Maewo has plenty of opportunities for
adventure and culture.
• The glistening Moon Cave
• Maewo’s incredible waterfalls and cascades
• Learning from the locals as they share their
How To Get There:
Flights to Maewo are extremely limited, leaving from
Port Vila only once or twice a week. The flight takes
approximately one hour. You’ll fly into Maewo-Naone
Airport at the north of the island. Check out the latest flight
schedules at www.airvanuatu.com
Maewo is a popular yachting destination, so if that’s possible
for you, docking your boat is a unique way to approach the
Maewo has the highest rainfall of any island in Vanuatu,
so be sure to pack for wet weather. This earns Maewo the
‘waterfall island’ title, so be equally as prepared for deep
clear pools and waterfall showers.
Although Maewo is a long and thin island, getting from one
side to the other isn’t as easy as it seems. Speak with local
Maewo's Moon Cave
guides to get advice on moving from one area to another.
Life on Maewo is entirely off-grid. Public transport is near to
non-existent, and don’t hedge your bets on posting a sneaky
Instagram shot while you’re over there. Make sure you
charge all your camera batteries before you go, and pack
the kind of gear you would if you were camping: head torch,
snacks, first aid kit, snorkel gear, mosquito coils, snacks.
While transport can be elusive and expensive, walking along
the west coast of Maewo is a much-loved activity. The whole
island is only 56km long, and the paths along the west coast
follow the coastal plains. If you have days to spare and love
keeping those legs moving, consider walking the length of
Your flight from Port Vila will take you to the northernmost
end of Maewo, landing at the Naone-Maewo airport. A short
drive away, you can make your way to Lua ete Salgola — a
guesthouse in Kaiwo.
The guesthouse is an ideal place to set yourself up for
exploring Maewo’s northern tip. Within easy walking
distance of your accommodation are the Naone Cascades,
also known as Big Wato, situated on the plateau above the
airport. Your host can provide you with a guide to take you
on the half-day excursion to see the cascades, where you’ll
not only witness the power of the falls, but also experience
a traditional welcome and plenty of local refreshments.
Be sure to dance when a smiling face hauls you into the
group! When you arrive back at your accommodation, enjoy
a simple meal from your host and the company of friendly
locals as they share stories and show you what life on
Maewo is all about.
Make sure you immerse yourself in the culture of Maewo
Wake up nice and early because it’s time to go south.
Getting to Asanvari requires a truck from Naone Airport to
Narovorovo, followed by a speedboat from Narovorovo to
Asanvari. Keep an eye out for the spectacular birds that
call Maewo home – the island is very popular amongst bird
watchers. While the best of the action is in the mountainous
terrain in the island’s centre, those with a keen eye are sure
to see some local feathered friends, no matter where you are
On the way, you’ll have the opportunity to jump off the boat
and snorkel into Maewo’s Moon Cave. With ancient cave
writings, stalactites and a kastom story that explains why the
moon sits where it does in Maewo, this stopover will be sure
Once you reach Asanvari, the Mule Ocean View Guesthouse
is your best bet for setting yourself up for great adventures
in the south. Grab some lunch to go before you head off on
a midday adventure to Lavoa Cascade. About a 2-3 hour
return trip, this is the perfect way to cap off your second day
in Maewo as you relax, take in the beauty of the falls, feed
the fish and enjoy a sunset looking out over Ambae Island.
When you return to your accommodation for the night, enjoy
a meal from the restaurant, or cook up a storm yourself with
their fresh vegetables, and enjoy the sound of the ocean as
you drift off to sleep. Remember, this island has very limited
access to the modern technology you’re probably used
to. Make sure you’ve got a head torch, a book and some
mosquito coils with you!
Today’s all about immersing yourself in the culture of Maewo.
Whether it’s weaving and dancing with the local mamas or
witnessing the expert musicians making incredible music
with bamboo instruments, there are plenty of opportunities to
dive into Maewo’s culture, and walk away with unforgettable
memories and new skills.
Depending on flight times, consider the all-day Hanare
Custom Village tour. Home to the first high chief of Maewo,
this sacred land is now used to showcase the traditional
practices of Maewo culture and honour their ancestors.
This tour will give you a taste of the Maewo way of life, from
cooking to dancing to drinking to storytelling. We assure you,
this’ll be one of the most powerful cultural experiences you'll
have the opportunity to witness.
If you haven’t got the time to visit Hanare, start your morning
off by canoe fishing, commonly known as Mule Game
Fishing. During your fish, your guide will teach you traditional
fishing techniques and show you where all the fish are to be
found. Going out in a rigger canoe is a powerful experience
and an insight into the self-sufficiency of Maewo’s locals.
To cool off before heading back to the airport, take some
time to snorkel in the south of the island. The reefs here are
unparalleled and a huge draw card for the yachters who
flock to Maewo
For More Information: www.vanuatu.travel
The impressive Lavoa Cascades
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