Adventure Magazine Issue 227

Women's issue

Women's issue


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N E W Z E A L A N D<br />


WOMEN<br />

ISSUE <strong>227</strong><br />

AUG/SEP 2021<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />




DO EPIC SH*T!<br />

#<strong>227</strong><br />

Editor, Steve Dickinson with the "Reluctant <strong>Adventure</strong>r" on a recent trip to the South Island.<br />

Read the full story on page 80<br />


IS HERE<br />

I don’t really know many hardcore female trampers, a few, but<br />

not many. We know loads of other sportswomen, but not many<br />

trampers. On Facebook, the seeming hub of all things, there is<br />

a tramping group, and it is excellent, really helpful. People post<br />

images and ask questions, and it's engaging and interesting. So<br />

I put on there, quite casually, a post asking, if there were any<br />

women who would like to write about their tramping adventures,<br />

either on their own, with friends or family.<br />

Well, that opened up my eyes to a range of things;<br />

• How many female trampers there are out there!<br />

• How serious are some of those adventures are!<br />

• How keen they were to write and share their adventures!<br />

We were overwhelmed with interest, stories ranging from<br />

climbing Everest to learning how to overcome simply going<br />

outside and everything in between. There was, however, one<br />

woman who did write to me in a very ‘woke’ fashioned email<br />

and ripped a strip off me for using the word mother, daughter,<br />

girlfriend; she felt it was defining and demeaning by sexuality<br />

rather than achievement, which was never the intent. But the<br />

upside of feeling like maybe I had phrased something incorrectly<br />

was that nearly every submission, and there were a lot, typically<br />

started with 'I am a mother of 3' 'I am so and so’s girlfriend.' 'I am<br />

the daughter of a well know tramping icon in Nelson’.<br />

The main flavour that these editorials left you with was one of<br />

accomplishment and self-ownership. The age range was huge,<br />

from 6 to 90, and the submissions came from every corner of<br />

New Zealand. We could not fit in every submission, and if yours<br />

is not here, please keep your eye on the website and tramping<br />

issue in October.<br />

There is some editorial here about high-end high achieving,<br />

amazing female athletes. but the central core of this issue,<br />

high achieving or not, is New Zealand women out there are<br />

embracing the message on Annabel Anderson's cap, ‘Do EPIC<br />

Shit’.<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

The women who contributed with their personal<br />

tramping stories are identified by this logo:<br />

TW<br />

yoUr AdventUre staRts Here<br />

The future is here. It’s asking us to be ready, to think bigger. To embrace the<br />

trail ahead and bring everyone with us along the way. Today, we celebrate our<br />

first 40 years by looking forward to the next. #MerrellFuture40<br />

merrell.co.nz<br />

23 Locations Nationwide - www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 ADVENTUREMAGAZINE.CO.NZ | adventure@radcarhire.co.nz 01

Image supplied Image by a random stranger Image by Lauren Murray<br />

Image compliments Annabel Anderson<br />

page 08<br />

page 14<br />

page 80<br />

page 86<br />

contents<br />

#<strong>227</strong><br />

08//The benefits of being a multi-trick pony<br />

by Annabel Anderson<br />

14//What defines you?<br />

By Lauren Murray<br />

18//Emilie's adventure to Angelus Hut<br />

By Victoria Bruce<br />

22//Keala Kennelly owns Red Bull Magnitude<br />

By Jon Coen<br />

26//Caitlin Fielder<br />

Ultra-marathon runner and artist<br />

30//Adversity at Altitude<br />

By Tselane Mead<br />

38//The Meaning of Tramping<br />

By Charlie Ellis<br />

40//Nancy Jiang<br />

Smashing stereotypes<br />

44//Solo Strength<br />

By Erin Lockhart<br />

48//Jenna Hastings<br />

Mountain biker<br />

52//From Michigan to Mountains<br />

By Katarina Renaldi<br />

56//North West Circuit<br />

By Cristina Barraclough<br />

60//Mt Oxford Odyssey Mum<br />

By Vicky Havill<br />

64//Belinda Stuart<br />

Making colourful merino in NZ<br />

80//The Reluctant <strong>Adventure</strong>r<br />

By Teva Dickinson<br />

86//Travel<br />

Papua New Guinea<br />

Vanuatu<br />

plus<br />

69. gear guides<br />

96. active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />








Where?<br />

Mt Roy, Wanaka, New Zealand.<br />

Annabel Anderson selfie on Roys Peak makes the cover in celebration of our women's issue.<br />

Why Am I Here?<br />

While I was racing professionally as a stand<br />

up paddle athlete, each October I would make<br />

the trek back across the Pacific to the Southern<br />

Lakes of home. I would long to stand upon the<br />

tops of hills and recalibrate the inner compass<br />

after a year spent traversing the globe. It would<br />

heal my mind and recenter my soul. There was<br />

the added bonus that it would form the base of<br />

my offseason preparation and give my mind and<br />

body a break from the relentless grind of the<br />

repetition of paddling. While nurturing my soul,<br />

I was also conditioning my mind and body. I<br />

would throw myself into this time of year knowing<br />

that I was preparing myself to raise the bar of<br />

possibility higher in the future. Sure enough, the<br />

season following this photo saw me lay down<br />

performances of pride across the water and the<br />

mountain bike. In typical DIY fashion, I shot this<br />

image on a GoPro Hero 5 mounted on a handheld<br />

tripod.<br />


Steve Dickinson<br />

Mob: 027 577 5014<br />

steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


subs@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Ovato, Ph (09) 979 3000<br />


www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

www.adventuretraveller.co.nz<br />

www.adventurejobs.co.nz<br />

www.skiandsnow.co.nz<br />

@adventurevanlifenz<br />


NZ <strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is published six times a year by:<br />

Pacific Media Ltd, P.O.Box 562<br />

Whangaparaoa, New Zealand<br />

Ph: 0275775014<br />

Email: steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />

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Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped selfaddressed<br />

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published may be used on our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without<br />

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effort to ensure the accuracy of material in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of<br />

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In 1981 Prince Charles and Lady Diana<br />

Spencer got married, ‘Raiders of the lost<br />

Ark’ made its debut, and Ronald Reagan<br />

became president. Here at home we<br />

were reeling from the ‘underarm bowling<br />

incident’, where Greg Chappell told<br />

his brother Trevor to bowl the last bowl<br />

underarm so Brian McKechnie could<br />

not attempt to hit a six. In the<br />

same year, the Springbok<br />

rugby tour ripped the<br />

country in two. But on a<br />

positive note <strong>Adventure</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> was born.<br />

Though carrying adverts<br />

for cigarettes and<br />

orange coloured zinc<br />

the first few issues were<br />

widely focused on a range<br />

of sport from swimming to<br />

sailing. As the years progressed<br />

and the cigarette ads became less,<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> went through a series of<br />

different vibes, it became very ‘multisport’<br />

focused for a while, then a lot of biking,<br />

before it went back to a more generic feel.<br />

Pacific Media has produced <strong>Adventure</strong><br />

for the last twenty years (we actually took<br />

the reins with issue 100) and we have<br />

loved every moment. The adventure<br />

industry is great to work with everyone<br />

from those doing different activities to<br />

those who import the products, everyone<br />

is passionate and enthusiastic and<br />

of late incredibly supportive.<br />

Covid has put a lot of<br />

strain on the adventure<br />

community but the<br />

majority of those<br />

involved do it for the<br />

love, not the money<br />

and it makes you<br />

proud to be able<br />

to showcase New<br />

Zealand, the places,<br />

and the people. We<br />

have no idea what the<br />

next 40 years looks like, you<br />

can only guarantee it will change<br />

but <strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> and the people<br />

within its pages will still be there doing<br />

fun stuff.<br />

#WeAreRab<br />

World Class Indoor Climbing<br />

First visit $25* then free for a week!<br />

Fantastic community, beginners<br />

welcome, boulder classes for all ages<br />

and abilities, inquire now.<br />

* Discounts for youths and own gear<br />

Student Mondays, entry $15<br />

www.northernrocks.co.nz<br />

@northernrocks.climbing<br />

Unit 17, 101-111 Diana Drive,<br />

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“Northern Rocks is an indoor bouldering facility, we<br />

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Available now from Rab specialist stores throughout NZ.<br />

Hunting And Fishing New Zealand stores nationwide. Auckland: Living Simply, Waikato: Trek N Travel, Equip Outdoors,<br />

BOP: Whakatane Great Outdoors, Taupo: Outdoor Attitude, Wellington: Dwights Outdoors, Motueka: Coppins Outdoors,<br />

Nelson: PackGearGo, Kaikoura: Coastal Sports, Christchurch: Complete Outdoors, Greymouth: Colls Sports,<br />

Hokitika: Wild Outdoorsman, Wanaka: MT Outdoors, Queenstown: Small Planet.<br />

Online: huntingandfishing.co.nz, outdooraction.co.nz, equipoutdoors.co.nz, gearshop.co.nz, outfittersstore.nz<br />

Distributed by Outfitters 0800021732 www.outfitters.net.nz

Our inspirational women:<br />


cover girl is a former multiple<br />

world champion, marketing and<br />

communications professional, event<br />

manager, coach, athlete mentor,<br />

advocate for females in sport, and<br />

all around outdoor enthusiast from<br />

Wanaka. (Page 8)<br />

LAUREN MURRAY: Since<br />

moving to Queenstown last year,<br />

Lauren she really dived into the<br />

world of tramping and pairing<br />

that with her photography skills<br />

to start more adventure travel<br />

based stills that she is proud of<br />

today. (Page 14)<br />


Victoria Bruce lives in Christchurch<br />

with her daughter Emilie. She's<br />

worked in journalism and<br />

communications and loves tramping<br />

because it's "good for the soul".<br />

(Page 18)<br />

KEALA KENNELLY: Affectionally<br />

known as KK, Keala Kennelly is<br />

an actress and DJ, but is most well<br />

known for her big wave surfing. A<br />

staunch women’s and gay activist,<br />

she has led the way to get women<br />

recognized in the sport of surfing.<br />

(Page 22))<br />

CAITLIN FIELDER: After trying a<br />

variety of sports Caitlin decided that<br />

ultra-marathons were her passion.<br />

Coupled with a deep love of running<br />

she is also passionate about art and<br />

has developed a unique talent creating<br />

mini masterpieces on all types of sports<br />

shoes. (Page 26)<br />

TSELANE MEAD: is an emergency<br />

nurse and mountaineer. She is a ski<br />

instructor and school nurse in the Swiss<br />

alps during the winter. She works with<br />

hiking, mountaineering and ski clubs<br />

to help empower women from diverse<br />

backgrounds to reach their potential in<br />

mountain spaces. (Page 30)<br />


Charlie is a 35 year old theatre<br />

enthusiast who gets out tramping as<br />

often as possible to balance things out,<br />

keep herself sane, and basically stop<br />

her completing Netflix. Originally from<br />

the UK she started tramping as a child,<br />

though thankfully she now finds it a less<br />

traumatic experience. (Page 38)<br />

NANCY JIANG: Nancy Jiang recently<br />

moved to Nelson, where she divides<br />

her time between working as a<br />

structural engineer and exploring the<br />

trails around her new home on foot or<br />

on bike, refilling the stoke cup.<br />

(Page 40)<br />

ERIN LOCKHART: The 22 year old<br />

grew up in Tawa and is currently<br />

working as a stargazing tour guide in<br />

Lake Tekapo. She got into tramping<br />

whilst working in Canada in 2018. She<br />

spent the months of March and June<br />

this year tramping her way all over the<br />

South Island. (Page 44)<br />

JENNA HASTINGS: This 17-year-old<br />

is taking the mountain biking scene<br />

by storm. Based in her hometown of<br />

Rotorua she has a deep passion for<br />

mountain biking she dreams to be<br />

on the European World series and<br />

Downhill World Cup one day.<br />

(Page 48)<br />

KATARINA RENALDI: Is a 24 year<br />

old female solo traveler originally<br />

from Kalamazoo, MI, United States.<br />

She holds a degree in Laboratory<br />

Medicine and Environmental and<br />

Sustainability Studies and began to<br />

get closer with her love for nature<br />

through tramping in New Zealand.<br />

(Page 52)<br />


outdoors is her passion, you'll most<br />

likely find her out climbing at the crag,<br />

in the bush or on the sea! She did<br />

a degree in Business Management<br />

with English Literature in the UK and<br />

is now studying a post-grad at NMIT,<br />

Nelson. Follow her on Instagram:<br />

@cristinalbarra (Page 56)<br />

VICKY HAVILL: Is a 36 year old mum<br />

of 2 home-schooled kids in Oxford,<br />

Canterbury. She started trying to<br />

improve her fitness at 30 and found she<br />

enjoyed exploring the outdoors around<br />

her which gives herself mental and<br />

physical space from the stressors of<br />

everyday life. Follow her on Instagram<br />

@wild_vs-mumma (Page 60)<br />

BELINDA STUART: From Indiana<br />

to Nelson, NZ, Belinda's love of the<br />

outdoors has helped her create a<br />

new line of merino clothing for the<br />

adventurer in us all. (Page 64)<br />

southernapproachnz<br />


The<br />

benefits<br />

of being a<br />

Multi-Trick<br />

Pony<br />

By Annabel Anderson<br />

If I told you that my teenage years spent ski racing would be<br />

one of the biggest contributing factors to my success as a<br />

stand-up paddle athlete, I’m sure I would get many a blank<br />

look.<br />

If I told you that athletics was the foundation of my<br />

preparation for skiing, I’d likely get an equally sideways<br />

glance. You see, we live in a time that loves to get stuck in<br />

the age-old conundrum of labels and pigeon holes.<br />

“You’re the paddler”<br />

“You’re the mountain biker”<br />

“You’re the skier”<br />

“You’re the climber” etc.<br />

Ladies (and gentlemen) listen up. I’m here to tell you that<br />

you are here to be all of these (possibly more) if we begin<br />

to drop the labels and embrace the possibility of diversifying<br />

the scope of the activities we do. The only caveat is that this<br />

contemplation of possibility requires “embracing the suck of<br />

learning new things” as well as “doing hard things”.<br />

You’re right, all new things are hard at first. But so were<br />

most of the things we have begun to master over time. With<br />

the commitment to learning new skills, movements and<br />

environments mastery comes as a convenient by product of<br />

time spent learning the patterns that are the foundations of<br />

these.<br />

But people are a funny species and they will always label<br />

you with the thing they associate most closely with you.<br />

To many, I’m simply known at the ‘paddler’ or the ‘girl who<br />

paddles’. Once upon a time I was the ‘triathlete’ and before<br />

that I was the ‘skier’.<br />

When I first started paddling in the UK back in 2010 I was<br />

doing it all wrong (according to the early self-considered<br />

experts at the time).<br />

In the eyes of those ‘supposed experts’, I was doing it all<br />

wrong, yet I continued to win, by increasingly large margins<br />

and began to frequently beat all of the majority of the men’s<br />

field in the process.<br />

I was doing it so wrong that people started analysing what I<br />

was doing to figure out why I was winning and by such large<br />

margins. Frame by frame video footage was being analysed<br />

as people tried to figure out what I was doing to propel<br />

myself forward.<br />

"A broad skill base and<br />

how you can draw from<br />

one platform to the next<br />

– women often pigeon<br />

hole themselves"<br />

What the armchair experts and sideline pundits didn’t give<br />

credence to the depth of my sporting background across<br />

multiple codes. Athletics, triathlon, cycling, ski racing and<br />

sailing to reel off a few.<br />

Little did I know that it would be this multi-disciplinary<br />

approach as a developing athlete that would be the<br />

foundations of sustained sporting achievement in a sport<br />

that hadn’t been thought of 20 years ago.<br />

In sports like gymnastics, swimming, golf, tennis and<br />

martial arts if you don’t start soon after you can walk, you’re<br />

always going to be playing catch up. But this is not true<br />

of a multitude of other sporting codes and is now being<br />

supported by numerous volumes of research emerging<br />

that support a multi-disciplinary approach to sporting<br />

development, participation and achievement at elite levels<br />

of competition.<br />

For the vast majority of athletes and sports, earlier is<br />

sometimes not better in the long term. One of the side<br />

effects of early specialisation is that when athletes narrow<br />

their focus onto one sport or activity too early they risk<br />

burnout, over-use injuries and lessened motivation over<br />

time meaning they fall short of realising their performance<br />

potential at the highest levels of a particular sporting code.<br />

It’s when you drill deeper into it what my formative<br />

athletic development entailed, there were skills, aerobic<br />

development and movement patterns that would play a<br />

major role in my future successes, not to mention the skills<br />

that these activities taught me around how to prepare, train<br />

and compete.<br />

Skiing taught me the laws of physics in relation to<br />

biomechanics and power generation to propel myself<br />

forward. It required an incredibly strong lower body to<br />

generate power and absorb force, which is also what is also<br />

critical paddling. It also required huge amounts dry land<br />

based physical preparation and fine-tuning of equipment.<br />

Athletics taught me how to hurt and how to rub elbows in<br />

close quarters and to do drills every day.<br />

Racing bikes taught me that race strategy and tactics are<br />

king and that the fittest and fastest person doesn’t always<br />

win.<br />

RIGHT: In 2017, in lieu of a key sponsor, I wore 'Do Epic Shit' at every opportunity. It spoke to my 'why', my reason and my purpose.<br />


"As a person who has always embraced<br />

variety over monotony, the more I have<br />

been forced to specialise in one thing, the<br />

more I have craved the chance to do other<br />

things and learn new things."<br />

Triathlon was the school of hard knocks that input is directly<br />

related to output and unless you do the work, you can rest<br />

assured that your competition will be.<br />

Sailing taught me to read and ‘feel’ the movement of<br />

water and that the person who is most in tune with their<br />

environment and makes the least mistakes most often comes<br />

out on top if all other things are equal.<br />

Paddling taught me how to make a slow craft go and fast as<br />

possible while foiling has given me a whole new appreciation<br />

for physics.<br />

This past Southern Hemisphere winter thanks to Covid I went<br />

back to my roots and made my way back up a mountain.<br />

If there is one thing that a few years of ski racing in your<br />

teens teaches you, it’s how to break down and analyse<br />

highly technical movements. Skiing is a far from natural<br />

movement, is highly reliant on biomechanics and a sequence<br />

of movement patterns to be able to ski with fluidity and flow.<br />

It starts with your legs and how you are able to stand in a<br />

semi-squat position while executing dynamic movements for<br />

periods at a time.<br />

As I stood in my ski boots, I made the correlation that my<br />

ability to flex my ankle was what allowed me to drive so much<br />

power from my legs when stand up paddling versus other<br />

people.<br />

You see, my legs are in exactly the same position in ski boots<br />

as they are standing on a board paddling forwards and played<br />

a major role in why I have always been able to generate so<br />

much power from my legs.<br />

The slightest weighting of one foot makes my ski start to<br />

turn just like a board starts to turn when you steer it with the<br />

weighting and unweighting of one of your feet.<br />

As a person who has always embraced variety over<br />

monotony, the more I have been forced to specialise in one<br />

thing, the more I have craved the chance to do other things<br />

and learn new things.<br />

In the past few months this has transitioned and diversified<br />

once again, this time learning how to defy the laws of physics<br />

and master this new fang-dangled ‘wingfoil’ malarkey as well<br />

as upping my game on technical mountain bike front.<br />

One thing that a deep and diverse background of movement<br />

and technical skills across a range of environments have<br />

given me is an ability to ‘hack the process’ by seeing<br />

similarities across different pursuits and transfer these skills,<br />

knowledge and learned movements to new things.<br />

Top to bottom: The first female to repel 550ft off the biggest sea cliff in Europe in the Faroe Islands as part of a feature World Of<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> Sports. / Session 3 of the 'Learn to Fly Baptism of Fire' camp with Mat Fouliard in Tahiti / GoPro Mountain Games, Vail,<br />

Co Enduro MTB race. Event 1 of 11 across bikes, white water and trail running in 2.5 days at 8,000'. / White on white. First turns of<br />

Winter '21, The Remarkables NZ<br />

Dredging through a sunset left on the Pass, Tahiti<br />


"The more skills we have, the more we use<br />

those skills, the more we learn new skills,<br />

the more confidence we build."<br />

The benefit? The learning curve becomes steeper the more<br />

things you learn.<br />

When I reflect on my journey with the foil, not only did I have<br />

to figure it out and teach myself, but I was in a place of fickle<br />

wind and cold waters doing something that was new and<br />

unknown and simply had to do the time and figure it out on<br />

the fly (literally).<br />

There were moments of overwhelm, changes of wind<br />

direction, the wind dying and having to paddle in and multiple<br />

walks of shame. But each time there would be at least one<br />

or two things that I’d take from the time spent doing that fed<br />

into the bank of overall progress. Quite simply, I committed<br />

to doing the time and progression naturally came with it and<br />

now you’ll find me out in 40 knots finding the big rolling swells<br />

in the middle of Lake Wanaka knowing I’m the only one out<br />

there.<br />

Likewise with getting my head around the more technical side<br />

of mountain biking. If only I’d known years ago that dropper<br />

posts were game changers in the confidence department and<br />

that a combination of the addition of a bouncy bike, access to<br />

progressive flow trails and riding (when possible) with a group<br />

of others not only layered foundational skills but also layered<br />

much needed confidence when it came to drops, jumps, rocky<br />

terrain and more. The reminder of what I took from winter of<br />

‘raising my gaze’ and ‘eyes up’ also made the transition from<br />

snow to dirt.<br />

Both of these recent examples have demonstrated how far<br />

I have come not only in the skill department but also the<br />

confidence and comfort in much more technical and critical<br />

situations (weather, terrain and the likes).<br />

The stimulation of learning and mastering new movements<br />

keeps our mind in the game and our motivation levels higher.<br />

It keeps us humble and heightens our awareness of the little<br />

things that collectively make big differences.<br />

The crux of it is this.<br />

The more skills we have, the more we use those skills, the<br />

more we learn new skills, the more confidence we build<br />

allowing us to create more opportunities to enjoy more things.<br />

In a way, it is self-perpetuating as well as keeping our minds<br />

fresh and our hearts young.<br />

And when we see embracing diversity of outdoor activity<br />

as an opportunity and a gift, we might just have another<br />

Covid-induced opportunity staring us in the face that we may<br />

have overlooked otherwise if we choose to embrace a multidiscipline<br />

approach to what we do.<br />

Top to bottom: Taking the gym beneath the surface of Lake Wanaka / If in doubt, rock retro fluoro + lycra + lycra. Eagle, CO<br />

The lure of back country turns is always worth the effort / Chasing my morning shadow along the shallows of Lake Wanaka<br />

Did that just happen? Delayed flights, a broken board, lost luggage and borrowed gear resulted in total disbelief after<br />

stomping the field to win the ISA World Championship race around the waters of Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark.<br />


What defines you?<br />

Words and Image by Lauren Murray<br />

Being the only person in a place so powerful, so beautiful,<br />

and so vast, is a humbling experience that reminds you<br />

just how insignificant you are, and just how rewarding (and<br />

sometimes necessary) it can be to be alone.<br />

Then, to be a photographer in a place so powerful, beautiful<br />

and vast, is an opportunity for magic.<br />

That’s what solo overnight hiking trips are for me. They are<br />

a way to recoup and restore my mental energy, as a vessel<br />

in the continual spiritual awakening I found I had begun in<br />

my late 20s, as well as being a space, my chosen space,<br />

for which I can create more than I consume.<br />


"A friend recently asked me “what defines you”<br />

and my answer was “my experiences and beliefs<br />

define me, but they are always happening and<br />

evolving. So, my definition is never complete”.<br />

The hike to Earnslaw Burn Glacier, what I<br />

would pitch my tent under for the night, is<br />

a 30km return, intermediate to advanced<br />

level hike, starting within a short drive<br />

from the Glenorchy township. Despite it<br />

being easily accessible, it doesn’t have<br />

as much attention or awareness around<br />

it as some other well-known tracks, such<br />

as the Routeburn, which starts/finishes<br />

close to the Earnslaw Burn trail. However,<br />

that suited me just fine, and I knew the<br />

added (or subtracted) factor of having<br />

to camp as opposed to having a hut up<br />

there waiting for me, made it that little bit<br />

more unique.<br />

I had my mind set on this location several<br />

months before, ever since first seeing<br />

an image of it in a fellow photographers<br />

portfolio. It was to be the first solo<br />

overnight hike (although it can be done<br />

as a long day in and out mission) I had<br />

embarked on and after several weeks<br />

of carefully researching and buying the<br />

lightest (to compensate for my heavy<br />

camera equipment) hiking gear I could<br />

source, I was well prepared and excited<br />

to go.<br />

It was a day, placed somewhere between<br />

Christmas and New Years Eve, of<br />

absolutely optimal conditions for an alpine<br />

hike, however, that’s not to say I didn’t<br />

have several slips or mis-footings along<br />

the way which left my legs pretty scraped<br />

and bruised up for a while after. Battle<br />

scars I am always at peace with, but also<br />

notes for consideration that it would be a<br />

different scene in winter or wet conditions.<br />

The lightly trafficked, and marked track<br />

consists of two sections. The first section,<br />

which makes up the majority of the track,<br />

is a steady climb through bush, with<br />

washed out, overgrown, and fallen tree<br />

segments that will see you go off route<br />

if you’re not extra careful. I am a fairly<br />

attentive hiker but on this section I still<br />

went off track 2 or 3 times. Luckily, I was<br />

quick to realise I had come off the trail,<br />

and quick to find my bearings from there.<br />

Any further engrossed in the podcast I<br />

was listening to, and it could possibly<br />

have turned into something a bit more<br />

than a slight inconvenience!<br />

This section took me 4 hours, and I felt<br />

(and do, to be fair, think) I was flying<br />

the whole way through. I was excited,<br />

and I had started the ascent a little later<br />

than you’d expect, so I was trying to<br />

make sure I got there in time to set up<br />

well before the sun went down. I also<br />

struggled to enjoy this section of the<br />

trail. 4 hours of native NZ bush which, is<br />

beautiful no doubt, but something I am<br />

very familiar with having grown up in New<br />

Zealand, meant my appreciation for it was<br />

a little light, and I wanted to get through<br />

it as quickly as I could. That, or maybe I<br />

am just conditioned for the extreme sights<br />

that nature can give us, case of “the grass<br />

is greener on the other side” perhaps,<br />

and I knew my end location was going to<br />

be breathtaking. However, as I write this,<br />

the saying “it’s about the journey, not the<br />

destination” also comes to mind, and I<br />

make a mental note to be more conscious<br />

of that on the next adventure.<br />

The second section of this trail starts<br />

once you finally exit the bush. Coming<br />

out into quite a large valley opening was<br />

a relief, and straight away you see camp<br />

spots designated for those who do not<br />

want to trek their gear a further 1-2 hours<br />

up the valley, seeing as the track is a no<br />

exit anyway. I, however, had other ideas,<br />

and although I was starting to feel the<br />

exhaustion setting in, I was determined to<br />

set up camp right next to the giant glacier<br />

and waterfall that make Earnslaw Burn so<br />

special.<br />

The final stretch isn’t marked so you have<br />

to more or less guess what path to take.<br />

You can’t get lost, it is all open and there<br />

is only one way in and out, however, I<br />

ended up taking 2 freezing cold river<br />

crossings that I realised on the way back<br />

were unnecessary, but that, plus a little<br />

extra time that it should be, were the only<br />

inconveniences. Nevertheless, after a<br />

small time in the valley you start to see<br />

the glacier up ahead and it fuels you even<br />

more. Trudging on until finally, up above<br />

one last hill that blocked the waterfall<br />

from view, I had reached my destination.<br />

A wide scale opening with waterfalls<br />

falling all around the enclosure, off the<br />

glacier and into the valley. I picked my<br />

spot - as close to the feature waterfall as<br />

I could get without getting wet and set up<br />

for the night.<br />

After I had prepared my accommodation<br />

for the evening it was getting close to<br />

sunset. I got my photography gear, which<br />

consisted of a tripod, DSLR camera, two<br />

lenses, and a drone in order, and started<br />

wandering and shooting, and ultimately<br />

capturing what you see here.<br />

Unfathomable to me, looking at these<br />

photos, that it wasn’t a dream. And<br />

despite being there myself, waking up<br />

at 5:30am the morning after to get more<br />

golden light content, after a very cold<br />

night that definitely reached freezing<br />

temperatures even in the summer, in<br />

that very tent next to the monster of<br />

Earnslaw Burn, someone needs to pinch<br />

me because, well, this place just can’t be<br />

real! I remember staring at the landscape<br />

and feeling overwhelmed by its scale and<br />

its beauty and knowing that the images I<br />

had captured showcased that, with a hint<br />

of magic.<br />

A friend recently asked me “what<br />

defines you” and my answer was “my<br />

experiences and beliefs define me, but<br />

they are always happening and evolving.<br />

So, my definition is never complete”. And<br />

I think I’m okay with that. Okay with the<br />

idea that I will never be defined or still or<br />

complete because, it means I will always<br />

have drive. And that drive will keep taking<br />

me to place like this, capturing images<br />

like these.<br />

I go into the mountains and the bush<br />

to escape. I battle the fatigue of the<br />

hike to allow my energy and mind to<br />

recuperate. Thoughts becomes decluttered<br />

and clear, dreams vast, and<br />

life is appreciated. In the mountains<br />

I disconnect and disengage from<br />

expectations, worries, and get to just be<br />

insignificant, unimportant. I am reminded<br />

that any struggle I might be facing at<br />

any time is minuscule compared to the<br />

expanse of my surroundings and that<br />

allows me to just, be.<br />

Follow Lauren's adventures:<br />

@laurenkyliemurray<br />

16//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />

Previous page: Lauren at the Earnslaw Burn Glacier<br />

Right: If you look hard you can see Lauren's tiny little tent

Emilie’s<br />

adventure to<br />

Angelus Hut<br />

Words and images by Victoria Bruce<br />

"My stomach was a mixture<br />

of nerves and excitement<br />

as I surveyed the vast open<br />

space around us. I had<br />

watched the Mountain Safety<br />

Council’s route video several<br />

times, checked the latest<br />

weather reports, spoken<br />

to the DOC staff at the<br />

Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre<br />

and secured my personal<br />

locator beacon, however I<br />

knew nothing was certain<br />

in this unpredictable alpine<br />

environment."<br />

“I want to be the leader!” Miss Six announced, pushing<br />

TW past me in her determination to be in front. Momentarily<br />

off balance with my heavy pack, I narrowly avoided<br />

twisting an ankle on the sharp rocks and silently swore<br />

while cracking a bright smile. “Good for you, sweetheart!” Better<br />

to let her set the pace while the enthusiasm is still flowing<br />

strong, I thought as I tightened the waist strap on my tramping<br />

pack, pulled my neck warmer over my nose and followed her<br />

along the ridgeline.<br />

It was Boxing Day and we had just gained around 600 metres<br />

elevation while slogging up the side of Pourangahau/Mount<br />

Robert, on our way to Angelus Hut. Situated on the shores of a<br />

small alpine tarn, the hut is perched some 1650 metres high on<br />

the Travers Range between Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa in Nelson<br />

Lakes National Park. Tramping blogs accurately describe the 3<br />

km climb up the Pinchgut Track from the Mount Robert Carpark<br />

as “unrelenting,” and I would wholeheartedly agree, however my<br />

company was cheerful and the views were spectacular.<br />

We stopped for a quick snack and to catch our breath at the<br />

Relax Shelter, adding windproof layers and sun protection to<br />

shield us against the harsh sun and wind that we knew we’d<br />

encounter on the nine kilometres of exposed ridgeline before we<br />

dropped down to Lake Rotomaninitua/Lake Angelus.<br />

My stomach was a mixture of nerves and excitement as a<br />

surveyed the vast open space around us. I had watched<br />

the Mountain Safety Council’s video on the Robert Ridge<br />

route several times, checked the latest weather reports, and<br />

spoken to the DOC staff at the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre,<br />

however I knew nothing was certain in this unpredictable alpine<br />

environment. The spring weather was restless and volatile and<br />

I didn’t want to get caught out on the tops with a six year old,<br />

on day one of a multi-day tramp in Nelson Lakes National Park.<br />

I tried to swallow my nerves and remain calm and confident,<br />

assessing the risks and telling myself, you got this.<br />

I lengthened my stride to catch up to Miss Six, who was enjoying<br />

rock-hopping along the track, the sunlight glinting off her caramel<br />

and golden curls. The western side of Mount Robert sloped<br />

away steeply on one side of us, while tiny alpine tarns sparkled<br />

on the eastern side a few hundred metres below. “It looks like a<br />

mermaid’s pool!” my daughter exclaimed, waving her tramping<br />

pole. A tiny clump of bright green moss was a fairy’s carpet. I love<br />

seeing the magic of the world through her eyes.<br />

Ahead of us shone the sun-bleached white rocks of the<br />

ridgeline, a stark contrast to the darkness of the valleys on<br />

either side. We watched as a patch of rain swept up one side<br />

and disappeared over the mountain ranges. While only the<br />

occasional wisp of cirrus cloud obscured the mostly blue sky<br />

overhead, I had my eye on an ominous clump of low cloud that<br />

was slowly emerging over the horizon.<br />

“We’re on top of the world now Mummy,” my daughter told<br />

me, squeezing my hand. “We can float on the clouds!” When<br />

I’d first showed her photos of the hut on the DOC website,<br />

nestled on the shores of Lake Angelus and surrounded by<br />

rugged mountains, she had agreed that she also wanted to<br />

visit “Angela’s Hut”. And here we were, on our summer school<br />

holidays, 1400 metres in the clouds, the only two little humans<br />

as far as our eyes could see.<br />

I’ve been taking my daughter on tramps since she was born,<br />

graduating from forest rambles with her snoozing in the front<br />

pack, to longer tramps with her chattering away in the baby<br />

carrier. When she was four and a half, we did our first overnight<br />

tramp to the big and beautiful Woolshed Creek hut in the<br />

Canterbury foothills, bathing in the creek, snuggling in bulky<br />

borrowed sleeping bags, and waking in the night at the noise of<br />

the wind blowing through the tussock grass to stare, wide-eyed,<br />

at the vast night sky peppered with stars.<br />

The Mother/daughter duo pose for a photo on the snow-covered Mount Cedric ridgeline on their descent from Angelus Hut<br />


I spent my own early years in Australia, a child of the raucous<br />

Australian bush with its bright colours, intense heat and noisy<br />

inhabitants. I was used to being accompanied by the hum of<br />

cicadas, the crackle of a dead leave popping in the heat, the<br />

low chuckle of a kookaburra or screech of a galah. It took me a<br />

while to understand and feel at home amongst the muted pastel<br />

palette of the New Zealand backcountry, but I was hooked. I’ve<br />

noticed, as I grow older and busier, juggling a fast-paced job<br />

with full-time single parenting and the upkeep of an old house<br />

in the suburbs, that I crave the peace and solitude of the bush<br />

and want to go further and deeper every time. I plan and look<br />

forward to our tramps with a refreshingly energising childlike<br />

excitement, often finding it hard to sleep the night before an<br />

adventure. I longed for the moment when my mind grew calm,<br />

my thoughts floating away like the clouds, my focus only on the<br />

here and now.<br />

Miss Six wanted to chat. “Mummy, tell me a story,” she<br />

demanded as we picked our way up a particularly rocky section<br />

of ridgeline. I began a story about a family of rock goblins who<br />

spent their days moving rocks around the mountaintops and<br />

tidying up after storms. One day, Rosanna the rock goblin was<br />

out with her brother and sister when a particularly nasty storm<br />

swept over and blew them down the mountain. They sheltered<br />

from the wind and snow in a kākāpō’s burrow, making friends<br />

with the mother bird and her chick. In the morning, when all was<br />

calm, they dug their way out of the burrow and skipped across<br />

the snow, checking that all the birds and animals were safe,<br />

and gathering berries for the mummy kākāpō to eat. I’m sure<br />

anyone with a science background will pick me up on numerous<br />

factual inaccuracies, but we liked these stories of adventure<br />

and caring for the environment and I have a repertoire of<br />

characters up my sleeve for long walks like these.<br />

However, it appeared that a nasty storm was heading our way<br />

as well, as the large clump of low cloud was closer and darker,<br />

and an icy wind had picked up, sapping any heat from the<br />

shafts of sunlight that still shone in places.<br />

We were dallying and I needed us to pick up the pace. Our<br />

visibility was still good, but we had another couple of kilometres<br />

to go. “Sweetheart, we need to walk faster if we are to beat the<br />

storm,” I told my daughter. “We can’t be like Rosanna and hide<br />

in a kākāpō’s hole.”<br />

“I AM walking fast,” she grumbled, a little purple and navy blue<br />

poppet, 115 centimetres high, all rugged up in her cold weather<br />

clothes. “You are doing a fabulous job, so keep it up,” I said,<br />

“and when we get to the hut, we’ll put the fire on, have a hot<br />

chocolate and play with your cards. Come on, let’s go.”<br />

A speck of frozen water dusted my cheek and within minutes, a<br />

tiny piece of snow fluttered onto the rocks around us. Sucking<br />

on barley sugars, we looked behind to see the sun still shining<br />

a few hundred metres down the track. The bulk of the cloud<br />

seemed to be blowing to the west of us, deeper into the national<br />

park and we were on its periphery, sprinkled with fluttering<br />

hailstones as gentle as snow. At this stage, we just had to pull<br />

the rain hoods over our beanies and hustle on, taking care to<br />

navigate the rough terrain with our tired legs.<br />

The Robert Ridge gradually climbs to the 1690m high Flagtop,<br />

then dips, then climbs again to the Julius Summit at 1794m,<br />

making you think that the end might be just over the next<br />

peak. We’d experienced a few of these anti-climaxes before<br />

the familiar dark green and yellow DOC sign appeared up<br />

ahead, marking the junction of the Speargrass Creek Track and<br />

informing us that it was only another 30 minutes to Angelus Hut.<br />

Visibility was dropping and the snowflakes blew in with the<br />

wind as we climbed down towards Lake Rotomaninitua/Lake<br />

Angelus, our eyes fixed on the sturdy wooden hut with its twin<br />

outhouses. Remarkably, we hadn’t seen another soul on our<br />

entire trip, and it was very nice to unlace our boots, stagger<br />

inside and meet the friendly hut warden.<br />

By the time we’d brewed a pot of hot chocolate and set<br />

ourselves up at a table by the window, the snow was swirling<br />

thick and fast, hitting the glass and settling on the decks and<br />

grounds around the hut.<br />

Snow was still on the ground the next morning when we set off<br />

along the Mount Cedric track, leaving crunchy white footprints<br />

through the tussock grass, stopping frequently to make<br />

snowmen and marvel at the expansive views all around us.<br />

Many hours later, we finished sliding down the side of Mount<br />

Cedric, staggering out of the beech forest and onto the shores<br />

of Lake Rotoroa, arriving at the cosy Sabine Hut. Our time on<br />

the tops was over, but we’d left a little bit of our souls up there,<br />

and gained some wonderful memories.<br />

E N G I N E E R E D I N<br />

/<br />

D O L O M I T E S<br />

T H E<br />

Emilie Bruce, six years old, about to tackle the mighty Robert Ridge on the way to Angelus Hut<br />

20//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />


Keala<br />

Kennelly<br />

owns<br />

Red Bull<br />

Magnitude<br />

By Jon Coen<br />

The North Shore season of 1957 is recognized<br />

in the surfing world as the start of an era.<br />

When Greg Noll, a young Mickey Munoz<br />

and company went out and rode Waimea for<br />

the first time, it was a glimpse of what could<br />

be in the world of big-wave surfing. More<br />

than 60 years later, the winter of 2020-2021<br />

will likely be looked at in the same manner<br />

as that fateful season of ’57. Thanks to an<br />

unlikely juxtaposition of health regulations that<br />

made live events impossible, a raging North<br />

Pacific and two dozen women who took part<br />

in Red Bull Magnitude, barriers were kicked<br />

down, and this winter changed the outlook of<br />

women’s big-wave forever.<br />

Keala Kennelly surfs during Red Bull Magnitude<br />

on Outer Reef, Oahu, HI, USA<br />

Image by Christa Funk / Red Bull Content Pool<br />


"Magnitude was<br />

a great concept<br />

that gave women<br />

a platform and<br />

the much lacking<br />

resources we<br />

needed."<br />

“This year was definitely a milestone,” stated Kennelly,<br />

the 42-year-old pro-surfing veteran and winner of 2021<br />

Red Bull Magnitude. The Kauai native surfed the World<br />

Championship Tour for a decade, dominating the heavy<br />

waves like Tahiti’s Teahupo’o, before leaving the tour to<br />

chase giant swells.<br />

Kennelly took home the Overall Winner and Biggest<br />

Wave Awards (the latter for a bomb she caught on an<br />

Oahu outer reef), while Makani Adric was awarded<br />

Runner-Up and Emi Erickson was given the Best Ride<br />

Award for one of her many daring drops at Waimea Bay.<br />

“It wasn’t solely because you had one of the biggest<br />

XXL swells of the decade [that made this year special],<br />

but also because Red Bull put on a specialty female<br />

big-wave event. Magnitude was a great concept that<br />

gave women a platform and the much lacking resources<br />

we needed,” Kennelly continued. “Having filmers and<br />

a jet ski safety team dedicated to us every time the<br />

contest would activate, gave women big-wave surfers<br />

the opportunity to push their limits with more confidence<br />

and then have video footage, not only to use to boost<br />

our profiles but also to review and learn from.”<br />

“Red Bull Queen of the Bay put together the first allwomen's<br />

big-wave surf contest at Waimea Bay. That’s<br />

where women supporting other women came into play,”<br />

said the North Shore’s 24-year-old Makani Adric, who<br />

took home the event Runner-Up Award for the first-ever<br />

Red Bull Magnitude.<br />

And, with the women charging in truly XXL conditions,<br />

the event judges had to understand the consequences<br />

of these waves. “Banzai” Betty Depolito, celebrated bigwave<br />

surfer/spearfisherman Mark Healey, former tour<br />

surfer/three-time Surfer Poll-winner Rochelle Ballard,<br />

and superstar waterman/two-time Red Bull Big Wave<br />

Awards Overall Performance Award winner, Kai Lenny<br />

answered the call. The star-studded judges panel<br />

studied each wave submitted and voted on the winners<br />

of four event awards: the Overall Winner Award, the<br />

Runner-Up Award, the Best Ride Award, and the<br />

Biggest Wave Award.<br />

“Women’s big-wave surfing has seen this slow growth,<br />

but this year it was a huge jump,” observes Healey. “I<br />

think this year was a catalyst—having safety crews and<br />

filmers able to mobilize when those swells hit. It was<br />

a breakthrough year, specifically with the amount of<br />

different women at so many of these breaks.”<br />

Adric, who is among the leaders of the new generation<br />

of big-wave surfers, sees this as just the start of the<br />

momentum swing.<br />

“When it comes to surfing and women supporting each<br />

other, it makes me happy seeing other girls rooting<br />

for one another. When I see other girls out surfing or<br />

trying their best doing what they love to do, it definitely<br />

inspires me to keep pushing forward and paving the<br />

way for the younger generations,” says Adric. “This year<br />

has absolutely been a milestone.”<br />

24//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />

Makani Adric surfs during Red Bull Magnitude at Waimea<br />

Bay, Oahu, HI, USA.<br />

Image by Christa Funk / Red Bull Content Pool

Caitlin Fielder<br />

Ultra-marathon runner & artist<br />

Caitlin Fielder has spent most of her life doing some form of activity.<br />

She grew up in the mountain biking capital of New Zealand, Rotorua,<br />

before moving to Mount Maunganui to completer her Bachelor of<br />

Science, majoring in Biological sciences, drawn by the hands-on<br />

approach and the chance to scuba dive as part of her degree.<br />

Growing up she enjoyed playing soccer, netball, waterpolo and boxing.<br />

By her own admission “I wouldn’t say I was particularly good at it,<br />

in no way was I bad, I was fit, but probably never showed the 110%<br />

commitment necessary to go the extra mile.” That was until she found<br />

ultra-marathon running. After reading Lisa Tamati’s ultra-running book,<br />

something seemed to resonate with Caitlin and in 2016 she entered<br />

her first 50km ultra event, the Old Ghost Ultra. To say this was a<br />

learning experience would be an understatement, but it’s also what got<br />

her hooked into the sport.<br />

The same year she met her partner, George, a cyclist, and they moved<br />

to Spain for the season. Caitlin also always had a passion for art, so<br />

she came up with the idea of painting George a shoe for his birthday,<br />

which he wore during the Tour de France, and from there her shoe art<br />

began. We caught up with Caitlin for a chat about her life…<br />

I can’t say I enjoy even a 5km<br />

run, so can’t imagine what<br />

it’s like to run over 50km. Can<br />

you tell us a little about ultrarunning;<br />

what is it about it that<br />

you enjoy? Is it the challenge?<br />

The environment? The sense<br />

of achievement? Or do you<br />

get some super endorphin<br />

rush? I mean I probably wouldn’t<br />

recommend going straight from<br />

a 5km run then heading into an<br />

ultra! It’s definitely something you<br />

work into and spend a lot of time<br />

getting your body prepared and<br />

ready for. But also just because<br />

I spend a lot of time running it<br />

doesn’t mean I don’t also get<br />

those feelings during my trainings<br />

where I want to stop and just<br />

don’t feel great! I love that every<br />

run is so different, both in terms<br />

of the environment and also how<br />

I’m feeling. Trail running means<br />

it’s so hard to compare different<br />

trails as well, it’s not like you<br />

can become obsessed with your<br />

average pace and splits because<br />

it’s just not relevant between<br />

different runs. Shorter races don’t<br />

really suit me as much so I guess<br />

that’s why I tend towards the<br />

longer ones where you can warm<br />

into them a bit. I think nowadays<br />

we’re almost used to taking short<br />

cuts with everything and I guess<br />

a lot of things being easy, but it’s<br />

the challenge of pushing yourself<br />

further and harder that appeals to<br />

me. It’s being uncomfortable and<br />

being able to sit with that I guess.<br />

How do you train/prepare for a<br />

50km plus run and how does<br />

your body react post run?<br />

Yeah, a lot of work goes into it! It<br />

depends a lot on what the race<br />

is that youre preparing for. For<br />

example the Tarawera ultra is a<br />

relatively fast course that you can<br />

hold quite a fast constant speed<br />

for, so it’s more about being<br />

comfortable at holding a speed<br />

for a long amount of time. Other<br />

european 50ks for example OCC<br />

(which is a race at UTMB) has a<br />

lot of climbing in it which means<br />

it’s more important to train hills<br />

and get that different strength<br />

there. Post run depends as well,<br />

I’ve had 50k races where I’ve<br />

felt pretty good afterwards, and<br />

I’ve also had 20km races where<br />

I’ve been completely stuffed<br />

afterwards. Depends on the effort<br />

and what the course is like!<br />

Caitlin running the Golden Trail World Series in Chamonix<br />

Image by Martina Valmassoi<br />


" I think people really like the idea of having<br />

something that no one else has in the world,<br />

which I can understand. I guess its something<br />

people are incredibly passionate about anyway,<br />

and then they get artwork which they can wear<br />

while they're doing something they love."<br />

You obviously over-prepared for your<br />

first ultra-run and have obviously cut<br />

back on supplies since then. Can you<br />

tell us about what you take with you<br />

now and what you consider when<br />

choosing what to take? I brought a lot of<br />

stuff with me on that first ultra at the Old<br />

Ghost road, I had packed a lot of food. I<br />

think it helps a lot to go off what time you<br />

expect to be finishing in, then the amount<br />

of calories and carbs that you want to be<br />

consuming for that time. So, in general I<br />

like to have something every 30mins when<br />

I’m racing, not including drinking mix. So<br />

would calculate it from there! In general<br />

on races around 4:30 or less I’d just have<br />

gels and drink mix.<br />

After the China ultra-marathon event<br />

that saw 21 runners killed, China has<br />

banned ultramarathon events. Is there<br />

anything you think that could have<br />

been done differently to have saved<br />

the lives of the people running? Is<br />

there anything they could have carried<br />

that would have saved their lives or<br />

is extreme weather something that<br />

you just cannot prepare for? That<br />

was a huge tragedy and it’s incredibly<br />

sad to see how they have now cancelled<br />

ultramarathons in China. I guess it<br />

surprised me that some people were<br />

racing the ultra in cotton t shirts and there<br />

wasn’t a compulsory gear list that was<br />

mandatory to take on the course. Every<br />

ultra I have done has had mandatory gear<br />

to take on the course, no gear means<br />

no race which is something I completely<br />

agree with. I live in Andorra so spend a<br />

lot of time in the mountains at altitude<br />

when training, and the weather can<br />

change very quickly without warning. I<br />

always take extra gear with me running<br />

in the mountains and run with a PLB<br />

28//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />

(personal locator beacon) to be prepared<br />

for the weather changing and worst case<br />

scenarios. Organisers always need to be<br />

prepared for the worst case scenarios<br />

and plan accordingly. I think it would be<br />

easy entering a race and seeing that there<br />

wasn't any compulsory gear it could make<br />

people complacent, with more trust in the<br />

organisers and event management. You're<br />

basically putting your life in someone<br />

elses hands for an event like that. It's<br />

not the first tragedy to occur during an<br />

ultra marathon event and I hope its not<br />

the last. There have been situations like<br />

this but with bush fires etc. Just horrible<br />

circumstances that need to be learnt from<br />

and mitigated by preparing and planning<br />

for worst case.<br />

What have been your most interesting/<br />

scenic/challenging/beautiful/rewarding/<br />

memorable runs you have taken part in<br />

and what is it that has made it so? I’ve<br />

been lucky enough to have run and raced<br />

all over the world. I think the Old Ghost<br />

Road ultra on the west coast of NZ is still<br />

one of the most spectacular races I’ve<br />

done. Racing in Europe is very different as<br />

well though, the mountains you encounter<br />

over here are insane and along with them<br />

comes the spectacular views. There are<br />

also massive crowds and supporters over<br />

here, it's a wicked environment to be in.<br />

As well running ultramarathons, you<br />

are also a talented artist. Art covers a<br />

large array of mediums, can you tell us<br />

a bit about your art passion? Thanks<br />

haha! I always feel a bit awkward when<br />

I say I'm an artist actually, feel a bit of<br />

imposter syndrome! But it's a perfect job<br />

for me and helps me balance work with<br />

my running. It’s interesting when I say I’m<br />

an artist a lot of people say they can’t do<br />

art, but I think art covers so much more<br />

than the detailed fine art paintings people<br />

think of. For me I really love hyper-realistic<br />

art work, for me it just shows so much skill<br />

and attention to detail. I can't really create<br />

stuff just from memory, or make stuff up.<br />

Not at the moment anyway, I think I would<br />

need to work on that. At the moment I'm<br />

more of a paint off a picture type artist. I<br />

initially started thinking I would be doing<br />

animal portraits and then somehow<br />

after painting some shoes for George it<br />

morphed into a custom shoe business.<br />

You have created quite a niche for<br />

yourself with your shoe artwork. Why<br />

do you think there is such a demand<br />

for unique one-off shoe designs? I<br />

honestly dont really know. I think people<br />

really like the idea of having something<br />

that no one else has in the world, which<br />

I can understand. I guess its something<br />

people are incredibly passionate about<br />

anyway, and then they get artwork<br />

which they can wear while they're doing<br />

something they love.<br />

Most of the shoes I have seen have<br />

been bike shoes of some sort. Have<br />

you thought of branching into other<br />

areas of sports shoe or even street<br />

shoe design? What’s the limitations?<br />

Challenges? Yeah I've done over 400<br />

pairs of road cycling shoes now which is<br />

insane. I have also done a few running<br />

shoes and street shoes. I think street<br />

shoes are probably the best shoes<br />

to paint, because you're not worried<br />

someones going to go hurtling down a hill<br />

and biff it wearing them haha. Most of the<br />

challenge would be finding the time to do<br />

all the work! At the moment I have a 4-5<br />

month waiting list which is slowly getting<br />

longer, I need more hands.<br />

C<br />

M<br />

Y<br />

CM<br />

MY<br />

CY<br />

CMY<br />

K<br />

MEET THE<br />

www.hokaoneone.co.nz<br />

ZINAL<br />


Adversity<br />

at Altitude<br />

By Tselane Mead<br />

The wind and snow is whipping at my face. I’ve<br />

readjusted the stiff frozen fleece buff around my<br />

neck and mouth, desperately trying to protect<br />

myself from the -20 degree bitter wind. Adrenaline<br />

is still pumping through my body but I know I’ll<br />

start to get cold soon. As I strain my eyes a little,<br />

I can barely make out the outline of the cable car<br />

station about 200 meters away through the thick<br />

snow storm.<br />

I am at 3,900 metres on the mountain. The<br />

weather set in quickly and it is the end of the ski<br />

day at Saas Fee in Switzerland. Precisely the time<br />

when most accidents in the mountains happen.<br />

The last cable car to the bottom of the mountain is<br />

in 10 minutes.<br />

I trudge back up through the snow to the<br />

casualty. Through the thick grey, I see a small,<br />

crumpled figure being covered every second by<br />

the relentless heavy downfall. The child’s leg is<br />

broken. He is slipping into shock, growing pale,<br />

cold, and unconscious.<br />

My mind is fogged for a moment as I think back on<br />

the unsettling comment from a skier that morning<br />

as I was getting out of the cable car. “I love this<br />

colour,” he said, while touching my cheek. “You’re<br />

the only one of you out here”.<br />

I probably was. The whole year I’d been living and<br />

working in the French and Swiss Alps I’d seen one<br />

other black person out ski mountaineering. It was<br />

a hilarious moment in itself: me trudging uphill and<br />

him whizzing downhill, both of us waving frantically<br />

at each other, clearly ecstatic to see one another.<br />

This moment in the cable car, when I was petted<br />

like an exotic beast, felt patronising and threw me<br />

off kilter, stealing my confidence.<br />


" In the last few years, I rediscovered the majesty of the<br />

outdoors. Ironically, it was when I was living in a big city<br />

when I began climbing. In the inner city bouldering gyms, I<br />

developed a taste for bigger adventures and, spending every<br />

penny I earnt from my wage as an emergency nurse, began<br />

travelling to the Alps and finding new opportunities."<br />

My teammate, Ed, has marked the<br />

incident area with upright skis. The<br />

injured boy is just 13-years-old. He’d<br />

failed to spot a small hump of snow in<br />

the whiteout and fallen awkwardly whilst<br />

skiing, twisting his leg.<br />

Having called SOS for a helicopter or<br />

a sled to rescue the child, we are now<br />

waiting for them to arrive. That was 25<br />

minutes ago.<br />

The terrifying thought of this child<br />

freezing to death crosses my mind as I<br />

plan what to do next. I wonder if I’m cut<br />

out for this. Maybe there’s a reason why<br />

there aren’t more black and minority<br />

ethnic women working in environments<br />

like this. I tighten my hood around my<br />

ski goggles and try to quieten my mind.<br />

I think about all the reasons that qualify<br />

me to be more than capable in this<br />

environment, and give myself a mental<br />

slap around my face.<br />

I am a nurse, trained in emergency and<br />

mountain medicine. In my seasonal job,<br />

I help run ski programmes in the Alps<br />

for international schoolchildren. I take<br />

groups out in the mountains, instructing<br />

them along the way. I’m responsible for<br />

their wellbeing back at the communal<br />

chalet, and I run a clinic in the mornings<br />

and evenings ensuring the children are<br />

healthy and well. I also manage any<br />

minor injuries and liaise with the local<br />

doctor or worried parents back home.<br />

And so when anyone is injured on the<br />

mountain, I am often first on scene.<br />

And whilst the Alps are my favourite<br />

place in the world, the mountains can<br />

also be terrifying when bad weather sets<br />

in. Get complacent out here, and it can<br />

kill you. But it’s rare that I experience<br />

complacency out here.<br />

That’s because, as a woman who is<br />

mixed race, I have found many barriers<br />

to overcome to truly feel a sense of<br />

belonging to a particular country or<br />

place. This is sometimes heightened<br />

when I’m in the outdoor industry and<br />

environments. The mountaineering<br />

scene is very white male dominated.<br />

Even more so within the mountain<br />

medicine scene. These spaces can<br />

be tough and competitive, and even<br />

sometimes misogynistic.<br />

Not everyone can be welcoming or<br />

accepting. I’ve had unkind looks and<br />

comments about my skin tone. I've<br />

had people marvel at seeing a person<br />

with ‘Afro’ hair on the ski slopes, or at<br />

the climbing crag. Some even think it’s<br />

alright to try and touch my face or hair<br />

without asking.<br />

Thanks to my upbringing, I am a<br />

resilient person. Born of a black South<br />

African father and a white British<br />

mother, all my family that I know of,<br />

except me, are white. Growing up in<br />

close proximity to the Peak District, my<br />

mum would always take me walking<br />

on the moors, or bivvying in secret<br />

valleys as a child. We would forage for<br />

bilberries on warm summer evenings<br />

and wild swim in quiet plunge pools.<br />

So I grew up happy and confident in the<br />

outdoors. My gender or race wasn’t ever<br />

an issue when I was out in nature with<br />

my mum. Mum’s resourcefulness and<br />

passion in wild spaces is something I<br />

would eventually inherit.<br />

But it took a long time. As I grew older I<br />

stopped enjoying being outdoors, I felt<br />

disconnected with the environment. Hill<br />

walking became boring, it lacked people<br />

my age and culture. I got into a trap of<br />

working long hours and partying long<br />

nights. I was not living a life that made<br />

me feel alive.<br />

In the last few years, I rediscovered<br />

the majesty of the outdoors. Ironically,<br />

it was when I was living in a big city<br />

when I began climbing. In the inner city<br />

bouldering gyms, I developed a taste<br />

for bigger adventures and, spending<br />

every penny I earnt from my wage as an<br />

emergency nurse, began travelling to<br />

the Alps and finding new opportunities.<br />

I learnt how to be playful in nature once<br />

again. Within a year I’d learnt to climb<br />

huge rock faces, and to ski. I even<br />

gained an instructor qualification. It was<br />

time to develop myself in the mountain<br />

medicine field.<br />

There are many challenges of<br />

working autonomously in a mountain<br />

environment when first on scene, such<br />

as having to make a call on the best<br />

course of action and being confident in<br />

my own decision-making process. In<br />

these instances I have to throw aside<br />

any issues with confidence concerning<br />

gender and race.<br />

As vital minutes pass on the mountain, I<br />

call SOS again. Due to the bad weather<br />

they are struggling to get to us. The time<br />

is ticking away. The child is becoming<br />

drowsier by the second.<br />

The most important thing right now is<br />

to keep him warm and alert. Ed ends<br />

up cuddling next to the child to protect<br />

him from the elements, and we wrap<br />

him in spare layers and an emergency<br />

blanket. I use the hard backing from my<br />

backpack to try my best to immobilise<br />

the leg to create some comfort for the<br />

boy.<br />

We are so close to some shelter. But<br />

the child is too heavy, the snow too<br />

deep, and he’s in too much pain for us<br />

to lift him. We devise a plan to use the<br />

emergency blankets and ski poles to<br />

build a makeshift sled to slide him to<br />

safety.<br />

I begin to open our bags and rifle<br />

through items, trying to plan our escape.<br />

At altitude, and stomping through thick<br />

snow, I’m gasping for breath. But I’m<br />

determined to get the three of us to<br />

safety.<br />

Being a rarity in these environments<br />

is hard at times, but also a privilege.<br />

I have been blessed having a mother<br />

who instilled confidence in me, but<br />

many women don't have this.<br />

Therefore I feel a responsibility to be<br />

prepared and welcoming, a role model<br />

to those who can’t imagine themselves<br />

in these spaces. I’m happy to open<br />

up conversations with people who<br />

Previous Page: Aiguille du Midi decent.<br />

Right: Sport climbing in Vlychada, Greece. Photo: Nick Arthur<br />


we ARE climbing<br />

" Whilst the outdoor industry has a great role to play in<br />

reaching minorities and being more inviting to a wider<br />

audience, the mountaineering community also has a<br />

responsibility to pick up the mantle, for the important work<br />

of building women up."<br />

are intrigued by me. But I can’t help<br />

thinking about those in my community<br />

who might find this behaviour off<br />

putting, who perhaps have never<br />

had hard weathering of the outdoors<br />

or confidence passed down from<br />

generation to generation. Who may<br />

decide they feel too uncomfortable in<br />

these environments to persevere.<br />

Whilst the outdoor industry has<br />

a great role to play in reaching<br />

minorities and being more inviting to<br />

a wider audience, the mountaineering<br />

community also has a responsibility to<br />

pick up the mantle, for the important<br />

work of building women up.<br />

My current projects are now with<br />

women's clubs that do exactly<br />

that. Such as the Black Girls Hike<br />

organisation, which provides a safe<br />

space for women exploring their first<br />

entry point into the outdoors. This<br />

in turn may springboard into bigger<br />

adventures like with the Women’s<br />

Alpine <strong>Adventure</strong> Club, where women<br />

can share skills and gain confidence<br />

in activities like climbing, skiing and<br />

mountaineering, no matter what their<br />

starting point.<br />

Although I have been unable to get<br />

to the Alps this winter due to travel<br />

restrictions, I have had the privilege<br />

of opening up conversations about<br />

diversity and inclusion in mountain<br />

environments. I have run talks and<br />

provided resources for ski and<br />

mountaineering club members and<br />

guides.<br />

When I’m asked about the topic of<br />

race and equality, I am faced with a<br />

deep questioning. It's a delicate topic.<br />

Greater disparity can occur when<br />

everyone is treated ‘equally’ so I have<br />

opted to take the stance that we can<br />

instead be equitable. As an outdoor<br />

community we can foster an inclusive<br />

environment by normalising equitable<br />

practices.<br />

Times are changing and I have hope<br />

that with certain grassroots projects<br />

women are given an opportunity to<br />

share skills, lead each other, and thrive<br />

in wild spaces. I wonder how long it will<br />

take for the outdoor industry to catch<br />

up. How long it will be until I encounter<br />

another black woman in a critical role<br />

like mine.<br />

Gran Paradiso<br />

I hear a muffled whirr of something<br />

in the distance and my heart rises<br />

with relief as we see a skidoo with a<br />

sled arriving through the dense grey.<br />

Thankful for backup and emergency<br />

supplies, I shuffle through the kneedeep<br />

snow to wave at the SOS team,<br />

desperate that they don’t miss us.<br />

They arrive, and I hurriedly help to<br />

unpack the sled and shout through the<br />

intense weather to tell the crew what’s<br />

happened.<br />

Within what feels like a few moments,<br />

the child is assessed, wrapped up,<br />

given pain relief and taken down the<br />

mountain to hospital. We watch as he<br />

is sped away into the thickening grey<br />

of the mountain.<br />

The biting cold has now numbed my<br />

fingers as I prepare my skis for the<br />

long cold journey back to the village.<br />

As I make my descent, I consider the<br />

next challenges that these mountains<br />

will bring.<br />

To read more about Tselane’s<br />

experiences as a mountain nurse,<br />

head to DiscoverInteresting.com<br />

Karl Merry Schimanski<br />

“Under Pressure” (M8)<br />

Remarkables, Queenstown<br />

Photo: Tom Hoyle<br />

For over thirty years Bivouac Outdoor has been proudly 100% New Zealand owned and committed to providing<br />

you with the best outdoor clothing and equipment available in the world. It is the same gear we literally stake our<br />

lives on, because we are committed to adventure and we ARE climbing.<br />

Supporting Aotearoa's Backcountry Heritage<br />


www.bivouac.co.nz<br />


Cloud Ladder<br />

A few years ago, before Covid-19 put a hold to everyone’s<br />

travel plans, we visited Estes Park in Colorado. It was here that<br />

we experienced Via Ferrata for the first time. It allowed us to<br />

experience the thirll and excitement that only a dedicated rock<br />

climber, with years of experience, would feel.<br />

So when legendary climber Harry Kent, announced the<br />

completion of Cloud Ladder, the steepest and most vertical Via<br />

Ferrata route in the US, we were pretty excited about the news.<br />

Located less than hour and a half drive from Denver, at the<br />

footstep of Rocky Mountain National Park, the new route is part<br />

of The Alpine Jewel, a private adventure destination. The new<br />

route compliments the highly-acclaimed, original Estes Park<br />

Via Ferrata route called, Peregrine Ridge (est. 2017), which<br />

appeals to beginner and intermediate climbers.<br />

Cloud Ladder provides 625 ft. of vertical climbing, breathtaking<br />

exposure, and two headwall sections that culminate in a summit<br />

at 9,250 ft that boasts some of the most stunning panoramic<br />

views of Rocky Mountain National Park in the region. The new<br />

route also includes two new, 40-foot, custom-made, suspension<br />

bridges, which span a 300 ft. deep ravine, opening on July 21st.<br />

“This new Via Ferrata is the result of 40 years of climbing<br />

passion and philosophy,” said Kent. “While there are many<br />

incredible Via Ferratas in the US, I wanted to create an<br />

experience that rivaled the thrill of actual rock climbing, but<br />

without the need for extensive training and gear. With this route,<br />

we’ve set a new bar for what’s possible on a Via Ferrata.”<br />

Italian for “iron way,” Via Ferratas provide an accessible way<br />

for people to ascend rock walls using fixed iron cables, steel<br />

steps, bridges, and ladders. Via Ferratas were first utilized in<br />

World War I and World War II as a tool to help troops traverse<br />

the treacherous peaks of the Alps and Dolomites. In the 1970’s<br />

and 80’s, local climbing clubs across Europe and America<br />

began restoring original routes and constructing new routes as<br />

an exciting new form of climbing recreation.<br />

Fashioned on a ski resort rating scale, routes at The Alpine<br />

Jewel range from green to double black diamond, offering<br />

a variety of guided experiences that are ideal for beginners,<br />

families, and corporate groups as well as seasoned climbers<br />

and adventure seekers. The Cloud Ladder route is designed to<br />

appeal to more advanced climbers, while beginners and firsttime<br />

climbers can continue to enjoy the original Peregrine Ridge<br />

route.<br />

Harry Kent and his climbing partner of 50-years, Keith Lober,<br />

lead the design and construction of the Via Ferratas. Together,<br />

they were the first Americans to make a winter ascent of the<br />

North Face of the Eiger, one of the most challenging climbs in<br />

Europe. Their accomplishments also include some of the most<br />

difficult routes in Yosemite, the Andes, the Alps, and Himalayas.<br />

Kent has owned and operated Kent Mountain <strong>Adventure</strong> Center<br />

in Estes Park for over three decades. Lober’s background<br />

includes 25 years as Chief of Emergency Services in Yosemite<br />

National Park, where he managed the famous Yosemite Search<br />

and Rescue Technical Rescue team (YOSAR).<br />

“The Via Ferrata design is as much an artform as it is a<br />

technical achievement,” said Kent. “Each step, handhold,<br />

ladder, and bridge has been placed with millimeter precision, to<br />

create a unique choreographed dance across the rock face. We<br />

can’t wait to share it with the world.”<br />

The Alpine Jewel is a guided-only experience, exclusively<br />

operated by Kent Mountain <strong>Adventure</strong> Center. Customers can<br />

choose from a half day or full day price starting at $219 per<br />

person for groups of two or more. Individuals can learn more<br />

about Via Ferratas and sign-up for their adventure at<br />

www.thealpinejewel.com.<br />


generally craving a feeling of space and peace when it felt<br />

the world was going mad. I think it also helped that I was<br />

staying high on a hill with Taranaki Maunga at the end of<br />

my road. It felt like I could literally walk up my road and<br />

onto the mountain, and just keep going if I wanted to. As<br />

my parents’ flight had been cancelled and they were stuck<br />

here for a prolonged stay as I tried to work from home,<br />

there may have been more behind that yearning than I<br />

want to fully examine, but I digress.<br />

I obviously didn’t go taking up a new hobby during<br />

lockdown, because I wouldn’t want to disappoint Auntie<br />

Cindy, but we did regular bushwalks on the property<br />

we were at, and walked up the road spotting kingfisher,<br />

fantails and yellow eyes, as well as Tui and Kereru. When<br />

we were able to I went and invested in some hiking boots.<br />

It’s amazing the spare money I had when I stopped having<br />

takeaways and coffees on the regular.<br />

The Meaning of Tramping<br />

Words and images by Charlie Ellis (Charlotte)<br />

TW<br />

An early start and hard work made worth it for this beautiful frosty sunrise over the Pouakai tarns<br />

What does tramping mean to you?<br />

To me, tramping, walking,<br />

hiking, rambling, ‘mum walks’,<br />

whichever words you choose for a life<br />

outdoors, they have not always been<br />

comfortably in my lexicon. Probably<br />

due in no small part to that last one –<br />

‘mum walks’. Understandably that won’t<br />

translate to many people, actually I’d be<br />

very surprised if anyone outside of my<br />

immediate family gets it and if they do, I’d<br />

love to hear from them. ‘Mum walks’ are<br />

the name given by me and my two siblings<br />

to the seemingly endless and directionless<br />

rambles (tramps) my Mum would take us<br />

on as a family when we were younger. We<br />

would be on a caravanning holiday on the<br />

coast or somewhere in the countryside<br />

near a campsite that offered electricity<br />

and nightly bingo, and Mum would declare<br />

we were going “On A Walk”. Just as a<br />

side note, it is a regular form of hilarity<br />

that my Mum has a Geography degree,<br />

as she would sometimes struggle to find<br />

the right side of a map. Consequently,<br />

these walks often felt long, and not quite<br />

circular enough, with a forced air of ‘we<br />

are enjoying the outdoors’. Also, it was<br />

England, in summer, so drizzle, mist, rain,<br />

thunderstorms and a biting wind were a<br />

regular feature.<br />

So, although I have enjoyed exploring<br />

various parts of the world, and would seek<br />

out various walks, botanical gardens and<br />

generally getting into nature whenever I<br />

could, I never saw myself as a tramper or<br />

hiker because I tended to associate that<br />

with dreariness and aching legs.<br />

This changed a lot on moving to<br />

New Zealand and exploring what this<br />

amazing country has to offer. I went to<br />

Abel Tasman, spent a lot of time in the<br />

Marlborough Sounds and got myself<br />

invited to the HOT ladies group there<br />

(Hiking on Tuesdays with a lovely group of<br />

retired ladies, what were you thinking??). I<br />

had explored some of the trails in my new<br />

hometown and when my parents came to<br />

visit last year I dragged them all over the<br />

place. We did suspension bridges, goblin<br />

forests, river (stream) crossings and some<br />

rock hopping (gingerly stepping). It was a<br />

sneaky exercise but my dad left here the<br />

fittest he’s been in about a decade, if not<br />

more.<br />

The relief and joy of accomplishing a<br />

mother/daughter tramp of the Pouakai<br />

Crossing. Making cherished memories.<br />

One of the best walks I have done,<br />

however, was with my Mum. It was before<br />

they were due to go home, and we had<br />

decided to do the Pouakai Crossing<br />

in Taranaki. It’s a day walk from North<br />

Egmont Visitor Centre to Mangorei Road.<br />

When I say we, I don’t include my dad.<br />

Although he was now more fit than he had<br />

been in a long time, he was definitely more<br />

on the support crew side of this one and<br />

would be dropping us off at North Egmont<br />

and picking us up at Mangorei Road. He<br />

was devastated to be left behind with<br />

only a log fire, coffee and a good book<br />

to entertain himself…It was quite simply<br />

a brilliant experience. It took us 9 hours,<br />

and my Mum never wanted to see another<br />

step again, but it was an experience we<br />

will both remember and cherish from that<br />

trip. It was a challenge we were taking on<br />

together, and we looked after each other<br />

the whole way. I remember feeling so<br />

proud of my Mum, scrambling up rocks,<br />

facing the steps, realising it was tougher<br />

than expected but we were 4 hours in<br />

and 4 hours to go so we may as well<br />

push on as go back. There was definitely<br />

a mental strength needed that day that<br />

neither of us expected. But the payoff was<br />

worth it. Doing the top route across to the<br />

Holly Hut, then across the Ahukawakawa<br />

Swamp and up the Pouakais, meant we<br />

could then track where we’d been as this<br />

thin line all the way across the mountain<br />

from the Tarns. To get that visual feedback<br />

of what we’d achieved made it all the more<br />

special and gave us the boost we needed<br />

to face the long steps down to our lift<br />

home and coffee. Ok, you got me, glass<br />

of wine.<br />

But it wasn’t until lockdown last year that<br />

something lit the pilot light under the idea<br />

of ‘getting outdoors’. It must have been<br />

a combination of things – feeling a bit<br />

trapped in the house initially, but which<br />

incidentally I ended up loving; feeling there<br />

should be this global awakening and we<br />

needed to get back to basics (but you<br />

know, still with smartphones), and just<br />

Shortly after going back into work, I went with one of my<br />

friends up to the Pouakai Tarns. The aim was to walk up<br />

in the dark and get there for sunrise. I had a newly bought<br />

headtorch, a heavy fleece and coat, and a distorted view<br />

of my fitness. I didn’t want to be the reason we missed<br />

the sunrise, as my friend was so much fitter than me, so<br />

I pushed the pace way too hard in the first place, and<br />

ended up feeling like I might actually throw up on the<br />

track. Embarrassment is a strong motivator however, and<br />

I managed to keep it under control. My friend encouraged<br />

me all the way and I believe it made our friendship even<br />

stronger. The pay off at the top was certainly incredible.<br />

We made porridge, and had coffee, and watched the<br />

sunlight hit the mountain and turn it purple, and gray and<br />

green. It felt like an absolute privilege to be there.<br />

After that trip I realised I needed to make sure I went at<br />

a comfortable pace, and get rid of the heavy fleece. I<br />

invested in a down jacket and it’s just the best thing in<br />

my whole kit. From sitting with a G &T gazing at where<br />

a mountain should be (damn your moods Taranaki), to<br />

sleeping outdoors watching shooting stars, to being stood<br />

at the bitingly cold and windy midpoint of the Tongoriro<br />

Crossing waiting for the group to get back together, to<br />

shedding a couple of relieved and happy tears at the<br />

Summit of Taranaki, that jacket has kept this perpetually<br />

cold urchin nice and toasty.<br />

I’m part of a female tramping group where I think I’ve<br />

managed only two walks with them, but the sense of<br />

community and inclusion doesn’t waver. Where the ‘sorry,<br />

count me in next time’s don’t get counted, and we share<br />

photos and advice, and encouragement as everyone is at<br />

different levels of experience.<br />

I think perhaps that’s part of the feeling I am chasing<br />

when I go tramping now. The sense of achievement, the<br />

space and love of being in nature. I feel like you could<br />

often imagine yourself in a whole other world. Somewhere<br />

before time, or out of time, a mini escape route, or a<br />

recharging station. There are tramps when I wander,<br />

looking at almost every tree and mushroom. And tramps<br />

where I push myself, feel my lungs burning and my legs<br />

aching, rock hopping and taking an icy cold dip on a hot<br />

sunny day.<br />

For me, tramping is freedom, those sore legs and a full<br />

soul. It’s the space to breathe, to rely on myself. To let<br />

my mind slow down and do some processing, or to get<br />

creative with only the distraction of stunning scenery and<br />

finding the tui or kereru I can hear. It’s brought new friends<br />

and people into my life I didn’t imagine I needed, and<br />

experiences I will never forget.<br />


Nancy Jiang<br />

Breaking stereotypes<br />

I recently watched a youtube movie entitled, “Her Way”<br />

(check it out on the <strong>Adventure</strong> Website) which introduced<br />

a woman who had an overwhelming passion for running.<br />

The preface at the bottom of the clip, read as follows:<br />

"Chinese-born Nancy Jiang moved with her family from<br />

Ma'an Shan to Auckland, New Zealand when she was<br />

five. She studied structural engineering and today is the<br />

only female engineer in her firm. Small in stature and<br />

needing to prove herself in the workplace, she found her<br />

release through a love of trail running in the mountains<br />

above Queenstown, despite having been told as a kid that<br />

“Chinese people do not run.”<br />

Inspired by not only her passion for running but also her<br />

determination to smash down stereotypes, we reached out<br />

to Nancy and this was her reply…<br />

Crown peak saddle - summer on one side, winter on the other. Autumn makes for spectacular views on the mountain hills. I used the climb<br />

from bracken saddle up to crown peak for a lot of my hill workouts, almost 1000m of vertical gain over 5km, it’s a tough grind to the summit.<br />


I immediately think back to my run into work this morning<br />

when I read your email. It was pissing down with rain,<br />

pitch black at 6am in the morning and probably around 3-4<br />

degrees in Nelson (I have recently moved to Nelson) and I<br />

had planned this new route the night before which will take<br />

me to work via over the hills. And heck I was not going to let<br />

a bit of rain stop me.<br />

So I set off in the dark, excited to run this route for the first<br />

time and also try out my new head torch. 5 mins in, my head<br />

torch starts flashing - damit new electronic gear always<br />

comes with almost empty batteries. Anyway I continue, I<br />

figured I will deal with my torch on dim mode and if it dies,<br />

I can use my phone and eventually the sun will come up. I<br />

begin the climb up the 4wd forestry road and suddenly I hear<br />

this great cracking crashing noise below me. A giant pine<br />

tree had just fallen over, probably due to the crazy amount of<br />

rain we have had. What are the chances of a tree falling on<br />

me...? Anyway, 2 and a half hours later I make it into work<br />

looking like a drowned rat but so stoked and satisfied that I<br />

did the run I had planned.<br />

I love taking a scenic route into work, I mean if I have to<br />

sit at a desk and stare at a computer screen for 8 hours I<br />

might as well get my nature outdoor fix in prior. I believe<br />

that people are not born to stay<br />

sedentary and I get fidgety if I<br />

do not manage to fit in a run or<br />

bike or strength conditioning<br />

session in beforehand. Being<br />

outside in nature calms my<br />

mind and recharges me for the<br />

hectic noisey lifestyle we live<br />

in. I actually think I am more<br />

efficient at work too afterwards<br />

(not confirmed yet with the boss).<br />

When I lived in Arthurs Point, I<br />

would run the moonlight track<br />

and over Ben Lomond Saddle<br />

into work in town. Those sunrises<br />

made my day and make me feel<br />

alive.<br />

"Being outside in<br />

nature calms my<br />

mind and recharges<br />

me for the hectic<br />

noisey lifestyle we<br />

live in. I actually<br />

think I am more<br />

efficient at work<br />

too afterwards (not<br />

confirmed yet with<br />

the boss).<br />

Going back to my starting story, I have always been very<br />

stubborn. Not on everything, just when I decide that I am<br />

going to do something then I become super head strong<br />

about following it through. I remember as a kid I really<br />

struggled with being told no I am not allowed to do something<br />

that I wanted to do. I did well at school, always completed<br />

my homework, learnt long division and fractions by the time<br />

I was 7 but could not understand why all my friends could<br />

stay out late, go to the movies but I was not allowed. When I<br />

was 14 I was selected to represent Auckland in the NZ road<br />

champs, My parents would not let me go. OMG the fight that<br />

I put up for the whole week. Eventually they let me and we<br />

podiumed. But I remember the girls on the team looking at<br />

me judgeling. Maybe it was because I was the only non-white<br />

person out of the entire Auckland team, or because I was the<br />

only Asian at Nationals, or because the clothing I wore was a<br />

little poor. Which it was.<br />

My parents did not migrate to NZ because they were sitting<br />

on a pot of money in China. They sold everything to be able<br />

to come to NZ. We lived in a state house in Glen Innes for<br />

the first year with another family. I remember playing with the<br />

neighbours kids, they followed me home at dinner time. Stood<br />

waiting for us to finish our meal then picked at the leftovers off<br />

the table. In hindsight I understand my parents actions were to<br />

protect me. I get they were scared because we were in a new<br />

country and everything was foreign. And I always had food,<br />

warmth and shelter.<br />

My head strong-ness has led me on some pretty epic<br />

adventures. I was told by my university lecturer that I would<br />

not be able to get into engineering because I did not take<br />

physics or calculus in High School. I taught myself the entire<br />

NCEA syllabus over a summer and proved him wrong. Fast<br />

forward a uni degree and 5+ years later, during my first time<br />

to the French Alps I jumped into my first ever mountain race,<br />

it went over 6 passes, 3000+ metres of elevation gain and<br />

running over glaciers. Was pretty full on for someone whom<br />

spent the last 4 years living in Hamilton. The race broke me<br />

but opened my world up to trail and mountain running.<br />

Later that year I was in Chamonix for UTMB week and<br />

decided that I was going to do one of the races next year.<br />

One year later I toed the line for OCC. On one occasion<br />

while running in the alps, I met a swiss farmer who used to<br />

race with my coach Jonathan Wyatt. He invited me over for<br />

a lunch pit stop and two years later still sends me videos<br />

of his farm. On another occasion, on a whim I sent out an<br />

invitation on facebook to anyone who wanted to join me on a<br />

fast packing adventure of the Richmonds Ranges. One lady<br />

joined me and that turned out to be an adventure and a half!<br />

In summary I am proud to say I have a passion for mountain/<br />

trail running, mountain bikes in my spare time, tried skiing for<br />

the first time last winter and loved it and showed my old uni<br />

lecturer with his outdated opinions that he was wrong.<br />

Top left: grinning from ear to ear in Advance Peak saddle, because I know a veeery long downhill is next.<br />

Top right: Taken just after the mountain running world champs in Andorra 2018. My first time representing NZ and what a proud<br />

moment it was. Finished 15th / Bottom: Heading up Big Hill - straight up. Because when training for Highland Events famous Mt<br />

Difficulty Ascent, you got to take the steep way up the mountain.<br />

After a solid hike a bike from Arrow River up to Mt Saint, we were rewarded with views of ridgelines as far as the eyes could<br />

see and an epic ride off the beaten track down into deep skippers canyon country. Sometimes I imagine what life was like for<br />

the hardy miners who came here in the in the early 1900’s lured by the prospect of gold and fortune.<br />


Solo<br />

Strength<br />

by Erin Lockhart<br />

The word 'alone' often comes with negative<br />

TW connotations; for many, to be alone is to be lonely. But<br />

alone is not a feeling or a consequence, it is simply a<br />

reality. You can tramp with Tami and Jerry and Lee, or you can<br />

tramp alone. For me, tramping alone didn't come as a natural<br />

evolution in my outdoor experience; it was born of necessity.<br />

On a post high-school OE in 2018, I wound up working at a<br />

café in the Canadian Rockies. Quite the backyard for outdoor<br />

adventure, where learning to snowboard kept me entertained<br />

(and in pain) while I settled into mountain life. As the snow<br />

melted though, I learned that tramping wasn't a common<br />

priority for the hundreds of young people I had the pleasure of<br />

living with. I was eager to get out and explore the diverse trails<br />

in the National Parks around me so I tried to rally friends to<br />

hike with. Week after week though, my schemes fell flat.<br />

Granted, that is not entirely due to disinterest. Being a bunch<br />

of backpackers working in a busy tourist town meant we all<br />

had different schedules, few people had tramping gear, and car<br />

owners for transport to trailheads were few and far between.<br />

My mates just weren't as keen as I was, so organizing<br />

adventures was always left to me. Tramping logistics, as<br />

anyone who has organized a group tramp will know, seem a<br />

complex hassle, when you just want to get out there.<br />

I ended up feeling like a mother trying to entice her kids off<br />

the PlayStation and into the backyard - though my 'kids' were<br />

mostly older than me, and the 'PlayStation' was the infamous<br />

party scene of the Rockies. Getting a group out on any trail<br />

for the day, let alone a whole weekend, became an impossible<br />

chore. You'd think to just head off solo would have been a<br />

simple solution, but the concept hadn't even entered my mind.<br />

I grew up doing the odd bit of tramping with my family, and<br />

through school, as kiwi kids are privileged to do. To me,<br />

tramping was a group activity, a team sport. I was taught to<br />

respect the outdoors, and to never underestimate the dangers<br />

of mother nature. 2018 was my first time in another country, I<br />

felt young, inexperienced, and absolutely terrified of a grizzly<br />

bear encounter. Besides, would I even still enjoy tramping sans<br />

company?<br />

Well, I found out mid-summer when the five mates I had<br />

planned to climb Mt Whistlers with, successively bailed the<br />

morning of said hike. It wasn't the first time they had done<br />

so and I was, quite simply, fed up. Fueled by disappointment<br />

at my flakey friends, and determined to have a good time<br />

(if only to prove a point), I caught the last town-bus of the<br />

day, persuading the driver to make a special drop off at the<br />

trailhead. I climbed the damn mountain alone: it was awesome.<br />

Tramping to Camp Stream Hut in 30 degree heat. Feb 2020<br />

" Fueled by disappointment<br />

at my flakey friends, and<br />

determined to have a good<br />

time (if only to prove a point),<br />

I caught the last town-bus of<br />

the day, persuading the driver<br />

to make a special drop off at<br />

the trailhead. I climbed the<br />

damn mountain alone: it was<br />

awesome."<br />

Actually, the first hour I questioned my decision (and my fitness<br />

level, because wow, it was steep), though once I broke treeline<br />

and could somewhat leave my fear of a vicious bear attack<br />

behind, I was in my element. In awe not only of the surrounding<br />

snow-capped peaks and chubby marmots scuttering around at<br />

my feet, but also of my 19 year old self, for her confidence (and<br />

stubbornness) to go it alone.<br />

Whistlers was my first lesson in what I could achieve solo. A<br />

couple of weeks later, on a Tuesday afternoon in my dorm,<br />

I booked a campground on the famous Skyline Trail for that<br />

Thursday night, then caught the shuttle into town to buy a cheap,<br />

one-woman tent. My first overnight tramp alone: 55kms, a 1500m<br />

vertical ascent over a snowy mountain pass, a campground 4km<br />

off the marked trail (the only one available) and a few hitchhikes<br />

to get back home: baptism by fire. Over the following months,<br />

through trial, some questionable decision making, fearful tears,<br />

and indescribable feelings of achievement and pride, I found my<br />

confidence to be alone on the trail, and as they say, the rest is<br />

history.<br />

Solo tramping is now the central aspect of my life. It's the thing I<br />

enjoy the most, the thing that challenges me and that makes me<br />

feel utterly whole. Every completion of a slightly more difficult trail<br />

broadens both my ability, and my confidence to take on the next<br />

one. A year on from the Skyline trail saw me return to Aotearoa,<br />

a pack full of solo tramping experience on my back, and ready to<br />

take on all my home country had to offer.<br />

I now work as an Astronomy Guide in Tekapō, where outdoor<br />

inspiration is never too hard to come by. Weekend adventures<br />

have taken me over Stag Saddle and into the Two Thumb Range,<br />

up to peaks in Peel Forest and Mt Somers, and over Lindis Pass<br />

to explore Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks. Or when<br />

Aoraki lives up to his cloud piercing name, I just head down the<br />

road, where a couple of hours of climbing will see you sunbathing<br />

on the deck of Mueller Hut, watching dozens of Kea soar by.<br />

A significant benefit of being able to tramp solo is the lack of<br />

forward planning required. With a good weather forecast and a<br />

spontaneous day off work, all I need to do is grab my pack and<br />

go (first, letting someone know of my plans, of course). Wherever<br />

I choose to go I can walk, rest and eat at my own pace, no<br />

compromise, no logistical hassles.<br />

On occasion though I do love to head into the hills with mates,<br />

and it is always a good time. To laugh at weka together, share a<br />

pot of Mi Goreng delicacy, and discuss those real and important<br />

topics, the ones that only come up in the mountains - like the<br />

future implications of cyborg on the human race, and whether<br />

cheese should go on first or last when making pizza.<br />


"Those moments, the<br />

ones that make you<br />

feel so small in size,<br />

but so massive in life,<br />

that have you smiling<br />

wide without even<br />

meaning to, those are<br />

the moments I hike for,<br />

the moments I live for."<br />

It is a great reprieve to have other ears around to listen to my<br />

complaints about mud and speargrass, to have moments of<br />

shared wonder, and be able to take non-selfie photos for a<br />

change. I must admit though to pondering rather too often what<br />

those trail experiences would be like if I were hiking alone.<br />

Maybe I feel challenges are more rewarding when taken on<br />

solo? Or maybe I just like my own company a bit too much.<br />

But it is when I reach a summit and stare upon boundless<br />

layers of jagged mountain peaks, or crest a ridge to wander<br />

across a plateau of alpine meadow, that I am truly grateful to<br />

be alone. Those moments, the ones that make you feel so<br />

small in size, but so massive in life, that have you smiling wide<br />

without even meaning to, those are the moments I hike for, the<br />

moments I live for. Sometimes I even laugh out loud, how can<br />

I not? The beauty and wonder of nature is incomprehensible to<br />

my little human brain.<br />

I am infinitely grateful to have the confidence to be able to<br />

tramp and explore in the way that I do. Solo hiking seems,<br />

and is, misunderstood and inaccessible to many people,<br />

particularly to women. I have had dozens of encounters where<br />

the first topic of conversation when I come across fellow hikers<br />

is my lack of tramping buddies. Perhaps these people are in<br />

the same frame of mind I was just a few years ago - unable to<br />

understand how anyone could feel comfortable alone in such<br />

an environment.<br />

Though nine times out of ten, if it were a solo man they came<br />

across, they'd simply comment on the nice weather or trail<br />

quality, and move right along. Yet there I am, with suitable<br />

gear, a PLB strapped around my neck, a smile on my face,<br />

in the middle of the trail (having evidently made it that far<br />

just fine) and somehow I am always a cause for strangers'<br />

concern.<br />

Social media has been an incredible platform for me to<br />

discover the truth about solo female hikers. We are not lonely<br />

or lost, incapable or odd, and we are not exceptionally brave.<br />

We are many, and we love what we do - we have just been<br />

hidden for far too long. So let the next generations of girls<br />

grow up seeing and understanding the trails are theirs too.<br />

No need to wait for your mates to join you ladies: get a can<br />

of bear spray and climb the damn mountain yourself. Or<br />

more New Zealand specific, check the river level, hide your<br />

belongings from the possums, and start slogging through the<br />

mud yourself.<br />

If you love hiking then just pack a bag and head off on a trail<br />

alone, the more you do it, the more comfortable (and addicted)<br />

you will get. The many hours or days, and physical exertion<br />

spent to reach those hidden, beauty filled places is always<br />

replenished, the mountains give more than they take. When<br />

alone on the trail it is not lonely, it is entirely the opposite. It fills<br />

you to the brim with joy, cunning and strength, with purpose,<br />

accomplishment and exhaustion. You become capable and<br />

powerful, and you can do it all solo. Easy as.<br />

In the Two Thumb Range on a 30+ degree day, February, 2020

Jenna Hastings<br />

17 year old Jenna Hastings fell in love with bikes when she was<br />

just 6 years old when she first started BMX racing. One of her<br />

earliest memories is sitting in the grandstands at the North Island<br />

Championships, held in her hometown of Rotorua, and the awe she<br />

felt as a 6 year old watching the championships. Since then Jenna<br />

has gone on to make a name for herself in the sport of mountain<br />

biking and we got to chat recently about her passion…<br />

Can you tell us a little about yourself? I am 17, I'm year 12 at school,<br />

and I live at home with both my parents and my younger brother and sister.<br />

As you know, I started BMX racing when I was 6 years old, and instantly<br />

fell in love with the sport, before I even started it I knew I would love it,<br />

sitting in the grandstands at North Island Champs 2010, which was held in<br />

Rotorua, little 6 year old me was in awe. I have always ridden a mountain<br />

bike, I still remember my first proper mountain bike, the girl's version of the<br />

GT Stomper - it was pink, and my brother got a blue one to match.<br />

I see you grew up in Rotorua, the mountain bike capital of New<br />

Zealand, so it’s no surprise that you have found a love of biking.<br />

What made you transition from BMX to Mountain Biking? BMX was<br />

my passion for a good five/six years. My goal was always to make the<br />

Mighty 11 test team twice, which is a team of eight, four boys and four<br />

girls, which race against the Aussies for the title. I achieved my goal, being<br />

captain of the team once, and rider number two the second time. After<br />

Mighty 11's, my passion for continuing BMX started to dwindle, as I have<br />

discovered my love for mountain biking. I think I just needed a change, and<br />

mountain biking made me feel so much freer than BMX, as I can go into<br />

the forest for hours and come in contact with nothing other than myself, my<br />

bike, and the nature surrounding me, whereas BMX was a lot more full-on,<br />

intense, environment.<br />

For our readers who may not follow mountain biking as a sport, can<br />

you tell us a little about the type of biking you enjoy and what it is<br />

you compete in. I see you were the fastest woman on day one at the<br />

Giant 2W Gravity Enduro. Can you tell us a little about the various<br />

type of mountain biking you take part in and what you enjoy? I<br />

compete in Downhill (DH) and Enduro mountain biking, both of which<br />

I adore and enjoy so much. I have dabbled in Cross Country (XC) but<br />

decided it wasn't for me, way too intense. Downhill is the technical stuff,<br />

you get one run, one shot to win it or lose it, and you can lose it in a split<br />

second, one wrong line and it can throw your whole race off. With downhill,<br />

you get shuttled or uplifted to the top of the track, and you race down.<br />

It can be anywhere between three and five minutes long. The bikes are<br />

different, with more suspension, different geometry, all designed for hitting<br />

the biggest jumps, steepest chutes, and gnarliest rock gardens. Enduro on<br />

the other hand, is multiple stages, anywhere between five and eight, and<br />

they all vary in length. You ride up to every stage (called a transition) and<br />

then you race down. The down is the only part that is timed, and then the<br />

times from all of your stages are combined to one final time. The bike you<br />

race for enduro is also different from that in downhill, it's better equipped<br />

to ride up the hills, more gears, smaller suspension, a steeper head angle,<br />

although still being able to tackle the gnarliest riding.<br />


Unlike some sports, when things go wrong<br />

mountain biking, it can be quite painful<br />

and have serious consequences. Do you<br />

feel the fear? And if so how do you deal<br />

with it? Fear is a very real thing for me. I find<br />

myself constantly battling the little voice in my<br />

head saying "what if this happens?", "what if<br />

you crash?", "what if you lose?", "what if what<br />

you do isn't good enough?". Riding tracks I<br />

have never ridden before is when the fear<br />

really kicks in because I have no idea how<br />

fast I have to go into this jump, or how slow<br />

to go so I make it round the corner and don't<br />

crash. Dealing with this kind of fear is hard<br />

sometimes, it just depends on the size of the<br />

jump, or how steep a track is, but usually, I<br />

find a sort of, "just send it" attitude does the<br />

trick. On the other hand, pressure and fearing<br />

that I won't be good enough, or people will be<br />

disappointed with my result is a completely<br />

different thing. Pressure is always going to be<br />

a thing, it's probably never going to go away,<br />

and I'm learning ways to deal with that at the<br />

moment, but for the most part, it's knowing<br />

that the people who really matter will be<br />

proud no matter what my result is, and that<br />

the most important thing is to have fun, and<br />

the result will take care of itself.<br />

Have you had any major injuries? If so<br />

how have these effected your confidence?<br />

I have had a few big crashes, a few broken<br />

bones and some head injuries, although<br />

not all from mountain biking, they have still<br />

affected my confidence. Having to take time<br />

off the bike in order to heal really sets you<br />

back and makes you feel slow and a terrible<br />

rider when you get back on the bike. It takes<br />

a while to build that strength and fitness back<br />

up so for the time being my confidence has<br />

taken a hit. One crash in particular, back<br />

in 2019 when I rode the Pakahi track with<br />

a bunch of ladies called the Mud Maidens,<br />

I managed to ride off a cliff, which really<br />

knocked my confidence, as being in the air<br />

terrified me because I did not want to be in a<br />

position where I could fall from a height again.<br />

In a perfect world, where would you see<br />

yourself in five years time? In a perfect<br />

world, in five years, I would be 22, coming<br />

home for the summer, racing the NZ season,<br />

then going back overseas to race in Europe<br />

through their summer, our winter, both Enduro<br />

World Series and Downhill World Cups.<br />

That's my dream. Travelling with friends<br />

and teammates, making new friends and<br />

memories along the way, all while doing what<br />

I love, which is riding my bike.<br />

Outside of mountain biking, what do you<br />

do for fun? I love to do anything that involves<br />

the outdoors really. I am part of an adventure<br />

racing team for my school, I love to go<br />

tramping, swim, wakeboard, waterski, snow<br />

skiing are some things I also love to do.<br />

Previous page: Jenna Hastings, showing the downhill determination she is renowned for.<br />

Above: Jenna in action at 3 Peaks Enduro - Image by Jemma Wells<br />

"Pressure is always going<br />

to be a thing, it's probably<br />

never going to go away,<br />

and I'm learning ways<br />

to deal with that at the<br />

moment, but for the most<br />

part, it's knowing that the<br />

people who really matter<br />

will be proud no matter<br />

what my result is, and<br />

that the most important<br />

thing is to have fun, and<br />

the result will take care of<br />

itself."<br />





50//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />


From<br />

Michigan to<br />

Mountains<br />

A womens journey<br />

By Katarina Renaldi<br />

I grew up in a part of the US where you could<br />

TW drive for miles on a straight, wide road and<br />

the most interesting thing to see were funny<br />

billboards on the side of the highway. The Great<br />

Lakes State of Michigan is in a unique place which<br />

experiences extremely cold temperatures and plenty of<br />

snow. With a max altitude of 600 metres, it’s not exactly<br />

the endless landscape filled with glacial rivers and<br />

mountains that New Zealand is.<br />

I had always been up for a challenge, and learning to<br />

hike and find my "zen" in the mountains brought me to<br />

a place of new opportunity and pure bliss. I spent a lot<br />

of my travels in New Zealand building my skill set and<br />

exposing myself to increasingly difficult and challenging<br />

situations.<br />

I started by figuring out which resources worked for me<br />

in this new realm of discovery. I used the AllTrails app<br />

and did some of the more challenging tracks that were<br />

still cut but may include a good amount of altitude or<br />

distance. This app was the start of the pushing of my<br />

abilities since I was able to keep track of completed<br />

tracks and make lists for future endeavors, especially<br />

helpful considering I do many of<br />

my tramps solo.<br />

I also started taking advantage<br />

of the hut system in New<br />

Zealand and learned a love for<br />

stewardship of resources and our<br />

environment. I've been lucky to<br />

visit over 50 of New Zealand's<br />

huts since I've been here and<br />

many of those were on solo<br />

missions.<br />

"I've been<br />

lucky to visit<br />

over 50 of<br />

New Zealand's<br />

huts since I've<br />

been here and<br />

many of those<br />

were on solo<br />

missions."<br />

Growing up comfortably around<br />

snow, I leapt at the chance to be<br />

among the beautiful mountains of Aoraki/Mt. Cook. I<br />

took a mountaineering course in November 2020 which<br />

bumped my skills up to the next level and gave me<br />

confidence to walk in the snow among the mountains,<br />

especially as a frequent solo tramper.<br />

After this course I started moving toward more challenging<br />

terrain and learned that the NZ TopoMaps were extremely<br />

useful for route planning. I was taking notice of the less<br />

accessed places and started looking toward backcountry<br />

huts and how I could volunteer to help maintain the access<br />

we had to these stunning places. I would walk tracks and<br />

move large branches/logs that blocked the track, I'd cut<br />

away bush lawyer that would grab at faces and clothing,<br />

I'd make cairns to indicate where the route went when old<br />

52//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />

markers had long fell away, and I would remove excess<br />

rubbish from hut facilities when I walked out. It was such<br />

an enriching experience for me that I began to apply for<br />

positions within the Department of Conservation even<br />

though I knew these were hard to come by. I wanted to<br />

make a difference and help support the access we had to<br />

these locations.<br />

I've recently made the move to the Wild West Coast and<br />

found an opportunity to work with DOC through Kaimahi<br />

for Nature, supporting local Kiwi businesses that were<br />

struggling during the aftermath of the pandemic. I<br />

started doing invasive species control and have had the<br />

opportunity to work on the Alex Knob track, upgrading it<br />

to allow for safer walking along the track.<br />

Among other amazing locations, the West Coast has<br />

access to a lot of remote huts (remotehuts.co.nz) and<br />

I've started to visit some of them, including a recent solo<br />

mission to Butler Junction Hut and Ice Lake which put<br />

my night navigation skills to the test after accidentally<br />

following a flagged trail that seemed like it would lead<br />

me around treefall, but actually just wasted a lot of time<br />

and precious daylight. I'm happy to carry a GPS/PLB<br />

which allows me to check in with loved ones on my<br />

solo missions. Since I've built my time in New Zealand<br />

around hiking, I'm hoping that this brief article can give<br />

you an idea of how to scale up your skills and learn<br />

to confidently tramp solo as well as be a steward of<br />

the environment. Below I will list the resources I use<br />

frequently and ways I've found inspiration for trips,<br />

essential gear I take, as well as some of my favorite<br />

tramps to date.<br />

Resources to use<br />

• AllTrails: great beginner app when you don't have a<br />

clear idea of what you'd like to do<br />

• NZ Topo50/New Zealand Maps: good for contour<br />

lines and getting an idea of terrain before you head<br />

out. You can also plan routes and save them as<br />

well as follow your location on a track<br />

• Instagram hashtags: look up the hashing for<br />

where you want to go to see if you can find some<br />

additional inspiration!<br />

• Remotehuts.co.nz: for when you're ready to get a<br />

bit more rugged and into challenging terrain<br />

• Climbnz.org.nz: great for grading routes, I usually<br />

stick to 1+/2 grade routes for my current abilities<br />

when solo<br />

• Yr.no: great for rainfall<br />

• Windy.com: gives an idea of wind in the area,<br />

especially useful if you can read weather patterns<br />

and want to hike/camp in alpine areas<br />

• Southernalpsphotography.com: great photo<br />

inspiration with detailed route maps included<br />

Essential gear<br />

• PLB/GPS<br />

• NZ TopoMaps: download and pay for them, its worth it to be<br />

able to save your own routes and to use the maps offline! The<br />

location works without phone reception.<br />

• Compass<br />

• Emergency warmers<br />

• Strong head torch for night walking with a red light function<br />

• Emergency bivy<br />

• Extra warmth: buffs, hat, 2-3 pair gloves, extra thick socks<br />

• Power bank/battery pack: 10,000 or more maH (enough to<br />

charge your most essential device(s) at least once)<br />

Favorite tramps<br />

• Rees-Dart track with a side trip to Cascade Saddle: 4-5 days<br />

• Esquilant Biv/Mt. Earnslaw: 2-3 days<br />

• Welcome Flat Hut via Copland track: overnight or 2 days<br />

• Mt. Brown: day trip or overnight<br />

• Mueller Hut and Mt. Olivier: day trip or overnight<br />

• Barker Hut/White Col/Mt. Murchison: 2-4 days<br />

• Tongariro crossing: day trip or do the Northern circuit in 2-4 days<br />

• Mt. Burns tarns: ~2 hours or continue on to find a camp<br />

overnight<br />

• Gillespie Pass circuit and Lake Crucible: 2-3 days<br />

• Dore Pass route: 8 hours or overnight camp<br />

• Gertrude Saddle: 4-6 hours or overnight camp<br />

Barker Hut in Arthur's Pass National Park. I took my new mountaineering gear out for a test ride and headed up toward White Col to attempt<br />

Mt. Murchison. When I got there, I mistakenly took the winter route instead of the summer

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North West Circuit<br />

Stewart Island<br />

Words by Cristina Barraclough<br />

I found myself in limbo during the winter of 2020, inbetween<br />

jobs in a strained covid economy. And so, I did<br />

TW<br />

what any outdoors person would do with a large amount<br />

of free time on their hands. It was time to pack-up my<br />

belongings and hit the road. It was time to leave behind home<br />

comforts and go adventure-seeking. A long and ambling winter<br />

road trip finally took us down to the bottom of the South Island.<br />

And by us, I mean myself and my friend Emma, who luck would<br />

have it was just as into the outdoors, and launching themselves<br />

into any opportune adventure, as I was. Sometimes even more<br />

so than me. We had spent the road trip encouraging each other<br />

to go surfing in the brisk winter seas with no hot shower awaiting<br />

us; hiking for several days even in the rain when no-one else<br />

would and taking icy dips in glaciated lakes to the bemused<br />

stares of onlookers.<br />

By the time we had made it the bottom of the South Island,<br />

we had perfected our routine of living out of a car, adding in<br />

adventures and making hearty meals out the back of the boot in<br />

the cold, dark early evenings. So far, we had learnt a lot, it was<br />

time to test ourselves and our friendship with a big mission.<br />

There were two obvious options to satisfy our desire for<br />

adventure down at the tip of the South Island – head to Stewart<br />

Island: 1. The Rakiura Track. 2. The North-West Circuit. Option<br />

1 was too short to feel like we would have fully submerged<br />

ourselves into the wilderness of Stewart Island. And it was ruled<br />

out. That left us with ambitious Option 2. Part of an adventure<br />

for me is challenging yourself, going beyond your comfort zone<br />

without being rash.<br />

The North-West Circuit is a 9-11 day tramp covering 125km in<br />

the remote wilderness, with no opportunity to resupply nor much<br />

likelihood of meeting many other people. There is only one town<br />

on the whole of Stewart Island – Oban. In hiking terms, 125km is<br />

not often that far to achieve over this period of time, but the time<br />

and distance indicated how rough the terrain would be in relation<br />

to other hikes.<br />

Arriving in Invercargill we were still uncommitted to a decision.<br />

We found ourselves semi-committed traipsing round on a grey<br />

day buying additional gear: gaiters, pack-liners and the likes.<br />

The array of gear needed for an infamously muddy and wet<br />

tramp. Next, most importantly, we picked up a personal locator<br />

beacon with a registered time we were due out. I guess we were<br />

committed now.<br />

The decision felt daunting as we both weighed up our tramping<br />

experience (combined we had a lot). However, usually for 5 days<br />

or longer we were with someone more experienced than us.<br />

That night as we sat eating a carb-loaded meal in a bare hostel<br />

kitchen, we rationalised our thoughts and logically addressed<br />

any issues we may encounter and how to prevent and overcome<br />

them. This gave us more certainty and eased any qualms we<br />

had.<br />

The boat bumped along over the yawning swell of the Forveaux<br />

Strait. An albatross swooped. And coffee sloshed. No-one else<br />

was clad in hiking gear except for two other females who sat<br />

a few rows behind; but they were fast asleep oblivious to the<br />

Forveaux.<br />

Bag after bag unloaded at the dock. We were behind schedule<br />

as the boat had arrived late, which was kind of amusing,<br />

especially as we needed to purchase a map which had been<br />

nowhere to be found in Invercargil. So, with a smile and a grunt<br />

I ended up hauling our two backpacks onto my shoulders as<br />

Emma ran ahead to source us a map. Under their hefty weight<br />

I struggled to walk swiftly, we urgently needed to get over<br />

to another bay for the next leg of our journey. The only boat<br />

departure to our starting point was leaving in 15 minutes. With<br />

the first hurdle already upon us, the buzz of an adventure set in.<br />

The black smooth waters of Patterson Inlet swooshed under<br />

the plaining boat. Deeper and deeper we went into the swampy<br />

maze and closer and closer the bush crept in.<br />

“So how long are you out for?” asked the remaining passengers:<br />

an older American couple.<br />

“8 days - if all goes to plan” I added carefully. The boat ride cut<br />

one day off the itinerary; enabling us an extra day in case of<br />

emergencies.<br />

“Wow, good luck, that beer will be calling by the end!”<br />

And with that the boat belted off leaving only silence. No going<br />

back now.<br />

Slap bang in the middle of the swampy plain, day one saw us travel<br />

clockwise from the east side to the west as the board walk cut<br />

directly through the island’s heart. Either side of the valley the ferns<br />

and beeches rose, and nothing else. That night we witnessed our<br />

first kiwi. Seeing the rare native bird was a treasured moment and a<br />

welcome start to our first night on the trail.<br />

Dawn broke as we broke free from the sand dunes. The longest<br />

beach on the island lay before us running for over 7km. Our<br />

footprints lay crisp in the sand at Mason Bay and the pinks<br />

peered out across the sea. The early start ensured the low tide<br />

route was accessible as we were keen to avoid unnecessary<br />

travel up and down sand dunes with laden packs.<br />

These two first days were our biggest; an estimated 7 hour<br />

tramp each of the days with over 8 days worth of gear on our<br />

backs. The thick bush greeted us sharply at the end of the long<br />

stretch of smooth sand. It was time to embrace the island mud<br />

and bush.<br />

Looking back after a short sharp incline, Emma’s head bobbed<br />

up every now and then between abundant ferns and grasses.<br />

Not yet accustomed to such awkward terrain, she trudged along<br />

- “Howa’ you finding it?” I called out.<br />

“This is full on” her voice travelled faintly through the thick<br />

foliage. There was no arguing that. We had agreed to be honest<br />

with how we were feeling being in such close, intense conditions<br />

for over a week in the wilderness. Early on we had to agree<br />

to go at our own pace occasionally, taking it in turns to stop<br />

and watch as the other caught up offering up necessary food,<br />

motivation or distracting conversation. Slowly over the next<br />

few days our pace quickened and our minds eased as we let<br />

ourselves follow the rhythm of our footsteps.<br />

Atop a rocky pinnacle the South Pacific Sea winked below<br />

as glorious sun caught its calm turquoise surface. The sharp,<br />

weather-beaten Ruggedy Islands pierced out of the blueness;<br />

a stark reminder of the harsh conditions this island bore. To the<br />

east the swathes of greens swept across vast hills. It was well<br />

over an hour before we drew our eyes away from this panoramic<br />

view of raw wilderness and continued on our descent into the<br />

forest. Muddy trails would give way to open beaches, which<br />

was always a welcome relief. They made for scenic lunch spots<br />

if you could stand the swarm of sand-flies. Our rhythm often<br />

changed pace, beaches would give way to boulder fields and<br />

dunes would drown our boots.<br />

But you can’t forget the mud for long. Three nights in and there<br />

had still been no encounters with people in the huts. However,<br />

in one of the logbooks a previous hiker had left a haiku poem in<br />

solidarity. Eloquently, it read:<br />

"muddy muddy mud<br />

muddy muddy muddy mud<br />

muddy muddy mud"<br />

Bursting out laughing Emma and I almost spurted out our<br />

mochaccinos, a luxury item we had afforded ourselves, as we<br />

sat by the dim candle musing over these old trail notes. Each<br />

night a large meal was prepped over a small stove. On the<br />

menu was either $1 dehydrated pasta sachets, couscous or<br />

backcountry cuisine meals bulked out with indulgent toppings<br />

such as cheese and a fresh vegetable here and there. Either<br />

made for a mouth-watering meal that satisfied our growling<br />

stomachs. The evening routine was topped off with a game of<br />

cards with our feet up by the fire, tucked away in the remote,<br />

far-flung huts. And so, each new day setting out on the muddy<br />

trail the poem’s lines would reel around in my head, syncing with<br />

each squelching footstep. Yet, the blessings must have been<br />

with us because with our newly experienced steps the mud<br />

barely ever came above our gaiters. It felt as though we had<br />

been granted a relatively easy passage.<br />

The good omens kept on coming. Day Four saw soft Manuka<br />

forests which were a treat for our feet. The cool shade of the<br />

forest offered an idyllic lunch spot sunbathing above a steep<br />

cliff overlooking the still-turquoise sea. Although there had been<br />

interludes of rain which seemed to bring the kiwis out roaming<br />

and rooting; Stewart Island was uncharacteristically sunny.<br />

Long-Harry’s Hut sat proudly atop a grand sea cliff in the sun<br />

Breaking out of the bush and mud and soaking up panoramic views<br />

The North West Circuit rewards you with many stunning, remote beaches<br />


surrounded by the forgiving Manuka forest. As we drew closer<br />

the clues we were not alone became apparent: the stiff drying<br />

socks, the strewn hiking poles.<br />

“Hi there! Where have you come from?” Out bound a hiker,<br />

greeting us. It was the woman we had seen napping on the ferry.<br />

Quickly, as often happens in remote huts, each of us exchanged<br />

our short stories from the hike and from our lives. It just so<br />

happened we had run into Tara Mulvany and her Canadian-Kiwi<br />

friend Kim. I knew the day had a good feel to it and meeting one<br />

of adventure heroes on our very own mission confirmed that.<br />

The next few days flew by in green and brown blurs interjected<br />

with the blues of brisk ocean dips. The shorter hiking days,<br />

which were only a few hours between huts as our pace<br />

quickened, saw us with ample time to soak up hut life. Hut<br />

afternoons were idled away at the private beaches, for as long<br />

as we could bear the sandflies, coming up with child-like games<br />

and even indulging in darts at one hut. Laughter filled the musty<br />

air as one of my darts ricocheted off the dart board, “maybe<br />

it’s a sign I should go to… Indonesia” I giggled as I read which<br />

country the dart had pinned on the laid out world map.<br />

Another evening we exchanged more short life stories with a<br />

solo female hiker who was on her holidays from medic school<br />

and had turned to aspirations of hiking the Te Araroa trail after<br />

her plans to travel Europe had to be postponed. It is always<br />

interesting to see what has spurred people on to take on remote<br />

wilderness adventures.<br />

Even when the days were long, the mud seemed endless<br />

and legs began to tire, Emma and I knew how fortunate we<br />

were to do this trip. When the hours seemed to drag on before<br />

the hut appeared I would stop, reassess, and savour each<br />

footstep, relishing the fresh air and luscious green nature I was<br />

submerged in.<br />

As civilisation drew closer, that familiar bitter sweet feeling<br />

arose. The trail turned to the Great Walk gravel. No more mud –<br />

each mud pool had been categorised by our ‘new encyclopaedia<br />

of mud’: the kind you could confidently stride through, the gooey<br />

kind, the kind that would suck you in one shoe at a time, the list<br />

goes on. Many moments were spent documenting this diversity<br />

in mud. It was hilarious entertainment at the time, however rewatching<br />

the videos of two wild women delirious over mud we<br />

determined the footage was only for our eyes.<br />

Emma and I looked at each other knowingly. The wilderness<br />

was at our backs. The friendship I formed with Emma bonding<br />

over these adventures made for an empowering experience<br />

and an enduring friendship like that of a close childhood friend.<br />

Reflecting, it was also funny that is was solely women on the<br />

tramp during that time and it really spoke to me.<br />

“Should we stay one more night?”<br />

Emma and I lingered in that last hut. But our rations were low,<br />

our time was over and the cool beer was calling. Loudly. As we<br />

strode on and hit the road the remaining 5km to town felt like 50.<br />

A few cars slowed a kilometre or so from Oban as if to offer us<br />

a lift, but we waved our weathered hands and lightly shook our<br />

heads. Determined to hike each of those steps back to the start;<br />

we had come too far not to complete the circuit.<br />

Soon we were rejoicing and sipping away at a chilled lager in<br />

the local pub surrounded by skippers, Stewart Island’s main<br />

inhabitants, relaxing back into civilisation. Several jugs down<br />

and no pizza crumbs left, our bellies were as content as we<br />

were. The hum of human chatter filled our ears after a long<br />

absence. Showers and soap were reintroduced into our lives,<br />

but not yet fresh clothes – we would have to wait until the<br />

mainland for that.<br />

The touting sound rose in the crisp morning air as the ship left<br />

the small harbour of Oban. The deep blue swell was back and<br />

ocean spray washed onto our faces and down onto the deck as<br />

we stood at the rails smiling, satisfied; watching the deep greens<br />

and purple of Stewart Island slip into the distance.<br />

No sunshine? No problem..<br />



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The non-muddy side of Stewart Island: the welcome breaks from the mud<br />


Vicky with her<br />

family and her<br />

completion<br />

medal<br />

A Mt Oxford Odyssey Mum<br />

by Vicky Havill<br />

When it comes to discussions<br />

TW around adventure not many<br />

people attach the word mum<br />

in the description. To be fair<br />

many mums wouldn’t put their name<br />

and adventure in the same sentence<br />

either. In 2019 a survey conducted by<br />

Sport England revealed that 61% of<br />

women feel guilty about taking time to<br />

exercise. Women are literally putting<br />

the importance of their own health below<br />

that of their families. It's no wonder<br />

when we live with this kind of guilt that<br />

somewhere along the road we can lose<br />

ourselves. We lose our confidence, our<br />

sense of self-worth and our resilience.<br />

We spend time helping our children<br />

create resilience and build confidence.<br />

Encouraging them to become strong<br />

and brave, ready to face the world. But<br />

what about us? Personally I can’t think<br />

of a better way to help them become a<br />

strong and brave adult than to be one<br />

ourselves.<br />

This was very much my story, parenting<br />

had become my life. To love another<br />

human as much as a mother loves their<br />

child is a powerful force. But we have to<br />

put on our own oxygen masks first. To<br />

become our own best selves.<br />

Seven years ago I was unfit and<br />

unmotivated, my children were young at<br />

five and three and I decided I wanted to<br />

get fit. I had to make a conscious effort<br />

to put aside my guilt which wasn’t easy.<br />

But it started me on a journey full of<br />

challenge and adventure that made me<br />

fitter and stronger than I had ever been<br />

in my life.<br />

Those first few years of getting fit saw<br />

me running trails all over the South<br />

Island and helped me rediscover myself.<br />

I kept my training varied whilst I worked<br />

out what really made me tick. As well<br />

as trail running, I tried strength training,<br />

open water swimming, rock climbing,<br />

hiking and even took part in a triathlon<br />

just to see what it was like. I had my<br />

fair share of niggly injuries crop up as<br />

my mind and body fought against each<br />

other. My mind often wanted to push my<br />

body further than it was ready to go. ‘A’<br />

for effort, not always execution. Despite<br />

this I did make progress and finally,<br />

this year, having already completed<br />

numerous half mountain marathons<br />

I felt confident and strong enough to<br />

"My mind often wanted<br />

to push my body further<br />

than it was ready to go.<br />

‘A’ for effort, not always<br />

execution."<br />

give my local mountain marathon a go.<br />

The Mt Oxford Odyssey. Advertised as<br />

New Zealand’s toughest marathon it<br />

would push my body further than it had<br />

ever been, across 42kms of mountains<br />

which included 3500m of brutal elevation<br />

gain. Luckily I love a challenge. Each<br />

one I conquer helps me grow a little<br />

bit stronger mentally and physically. I<br />

decided I would rather get to the start<br />

line and not finish than not start at all.<br />

The week preceding the event I found<br />

myself swinging unpredictably and<br />

erratically between excitement and<br />

absolute abject fear. Two days before<br />

the event I made the mistake of looking<br />

at the athlete line up. To discover that<br />

only 10 women were entered; this<br />

sent my mind spinning into all kinds of<br />

destructive self-talk.<br />

“They must all know something I don’t.<br />

I’m just an average runner. I’m kidding<br />

myself if I think I can do this. My body<br />

will give up and I’m going to have to<br />

be helicoptered out, it's going to be<br />

mortifying. I am so out of my league.”<br />

These irrational thoughts seemed all too<br />

real in those moments of doubt.<br />

I worked hard to turn my own rhetoric<br />

round and tell myself it would be an<br />

adventure that I was strong and fit<br />

enough to overcome. Easier said than<br />

done, but somehow I found myself on<br />

the morning of the event inside a tent<br />

with all the other competitors sheltering<br />

from the pouring rain. I felt like an<br />

imposter.<br />

The race organisers ran us through the<br />

race brief and we left the comfort of the<br />

tent and headed out into the rain, turning<br />

on our head torches as we went. We left<br />

the start line and the race was on. I very<br />

quickly settled in as a back of the pack<br />

runner. This was OK with me but to be<br />

fair, I had no choice. There were some<br />

incredible athletes in the event and I<br />

had only decided to enter 6 weeks prior.<br />

I hadn’t trained long enough or hard<br />

enough to deserve to be anywhere close<br />

to the front. The point of me being there<br />

was to overcome a fear and have an<br />

adventure which would take me further<br />

over my home mountains than I had<br />

been before.<br />

The dark start meant that the gradient<br />

in front of me couldn’t become<br />

overwhelming. It broke down the course<br />

into sections only as large as my head<br />

torch would allow. I powered on upwards<br />

for the first 5km until I popped out of the<br />

bush line where my protection from the<br />

weather rudely disappeared. The wind<br />

was cold, the rain wet and as I made my<br />

way higher and closer to the summit it<br />

got worse and the rain turned to snow.<br />

The ground went from wet to white.<br />

My hands grew ridiculously cold and I<br />

watched my legs turn purple. My gloves<br />

which were already wet now started to<br />

freeze and I lost feeling in my hands. I<br />

pushed on and finally arrived at the top<br />

to be greeted by the smiling race officials<br />

and LandSAR team. They cheered me<br />

on and we shared some banter as I<br />

shuffled past them. By this time my legs<br />

had gone numb and foot placement<br />

became tricky.<br />

I carried on along the ridge line and<br />

started down the first 1000m descent,<br />

enjoying the respite from the cold biting<br />

wind. It was slow going and probably<br />

the hardest section of the race for me.<br />

What was already a very long, technical<br />

section of track had been turned into<br />

a mudslide from all the rain. I did a<br />

mixture of slow sliding and controlled<br />

ungraceful falling from tree to tree. My<br />

shoes became heavy and caked in mud<br />

negating all of the grip on the undersole.<br />

I couldn’t imagine how I was going to get<br />

back up this track.<br />

At the bottom I reached the Wharfedale<br />

hut, the first of 3 hut visits for the day.<br />

I was greeted by the most cheerful of<br />

ladies wearing tutu’s ready to tick my<br />

#16 off the list. They offered all manner<br />

of food, drink and encouragement. After<br />

a quick selfie with them, because well,<br />

priorities, I headed off. I still had a long<br />

way to go. The gradient gave only brief<br />

respite before the next climb began and<br />

I cannot explain how relentless this felt.<br />

I could see no competitors either in front<br />

or behind me and I felt a strange sense<br />

of isolation. I’m no stranger to being in<br />

the bush alone and normally love it but<br />

today wasn’t like other days. Every now<br />

and again panic would rise as I thought<br />

about how much more of the course<br />

there was to go and this time the daylight<br />

allowed me to see the track in all its<br />

disgustingly steep glory. One foot in front<br />

of the other is all I could keep telling<br />

myself.<br />

A passing runner said it was only 20<br />

minutes to Black hill hut where I would<br />

do another check in. Thank goodness, I<br />

was just about losing the will to live with<br />

this ever continuing hill. I tried to listen to<br />

an audio book, my normal go to when I<br />

am in the hills, but unable to concentrate<br />

I turned on some music instead. This<br />

was good, this was getting me back into<br />

the rhythm.<br />

On the next descent my knees started<br />

to hurt. They are a work in progress and<br />

I hadn’t had enough time to strengthen<br />

them as much as I would have liked<br />

in preparation. This slowed me down<br />

considerably but I kept on plowing on<br />

trying to ignore the pain and accept<br />

it as a partner that would accompany<br />

me on and off for the next few hours.<br />

Fortunately it was only the steep<br />

downhill sections that caused me pain,<br />

unfortunately the steep sections in this<br />

marathon are plentiful.<br />

I reached the Wharfedale hut for the<br />

second time and ran through as quickly<br />

as I could saying a farewell to my tutu<br />

adorned friend’s and set off to tackle the<br />

last climb of the day. It was that blasted<br />

mudslide again. I dug my poles in time<br />

after time and hauled myself up that<br />

section, it was utterly exhausting.<br />

Once at the top of Mt Oxford for the<br />

second and final time I knew that short<br />

of some catastrophe I was actually going<br />

to cross the finish line and earn my<br />

completion medal. Phew!<br />

I began my final descent and hello knee<br />

pain, you’re back again! Thankfully by<br />

the last gently descending 4kms it all<br />

but disappeared and I was able to get<br />

into a lovely pace on tracks that felt<br />

comfortingly familiar. I smiled to myself<br />

and suddenly felt disappointed that the<br />

race was almost over.<br />

Finally I could see the finish line. The<br />

crowds had long gone home by this point<br />

so there weren't many people around<br />

it. Slow and steady clearly doesn’t win<br />

the race but it does complete it. As I<br />

ran across the line to the cheers of<br />

my children, husband and friends and<br />

accepted my completion medal I knew I<br />

would do it all again one day.<br />

Out of 45 people who completed the<br />

marathon course this year, only 7 of<br />

those were women. I challenge you<br />

mums out there to change this. We<br />

deserve to be out there too, we deserve<br />

to take the time to make our mind and<br />

bodies fit, strong and healthy. We owe it<br />

to ourselves to find and overcome new<br />

challenges and we owe it to our children<br />

too. Your best self will also make you the<br />

best mother and role model you can be.<br />

So shed that guilt and don’t do it despite<br />

your children, do it because of your<br />

children.<br />

Follow vicky on Instagram<br />

@wild_vs-mumma<br />

The Top of Mt Oxford gave harsh weather conditions on the day. Snow and ice on the ground, falling snow, freezing temperatures<br />

and limited visibility.<br />


The pure joy<br />

of <strong>Adventure</strong> racing<br />

I was first introduced to <strong>Adventure</strong> racing back in 2008 when<br />

a friend stumbled across an advertisement for the Autumn<br />

Challenge. It was a women’s only event, organised by 5x<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> Racing World Champion, Nathan Fa’avae. What<br />

appealed to us back then, was the idea of challenging ourselves<br />

across a range of activities, but unlike other multi sports,<br />

adventure racing was all about teamwork, and that struck a<br />

chord.<br />

Our team of three were from different parts to the country and<br />

we followed a training programme laid on by Nathan and his<br />

team and caught up once a month to train together. Another<br />

appeal of the race was the fact that it was held in remote parts of<br />

the country and racing was done in the “real” outdoors; rafting,<br />

navigating and mountain biking through some rugged terrain.<br />

I remember one of my first surprises turning up on race day<br />

being the variety of women that had chosen to take part. I had<br />

wrongly assumed that this type of adventure would be for the<br />

hard core mountain women, how wrong I was. <strong>Adventure</strong> racing<br />

had attracted women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and from all<br />

over the country.<br />

And to answer any niggling questions, no, you<br />

don’t have to be a fitness freak to take part.<br />

There are a range of length of races to choose<br />

from, that cater from everything to the novice to<br />

the pros, the only difference between them being<br />

the length it takes to finish. That means that<br />

no matter what your ability level, you all get to<br />

experience the same challenges.<br />

"<strong>Adventure</strong><br />

racing had<br />

attracted<br />

women of all<br />

ages, shapes<br />

and sizes, and<br />

from all over<br />

the country."<br />

Roll on to 2021 and adventure racing is the new<br />

trend… In the 70’s it was running, in the 80’s<br />

it was triathlon and in the 90’s mountain biking<br />

ploughed on to the scene. But if popularity<br />

is measured by the number of races and the<br />

number of participants, adventuring racing it the ‘big’ new thing.<br />

Bigger still is women specific adventure races.<br />

Women specific races sell out within minutes of opening. So<br />

what is it that keeps everyone coming back? As I was putting this<br />

article together and collecting photos from past events, the thing<br />

that really stood out to me was the pure joy on people’s faces.<br />

From having since competed in numerous races myself, I can tell<br />

you that these images are truly a reflection of the feelings while<br />

competing. Sure there are moments when you are wishing there<br />

were no more hills to climb, but 90% of the time, it’s a blast.<br />

Since my first adventure race back in 2008, I’ve taken part in<br />

quite a few and loved every one of them. We have rafted, paddle<br />

boarded, kayaked, hiked, biked, clay bird shot, abseiled, swam,<br />

solved riddles, the list goes on. Each event has a different flavour<br />

but each focuses on teamwork and challenging yourself, rather<br />

than where you are placed in the race. We have got to immerse<br />

ourselves in some of the most beautiful parts of our country and<br />

meet some incredible people along the way.<br />

Since Nathan opened adventure racing up to the masses with his<br />

Autumn Challenges, there are now a plethora of races to choose<br />

from around the country. Each year Nathan and his wife, Jodie,<br />

run the Spring Challenge, both in the North and the South Island,<br />

each year at a different location. This year the Spring<br />

Challenge North will be held in the Hawkes Bay and<br />

the Spring Challenge South in Greymouth.<br />

Another event we are looking forward to competing<br />

in is the Wander Women race held in Russell later<br />

this year. It will be the first time we’ve done this<br />

event, but going on the other events run by Soaked in<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong>, which we took part in earlier this year, I am<br />

sure this will be just as awesome.<br />

It would be impossible to list every adventure event<br />

available, so let your fingers do the walking and<br />

google search adventure races in your area and I am<br />

sure you will find something to suit. So get out there,<br />

get involved, and we’ll see you there...<br />


Spring Challenge South - Greymouth:<br />

October 1st-3rd 2021<br />

Spring Challenge North - Hawkes Bay:<br />

October 15th-18th 2021<br />

www.springchallenge.co.nz<br />

Wander Women <strong>Adventure</strong> Race - Russell:<br />

13th November 2021<br />

www.soakedinadventure.co.nz<br />

Spirited Women’s North - Hawkes Bay:<br />

25th - 27th February 2022<br />

Spirited Women’s South - Wanaka:<br />

1st - 3rd April 2022<br />

www.spiritedwomen.co.nz<br />

Top to bottom: Spring Challenge / Spirited Women's / Soaked in <strong>Adventure</strong> / Wander Women <strong>Adventure</strong> Race<br />

The rafting section of the Spring Challenge<br />


Belinda Stuart<br />

Making colourful merino in NZ<br />

Belinda Stuart grew up in a small<br />

town in Indiana known for its flat<br />

expansive horizon, sprawling<br />

corn fields, and extreme seasons.<br />

“Keeping fit was character building,”<br />

she recalls, “Running at 5am to<br />

avoid the summer heat, or having ice<br />

covered eyelashes running through<br />

the snowy winters.<br />

Around the age of 19 Belinda started<br />

traveling. University included a term<br />

of study in Europe and later a brief<br />

trip to a glass studio in New Zealand<br />

pursuing a working apprenticeship.<br />

After discovering the rich creative<br />

culture and easy climate of Nelson,<br />

on her return to Indiana Belinda wrote<br />

letters every week until finally being<br />

offered a job. In 1997 almost 8 weeks<br />

after finishing her degree, Belinda<br />

left her family and home in Indiana<br />

to start an adventure unaware that it<br />

would last for so long.<br />

Belinda's apprenticeship at the<br />

Höglund's glassblowing studio lasted<br />

4 years. In that time she joined a local<br />

running club to meet new faces and<br />

learn the area. Nelson is a magical<br />

place surrounded by trail covered<br />

hills. "I felt spoiled being able to wear<br />

shorts while running outside every<br />

day of the year!" In 2001 Belinda left<br />

glassblowing and picked up a less<br />

physical part time job working in a<br />

graphic design office which allowed<br />

more time to focus on training. In<br />

2003 she was selected to travel with<br />

the New Zealand Mountain Running<br />

Team to the world trophy event, then<br />

again in 2004. By her last season<br />

of racing Belinda was a consistent<br />

podium finisher at a national level and<br />

had set a few course records each<br />

lasting for nearly 10 years.<br />

When Belinda retired from chasing<br />

races, it was really only the racing<br />

that stopped. “A number of my friends<br />

were active in the local multi-sport<br />

adventure racing scene and I started<br />

spending my weekends with them<br />

running, mountain bike, and learning<br />

how to keep a down river kayak<br />

upright out in the sea. It was a lot of<br />

fun.”<br />

“It wasn’t until travelling<br />

to visit New Zealand, she<br />

realised that there was a<br />

place in this world where<br />

she finally made sense.<br />

Nelson, New Zealand was<br />

that first port of call. The<br />

rich creative culture, and<br />

very easy climate was a<br />

huge draw card.”<br />

"I saw a huge need<br />

for someone to make<br />

garments that had<br />

all of the practical<br />

requirements for hitting<br />

the trails but were much<br />

more about having fun in<br />

their appearances. Sturdy<br />

enough to hit the ground<br />

at speed, but nice enough<br />

to head out to a cafe."<br />

At that time there was little sportswear<br />

available that was not heavily branded<br />

polyester or drab solid coloured merino.<br />

Having spent years being a billboard for<br />

the shops and brands that supported my<br />

racing, I saw a need for someone to make<br />

a garment designed to go out and play.<br />

Sturdy and comfortable, yet suitable for a<br />

coffee date."<br />

Yank was set up as a company in 2012<br />

and research commenced, working<br />

out how to turn an idea into a garment.<br />

Everything had to be put aside for a few<br />

years while navigating the challenges<br />

of early motherhood. When family life<br />

finally settled into a manageable rhythm,<br />

Belinda’s vision was rekindled and she<br />

started drawing ideas through the wee<br />

hours of the night after her family had gone<br />

to bed. “Yank was literally started from a<br />

tiny office under the staircase in my home.”<br />

By March 2019 the first collection of shirts<br />

were made and the website went live. Yank<br />

merino was born.<br />

Yank merino clothing features Belinda’s own<br />

original designs which are printed directly<br />

onto the fabric. Garments designed to be<br />

comfortable and fun. “It sounds selfish when I<br />

admit that my target market has always been<br />

me. The first time a returning customer put<br />

into words my reasoning to start Yank I was<br />

blown away. That was only the beginning.<br />

Since then I have received many messages<br />

of appreciation and relish in stories about<br />

friendships that have started because of<br />

something as simple as a colourful merino<br />

shirt that was made in New Zealand.”<br />

Still being fairly new to the market Yank is<br />

technically a one woman band. "I have a<br />

small network of amazing skilled hands who<br />

I contract certain parts of the making process<br />

to. All of them also small independent New<br />

Zealand businesses."<br />

“Yank merino clothing features<br />

Belinda’s own original designs which<br />

are printed directly onto the fabric.”<br />

Last year Covid was the source of huge<br />

uncertainty not knowing what the roll on<br />

effects would be like for such a small startup<br />

business. "In all honesty I believe Covid<br />

helped solidify the relationships that I have<br />

with my printing and sewing team. It was<br />

really incredible to be able to keep a slow<br />

but steady stream of work contracted out to<br />

them, making it possible for their businesses<br />

to also keep moving forward."<br />

All images by Virginia Woolf<br />

It was during the First Nation wide lock down<br />

when Yank experienced the first big surge<br />

in sales due to people looking specifically<br />

for goods being made here in New Zealand.<br />

Business has been relatively steady every<br />

since.<br />


“Escape ordinary”<br />

Caring luxury | Local flavour | One of a kind<br />

1191 Pukaki Street, Rotorua<br />

p: +64 7 348 4079 | w: regentrotorua.co.nz<br />

Fix your bike<br />

or fix yourself<br />

We're for the weekend warriors.<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong>rs and adrenaline junkies who are out to push their limits.<br />

And when you push it just a bit too far, our products will get you up and running again.<br />

NeutronComponents<br />


components<br />

neutroncomponents.com<br />



Make time to have adventures<br />

with your friends!


Scarpa Vapor V Rock Climbing Shoe $279.99<br />

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La Sportiva Skwama $299.95<br />

A sensitive, snug fitting, flexible climbing shoe<br />

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HOKA Speedgoat 4 $299.95<br />

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HOKA Rincon 3 $239.95<br />

Delivering the best cushion-to-weight ratio on<br />

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HOKA Zinal $279.95<br />

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Merrell Alpine Sneaker $199.00<br />

Let the retro vibe take over in sneakers so<br />

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The Wildfire Edge GTX is an approach shoe that<br />

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Merrell Antora 2 Gore-Tex $299.00<br />

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Merrell Bravada $229.00<br />

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scarpa ribelle Hd $599.99<br />

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1160g (pair, size 38). Men’s version also available.<br />



Our Alpenrose 2 Mid GORE-TEX® is a dedicated<br />

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68//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />


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Our MTN Trainer Mid GTX is a lightweight alpine<br />

trekking boot with a suede leather upper and a<br />

waterproof breathable GORE-TEX® Performance<br />

Comfort lining. At the ankle, the Flex Collar allows<br />

natural movement and the 3F System provides<br />

flexibility, support and a blister-free fit. Underfoot we<br />

feature a dual-density Bilight TPU midsole and a<br />

Vibram® WTC outsole.<br />


Merrell Tremblant Polar Waterproof $349.00<br />

Designed for frozen winters. This mid-cut boot<br />

takes on cold conditions with super-comfortable,<br />

200 grams of low bulk insulation and a waterproof<br />

lining. Stay warm and dry.<br />


La Sportiva TX5 GTX - Ladies $399.95<br />

High-cut protective comfortable tramping shoe<br />

designed for hikers and backpackers with<br />

heavy loads. Gore-Tex allows waterproofness<br />

& breathablility. 3D Flex system for freedom of<br />

movement.<br />


Meindl Island Lady Rock $699.00<br />

The Island Lady Rock is purpose built for hardcore<br />

multi-terrain tramping. Shock absorbent PU<br />

and Carbon Fibre sole unit, BC Category injury<br />

prevention and ankle support, DiGA-Fix lacing,<br />

Goretex, memory foam padding, and excellent<br />

protective randing. Fit Slim. Weight 720gm.<br />



Rab Amy Hoodie $199.95<br />

Casual and comfortable, our Amy Hoody is<br />

perfect for crisp autumn walks and summer<br />

evenings around the campsite. Easy to wear,<br />

you'll instantly notice the Amy Hoody's soft<br />

texture and reassuring warmth.<br />


Outdoor Research Archangel GORE-TEX® Jacket $999.99<br />

Built for and by alpine climbers for protection from the<br />

elements with 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro and full mobility<br />

with a 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Stretch panel along the<br />

upper back. Features a trim fit, a helmet-compatible hood<br />

with a wire brim, Dynamic Reach underarm panels for<br />

reach without riding up, pit zips for ventilation and packand<br />

harness-compatible pockets. Men’s version also<br />

available.<br />


Outdoor Research Vigor Full Zip Hoodie $199.99<br />

Layer up on your cold-weather adventures. Grid<br />

fleece fabric for warmth combines with thermoregulating<br />

ActiveTemp technology to wick sweat<br />

and manage your body temperature in quickly<br />

changing conditions. Ideal as a midlayer for really<br />

cold days or as an outer layer on cool days. Men’s<br />

version also available.<br />


Rab Vapour-Rise Alpine Light Jacket $299.95<br />

As part of our highly technical Ascent range,<br />

the Women’s VR Alpine Light Jacket comes<br />

with a double-ended YKK VISLON® front<br />

zip, plus a lightweight elasticated hood with<br />

windproof peak. It also features large venting<br />

chest pockets for extra airflow, as well as<br />

elasticated cuffs and an adjustable hem for a<br />

tailored fit.<br />


macpac Women's Névé Three-In-One Reflex<br />

Jacket $599.99<br />

Warm and dry just about anywhere, the Névé’s<br />

inner down jacket and external shell can be<br />

worn separately or simultaneously. Great for<br />

wearing on the snow at resorts, it’s a jacket you<br />

can adjust to every winter adventure.<br />


Merrell Ridgevent Hybrid Jacket $399.00<br />

Stay warm, dry, and responsible. With DownPlus+<br />

insulation made up of 65% responsibly sourced<br />

waterproof goose down and 35% ultra-fine<br />

Primaloft synthetic fibres, it’s your go-to layer of<br />

warmth when you're on the move.<br />


Patagonia Bivy Jacket $459.99<br />

This iconic jacket has some<br />

improvements: The Westernstyle<br />

yoke is still made with<br />

100% recycled nylon fabric, but<br />

the body is now 100% recycled<br />

polyester ripstop insulated with<br />

600-fill-power 100% Recycled<br />

Down. It’s also Fair Trade<br />

Certified sewn.<br />


Macpac Women's Jupiter Hooded<br />

Down Jacket $319.99<br />

Cosy, light, and uncomplicated,<br />

the Jupiter works by using 650<br />

loft RDS duck down to trap your<br />

body’s heat and keep you toasty.<br />

It’s packable, warm and equally<br />

ideal on crisp mornings, cold days<br />

and chilly nights.<br />


Rab Nexus Pull-on $139.95<br />

The Nexus Pull-On is a midlayer<br />

made with stretch fleece for<br />

mobility and comfort - it will<br />

quickly become your go-to<br />

lightweight technical fleece. The<br />

Nexus Pull-On is made with<br />

Thermicstretch fleece, a soft<br />

comfortable fabric in a regular fit.<br />


Rab Kaon Jacket $399.95<br />

Conceived as the next step in<br />

insulated layers, the Women’s Kaon<br />

Jacket employs a combination of<br />

high-loft hydrophobic down, quickdrying<br />

synthetic fill and insulationfree<br />

underarm sections for the ideal<br />

balance of warmth, protection and<br />

movement. Its intelligent zoning<br />

of materials uses 800 fill power<br />

European goose down in the body,<br />

quick-drying Stratus insulation in<br />

the cuffs, shoulders and hips and<br />

Pertex Quantum Air panels under<br />

the arms.<br />


Outdoor Research Archangel<br />

GORE-TEX® Bibs $999.99<br />

Extreme protection from the elements<br />

with 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro and<br />

full mobility with 3-layer GORE-TEX®<br />

Pro Stretch panels where you need<br />

them - on the knees, lower back<br />

and crotch gusset. Other features<br />

include top to bottom zips, adjustable<br />

venting and cuff size adjustments to<br />

fit climbing or ski touring boots. Men’s<br />

version also available.<br />


macpac Women's Chord Softshell<br />

Hooded Coat $299.99<br />

A combination of urban style and<br />

outdoor functionality, the Chord’s<br />

breathable three-layer fabric is warm<br />

and water-resistant. The coat has a<br />

flattering fit, two-way front zip and a<br />

warm fleece lining.<br />


Outdoor Research Blackpowder II<br />

Pants $439.99<br />

Slimmed-down and streamlined ski<br />

pant: Pertex® Shield for waterproof,<br />

windproof performance, a polyester<br />

tricot upper leg lining is soft and<br />

warm against your thighs, a taffeta<br />

lower leg lining adds durability and<br />

comfort to your calves and a heavyduty<br />

scuff guard protects your ankles<br />

for abrasion. Features avalanche<br />

beacon pocket and internal gaiters.<br />

Men’s version also available.<br />


macpac Women's Accelerate PrimaLoft®<br />

Fleece Vest $199.99<br />

Lightweight, warm, and water resistant,<br />

Accelerates are ideal for exercise and<br />

adventure. They’re body mapped for free<br />

movement, filled with PrimaLoft® Silver<br />

Hi Loft Ultra synthetic insulation for core<br />

warmth, and they remain toasty and<br />

packable.<br />


Rab Kinetic Alpine Jacket $499.95<br />

Constructed from recycled Stretch<br />

Knit Proflex fabric with exceptional<br />

breathability of 35,000g MVTR. That is<br />

bolstered with woven reinforcements at<br />

the lower arm for walking; at the cuff for<br />

climbing; and at the shoulder and hip for<br />

backpack straps and harnesses.<br />


Rab Cirrus Flex Jacket $299.95<br />

With its hybrid construction, comprising<br />

micro-baffles, synthetic insulation and<br />

stretch fleece side panels, it can be used<br />

as a soft, breathable midlayer for cold<br />

winter days or it can be thrown over a<br />

t-shirt for a lightweight warmth boost on<br />

chilly summer evenings at the crag.<br />


moa Pania Jacket $199.95<br />

Women’s waterproof jacket – durable,<br />

breathable & windproof. A hiking jacket<br />

to keep you drier for longer! Zip off hood,<br />

seam-sealed, extra high chin guard for<br />

weather protection.<br />





Edelrid Jayne Harness $139.95<br />

An all-round harness specially tailored to the<br />

female anatomy with adjustable leg loops and an<br />

easy-to-center tie-in point.<br />


CamelBak Octane 9 Vest $179.99<br />

The best-in-class Crux reservoir holds 2 litres of<br />

water, but if you need to carry more, stash a Quick<br />

Stow flask in one of the specifically sized harness<br />

pockets. Designed just for women, the harness<br />

allows your gear placement to be customized<br />

with the use of upper and lower pockets so you<br />

can carry your water and fuel where it's most<br />

comfortable.<br />


CamelBak Zephyr Vest 1L $249.99<br />

A dream for ultra-long distance runners<br />

and fast-packers, Zephyr Vest is<br />

engineered with body mapping for optimal<br />

ventilation and designed to perform for<br />

your specific pursuit.<br />


Pivot Switchblade Carbon From $10,495<br />

Beyond All Mountain.<br />

The sequel to the Switchblade story heralds a<br />

new era of all mountain riding, with more travel,<br />

unrivaled versatility and progressive geometry.<br />

It unleashes dominance over enduro inspired<br />

descents, generates speed, and delivers the<br />

finesse needed for power moves on technical<br />

climbs. With a masterfully designed new<br />

dw-link shock layout, riders can optimize<br />

suspension performance like never before. The<br />

all-new Switchblade cleans the impossible,<br />

threads the needle, and delivers the freedom<br />

to explore. From bike park flow trails to raw<br />

backcountry routes, the Switchblade amplifies<br />

every rider's skills and excels on any trail.<br />


Macpac Voyager 35L Backpack<br />

$279.99<br />

Sturdy and supportive, the<br />

versatile Voyager is made with<br />

an AirFlo harness inspired by<br />

our larger hiking packs. Its main<br />

compartment can be divided into<br />

two and its straps are shorter to<br />

fit petite frames. The hip belt can<br />

removed if preferred.<br />


Osprey Tempest Pro 28 $349.99<br />

Whether you're heading out for a<br />

demanding day hike or light and fast<br />

overnighter, reach for the women'sspecific<br />

Tempest Pro 28. A lightweight<br />

pack series designed with optimal stability<br />

for dynamic movement even on the most<br />

technical terrain.<br />


Pivot Shuttle e-MTB From $19,995<br />

Potential, Realized.<br />

The Shuttle redefined electric assist mountain<br />

biking. Sleek, lightweight, capable, beautifully<br />

crafted, with the motor and battery seamlessly<br />

integrated into its design, the Shuttle ushered in<br />

a whole new way of riding. Now, the redesigned<br />

Shuttle has the juice to take your riding even<br />

further. A sophisticated carbon fiber chassis<br />

houses an equally sophisticated Shimano<br />

EP8 drive unit and a massive 726 Wh battery.<br />

Progressive geometry, highly evolved dw-link<br />

suspension and a brawny Fox 38 fork offer<br />

unmatched suspension performance and<br />

handling. The Shuttle has the power to take you<br />

where you dream of going, and give you the ride<br />

of your life getting there and back.<br />


Patagonia Pack Out Hike Tights $229.99<br />

New versatile, lightweight-yet-durable tights for<br />

all-around wear. Moisture-wicking with 4-way<br />

stretch and a PFC-free DWR finish, they feature<br />

side drop-in pockets, zippered security pocket,<br />

flat-seamed chafe-free construction, and are Fair<br />

Trade Certified sewn.<br />


zeena clothing Infinidade Capri $89.90<br />

Designed for comfort and performance<br />

our core range will take you from coffee<br />

to nature, gym to the couch. Proudly<br />

made in New Zealand.<br />


zeena clothing Ilimitada Running<br />

Legging $134.90<br />

Share your inner brightness on<br />

the inside. Running leggings with<br />

pockets for your phone, card +<br />

keys. Insanely comfortable and<br />

ready to go<br />


yank snazzy rock star short<br />

sleeve tee $140.00<br />

Merino like you haven't seen<br />

before. 125gsm NuYarn©<br />

Merino with full colour print.<br />

Designed, printed, cut and sewn<br />

in New Zealand<br />


Pivot Trail 429 From $10,795<br />

All-Mountain Attitude, Race Bike Reflexes<br />

The Trail 429 might well be the perfect categorydefying<br />

trail bike. Progressive geometry and<br />

super capable suspension give hard-charging<br />

riders the tools they need to thrive in jumpy and<br />

steep terrain. 120mm of travel has never felt<br />

this plush or this composed. This very same<br />

super-refined dw-link suspension also delivers<br />

whip-crack pedal response and acceleration,<br />

aided and abetted by the strongest, lightest<br />

carbon fibre chassis we’ve ever developed. The<br />

sharp-end of the stick XC capability of this bike<br />

is eye-opening, on par with dedicated flyweight<br />

race bikes. This is a bike that you can shred<br />

with confidence everywhere from 24-hour race<br />

courses to untamed high alpine singletrack.<br />

The Trail 429 is no slouch. But don't just take our<br />

word for it. Geoff Wright from SPOKE magazine<br />

put it to the test and has shared his thoughts in<br />

this Oprah worthy "nothing is off-limits" exposé<br />

into the ins and outs of this versatile All-Mountain<br />

one bike wonder.<br />



Rab Alpine 600 Womens Sleeping Bag $699.95<br />

The Alpine Pro range is for those looking to<br />

balance warmth, weight and comfort. Designed<br />

for year-round mountain use, the Women’s<br />

Alpine Pro 600 is versatile offering protection<br />

and warmth in cold conditions. Its mummy taper<br />

shape is roomy and comfortable with an angled<br />

footbox that keeps your feet warm but still allows<br />

for movement.<br />


Rab Ascent 700 Womens Sleeping Bag $699.95<br />

The Ascent 700 is a versatile mid-weight,<br />

down-filled sleeping bag that provides reliable<br />

protection over three seasons. Its a hard-wearing<br />

high performing sleeping bag you can depend on<br />

for comfort and protection over three seasons.<br />


equip<br />

yourself!<br />

kiwi camping Tuatara SSC Rooftop Tent $1,999.99<br />

Compact and lightweight, the Tuatara Softshell Compact pops<br />

up and folds away in just 2 minutes. Includes telescopic ladder,<br />

200kg weight rating and a blackout PU fly.<br />


kiwi camping Tuatara HS Rooftop Tent $4,999.00<br />

Hard-wearing and spacious, the Tuatara Hardshell is one of the<br />

lowest profile rooftop tents on the market. Includes heavy-duty<br />

frame, 7cm mat and 316 marine-grade stainless steel.<br />


kiwi camping Tuatara 2.5 x 2.5 Awning $399.00<br />

Offers 6.25m² of covered area for sun or rain protection. 200g polycotton canvas awning,<br />

twist-lock design, adjustable height and mounts directly to existing roof rack.<br />


kiwi camping Tuatara Side Wall for 2.5 x 2.5 Awning $119.00<br />

The Tuatara Side wall attaches to our 2.5 x 2.5 awning with hook and loop<br />

tabs for added privacy and protection. 200g polycotton canvas, 2000m aqua<br />

rating and SPF50 UV coating.<br />



Designed to get you home, this kit is all about<br />

convenience – it includes all of the essentials, and<br />

weighs less than a mars bar!<br />


Sea to Summit Flame II Sleeping Bag $649.99<br />

Engineered for women to provide extra warmth<br />

where needed, our Flame is what you reach for<br />

when you need a high performance sleeping bag<br />

but don’t want to be weighed down by one.<br />


Low Prices Everyday<br />

Free NZ Shipping on<br />

orders over $150 for<br />

members<br />

Members Earn Equip+<br />

Loyalty Points<br />

shop online or instore<br />

Gasmate Ducted Camping Heater $549.00<br />

Compact in design, the Gasmate Ducted Camping<br />

Heater allows you to efficiently heat your tent through<br />

the ducted heating system. Features a carry bag for<br />

easy portability.<br />


Kiwi camping Rover Lite 3cm Self-Inflating Mat $99.99<br />

Compact to pack and carry, the Rover Lite self-inflates<br />

in minutes. The tapered design can fit in a sleeping bag,<br />

1830mm long and 550mm wide.<br />


Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated Mat $349.99<br />

Featuring a women’s specific shape that is wider<br />

at the hip and narrower at the shoulder, Exkin<br />

Platinum® and a thicker THERMOLITE® insulative<br />

layer are combined with a loop baffle Air Sprung<br />

Cell construction to create a 10cm thick mat with<br />

an incredibly low weight.<br />


equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

62 Killarney Road,<br />

Frankton, Hamilton,<br />

New Zealand<br />

P: 0800 22 67 68<br />

E: sales@equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />


ack country cuisine $9.29 - $13.89<br />

CHICKEN CARBONARA: A freeze dried chicken<br />

and pasta dish, served in a creamy italian style<br />

sauce. Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)<br />

MUSHROOM BOLOGNAISE (Vegan) Mushrooms<br />

with tomato in a savoury sauce, served with noodles.<br />

Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)<br />


back country cuisine<br />

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PUDDING $12.89: Our take<br />

on chocolate self-saucing pudding, with chocolate<br />

brownie, boysenberries and chocolate sauce. Gluten<br />

Free. Available in regular serve (150g)<br />

ICED MOCHA $4.09: Our mocha is made with<br />

chocolate and coffee combined with soft serve to give<br />

you a tasty drink on the run. Gluten Free. 85g.<br />





Deep Creek Brewing- Sentinel $8.99<br />

STYLE: Hazy IPA AVB: 6.5%<br />

This White Tiger Sentinel is inspired by one<br />

of the four guardians of Chinese mythology,<br />

which represents the autumn season. Enjoy the<br />

beautiful passionfruit and a sprinkling of guava<br />

taste!<br />


Deep Creek Brewing- Sentinel $9.99<br />

STYLE: Sour -Ginger and Peach AVB: 4.5%<br />

Fresh New Zealand peaches combined with the<br />

perfect amount of ginger bring to life this playful,<br />

delicious and refreshing latest addition to our sour<br />

family. Tune in with the Ukulele!<br />


NZ’S NO.1 MEALS<br />



Find out<br />

more <br />

<br />

<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz/pouches<br />

sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power bank<br />

$119.00<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive<br />

battery capacity you can keep all your devices<br />

charged no matter where your adventure takes you.<br />


<strong>Adventure</strong> magazine yearly subscription $80.00<br />

Get your favourite magazine delivered directly to<br />

your door. Six issues per year.<br />



Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and<br />

development in online stores over the past 5 years. Now as we are<br />

made to keep our ‘distance’, online, ecommerce takes on a whole<br />

new meaning and value. We are dedicating these pages to our client’s<br />

online stores; some you will be able to buy from, some you will be able<br />

drool over. Buy, compare, research and prepare, these online stores are<br />

a great way to feed your adventure addiction while you are still at home.<br />

Ultra lightweight running shoes, made by runners. No<br />

matter where the trail takes you, Hoka One One will<br />

have you covered.<br />

www.hokaoneone.co.nz<br />

New Zealands largest independent Outdoor and<br />

Paddle store.<br />

www.furtherfaster.co.nz<br />

Never have a dead phone<br />

again! Because now you can<br />

charge straight from the Sun<br />

with SunSaver. Perfect for<br />

that week-long hike, day at<br />

the beach, or back-up for any<br />

emergency. Check us out at:<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

www.packraftingqueenstown.com<br />

Specialising in<br />

small group guided<br />

packrafting trips and<br />

courses from our base<br />

in Queenstown New<br />

Zealand.<br />

Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor<br />

clothing, footwear and equipment from the best<br />

brands across New Zealand & the globe.<br />

www.bivouac.co.nz<br />

Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel<br />

& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &<br />

casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.<br />

www.merrell.co.nz<br />

www.adventuresouth.co.nz<br />

Whether you enjoy<br />

cycle trails, road<br />

cycling, mountain<br />

biking or walking,<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> South NZ<br />

can help you to explore<br />

New Zealand at<br />

your own pace.<br />

Full-service outfitter selling hiking<br />

and mountaineering gear and<br />

apparel, plus equipment rentals.<br />

Specialising in ski & snowboard<br />

touring equipment new & used;<br />

skis, boards, bindings, skins,<br />

probs, shovels,transceivers &<br />

avalanche packs.<br />

www.smallplanetsports.com<br />

Whether you’re climbing mountains, hiking in the hills<br />

or travelling the globe, Macpac gear is made to last<br />

and engineered to perform — proudly designed and<br />

tested in New Zealand since 1973.<br />

www.macpac.co.nz<br />

Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment<br />

specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place<br />

for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents, outdoor<br />

clothing and more.<br />

www.livingsimply.co.nz<br />

Our motto is “Going the<br />

distance” and we pride<br />

ourselves on providing top<br />

quality outdoor and travel<br />

equipment and service<br />

that will go the distance<br />

with you, wherever that<br />

may be.<br />

www.trekntravel.co.nz<br />

Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional<br />

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.<br />

www.patagonia.co.nz<br />

Offering the widest variety,<br />

best tasting, and most<br />

nutrient rich hydration,<br />

energy, and recovery<br />

products on the market.<br />

www.guenergy.co.nz<br />

Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Stocking an extensive range<br />

of global outdoor adventure<br />

brands for your next big<br />

adventure. See them for travel,<br />

tramping, trekking, alpine and<br />

lifestyle clothing and gear.<br />

www.outfittersstore.nz<br />

Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,<br />

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, <strong>Adventure</strong> Tents,<br />

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.<br />

www.equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

Jetboil builds super-dependable<br />

backpacking stoves and camping<br />

systems that pack light,<br />

set up quick, and achieve<br />

rapid boils in minutes.<br />

www.jetboilnz.co.nz<br />

Supplying tents and<br />

camping gear to Kiwis<br />

for over 30 years, Kiwi<br />

Camping are proud to<br />

be recognised as one of<br />

the most trusted outdoor<br />

brands in New Zealand.<br />

www.kiwicamping.co.nz<br />

Reusable, BPA free water bottles containing a unique 3-in-<br />

1 filtration technology providing clean safe drinking water<br />

from any non-salt water source anywhere in the world.<br />

www.watertogo.co.nz<br />

Our very own online store where<br />

you will find hard goods to keep you<br />

equipped for any adventure.<br />

www.pacificmedia-shop.co.nz<br />

Radix provides freeze dried<br />

meals and smoothies made<br />

with all natural ingredients.<br />

These are perfect for<br />

athletes and adventures<br />

who care about their health<br />

and performance. Gluten<br />

free, Plant-based and Keto<br />

www.radixnutrition.com<br />

options are available.<br />

Get 10% off your first order online.<br />

Excellent quality Outdoor<br />

Gear at prices that can't<br />

be beaten. End of lines.<br />

Ex Demos. Samples. Last<br />

season. Bearpaw. Garneau.<br />

Ahnu. Superfeet.<br />

www.adventureoutlet.co.nz<br />


The<br />


adventurer<br />

Words by Teva<br />

Images compliments of the rest of the squad<br />

'reluctant'<br />

adjective<br />

unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.<br />

An eighteen-year-old princess, who paints his (yes, his) nails<br />

and dyes his hair bleach blonde, embarking on an adventure trip<br />

with his family, sounds like a plot for a bad 80s movie.<br />

After being homebound by Covid-19 for the last year and a<br />

half, most people would love the idea of an adventure in the<br />

deep South, campervanning from Christchurch to Queenstown,<br />

stopping along the way to soak in the incredible outdoors that<br />

New Zealand has to offer; unfortunately, I am not most people.<br />

My past record indicates I would rather be at home in my warm<br />

bed doing next to nothing for days on end, rather than throwing<br />

myself into -5 degree weather and 6am alarms. I have always<br />

been a ‘reluctant’ adventurer, scared of most of what the world<br />

has to offer and fairly snug in the comfort of my own home; so<br />

when I found out that my family and I were making a trip down to<br />

the South Island, I was not so keen. My reluctance was slightly<br />

diminished by the fact that my best friend (and his family) would<br />

be joining me for the ride.<br />

The 4am wakeup time for the 5am flight was the first punch in<br />

the gut, honestly, we were not off to a great start. After being<br />

dragged out of the shower and into the car we made our way<br />

to the airport. I am also not a massive fan of airports; the lines,<br />

the people, the touchy-feely guys who make sure you do not<br />

have a bomb, the list goes on. But finally, we boarded the<br />

plane, this is where my reluctance began to ease. The flight<br />

into Christchurch was like something out of a movie, with snowcapped<br />

mountains ranging as far as the eye can see as the<br />

stunning sunrise kissed the mountain tops. We often forget how<br />

much beauty is in our backyard; people travel the world to see<br />

places equally extraordinary as what can be found with a $39<br />

flight to Christchurch. We landed and the door opened as an icy<br />

gust of South Island wind slapped me across the face with some<br />

serious attitude, while my fingers almost immediately forgot how<br />

to move. Opening my phone to see the weather was at a bitter<br />

-5 degrees, this was my wake-up call, we were not in Auckland<br />

anymore.<br />

The RV Supercentre, where you pick up the Maui, Britz and<br />

Mighty campervans, is only a short distance from the airport,<br />

thank goodness. The process of being assigned our campers<br />

and getting on the road went smoothly and as the 6 camper<br />

convoy pulled out onto the main road you could hear a collective<br />

sigh from all the other road users at the thought of getting stuck<br />

behind our group.<br />

Kale, Jarrah, Teva and Cian in wonder at the frozen rivers running<br />

alongside the Hooker Valley Track, Aoraki Mt Cook<br />


"The worst thing about tramping is<br />

what you have to wear; thermals and<br />

boots, layers on layers, gloves you<br />

have to take off for every photo and<br />

the ugliest woolly hats. I can tell you,<br />

no matter how hard you try, you can't<br />

make that shit look good."<br />

Glentanner Campground in Aoraki, Mt Cook, was our first<br />

destination and we broke up the 304km drive by taking<br />

the scenic route past Rakaia Gorge where we stopped to<br />

explore. The powdered hilltops rising into the clouds made<br />

for a picturesque view that our cameras struggled to capture.<br />

My reluctance was slowly fading as I was more distracted<br />

by the beauty around us. Our day ended at Glentanner<br />

Campground, a site surrounded by Aoraki’s picturesque<br />

mountains and lakes. It sounds cliched but it was as if we<br />

bathed in the beauty of Aoraki, while sitting around the fire<br />

playing board games. The day was long and tiring so the<br />

warmth of the fire and being surrounded by my friends and<br />

family was a great reward, at this point I should mention<br />

Fireballs, which can put a warm glow on any ‘reluctancy’. It is<br />

a beverage we picked up in Canada on a previous trip, where<br />

it is super cheap (not so much here). It is a mixture of whiskey<br />

and cinnamon and the perfect finish to a perfect day.<br />

Aoraki, as impressive as its views are alone, is most known<br />

for its walking tracks through Mt Cook and the surrounding<br />

areas. As I said before, I am not much of an adventurer,<br />

I am a terrible swimmer and can hardly ride a bike, so to<br />

wake up at 6am for a tramp was not my idea of a fun time.<br />

In all honesty, from the comfort of my campervan, Aoraki, at<br />

a glance, was looking fine to me. It looked majestic in the<br />

morning sun, and I was toasty warm on my second cup of hot<br />

chocolate. I am more of a looker than a doer, but my family<br />

and friends are not. We (meaning they) decided we were<br />

walking the Hooker Trail, 3+ hours of it.<br />

The worst thing about tramping is what you have to wear;<br />

thermals and boots, layers on layers, gloves you have to take<br />

off for every photo and the ugliest woolly hats. I can tell you,<br />

no matter how hard you try, you cannot make that shit look<br />

good. I added some new nail polish and my favourite rings but<br />

still looked like one of the kids from the Sound of Music.<br />

Our walk began around 10am (getting that many people<br />

ready takes a while) and luckily, we were blessed with some<br />

of the bluest skies and calm days of 2021. As we ventured<br />

out, we were greeted with waterfalls, glaciers, and the<br />

haunting sounds of avalanches from the mountains around<br />

us. The 3 hours turned into 5 as we stopped to take photos,<br />

play in the rivers, climb little hills, and skim rocks across the<br />

frozen lakes. Around every corner there was something new<br />

and interesting to look at; day two and I am just a little less<br />

reluctant, on a scale of one to ten I’m now about a six.<br />

The day came to an end, and we drove back to Tekapo where<br />

we soaked in the hot pools under clear black star filled skies<br />

that Tekapo is renowned for, a great end to a genuinely great<br />

day.<br />

Day three; involved a slightly slower start (possibly the<br />

Fireballs) as we made our way south towards Omarama<br />

Clay Cliffs. As we drove, we passed Tasman Lake where we<br />

stopped and tasted some of the freshly caught salmon and<br />

looked back at the views over the lake towards Aoraki Mt<br />

Cook, for the first time I felt a reluctance to leave.<br />

We drove through wind and fog and freezing landscapes<br />

which seemed like scenes from Narnia with snow covered<br />

trees and thick blinding fog. Thankfully, my best friend was<br />

driving so I got the chance to really take in and soak up the<br />

views. Once we regained vision after getting through the fog,<br />

we made our way towards the Clay Cliffs. The cliffs towered<br />

over us as we walked through what looked like a part of<br />

Bryce Canyon (minus the snakes) in America, which I had<br />

reluctantly been to before. It catches you off guard, especially<br />

for someone who has travelled a lot, how much New Zealand<br />

has so many snippets of other places. If you were to see a<br />

photo of the Clay Cliffs you would think it was somewhere<br />

straight out of Colorado.<br />

Top row: Skimming stones at Rakaia Gorge / The flight to Christchurch / It's always better with a mate, Cian Emery and Teva<br />

showing a little man love, Rakaia Gorge<br />

Middle: The whole squad (minus one) on the first of three swing bridges on the Hooker Valley Track, Aoraki, Mt Cook<br />

Bottom: Rakaia Gorge / Jarrah and Julian / The whole squad at Aoraki, Mt Cook<br />

Our campervan convoy, on the road with the whole crew<br />


"Keep in mind, as a reluctant<br />

adventurer, and someone who failed<br />

their restricted license test 4 times,<br />

driving an ATV where your life is<br />

in your hands was not on the top of<br />

my to-do list."<br />

The final part of the drive took us over Lindis Pass, the<br />

highest point in the South Island’s main road system, thus<br />

subject to some heavy snow falls and a history of some<br />

serious crashes. Fortunately the previous weeks snow had<br />

cleared and we experienced a clean ride through into Central<br />

Otago. From the carpark at the top of the pass there are two<br />

short trails taking in great viewpoints of the surrounding area.<br />

Our arrival in Wanaka saw the arrival of rain, the first we had<br />

seen on our trip. Cold and wet, actually lots of wet, meant<br />

outdoor activities were on hold so we decided to drive to the<br />

iconic Cardrona pub. With tales of juicy steaks and mulled<br />

wine around a roaring fire the half our trip passed quickly.<br />

What was also passing quickly were the raging rivers on<br />

either side of the road, which I am sure a day before had<br />

been little more than creeks. We were a little concerned about<br />

the rising rivers but and promised ourselves not to stay too<br />

long. However it turned out our trip would be shorter than we<br />

hoped as the Cardrona Hotel was closed due to flooding. So<br />

back to Wanaka it was and found our new favourite hang out,<br />

Amigos Mexican restaurant, where we replaced mulled wine<br />

with the Mojitos and juicy steaks with equally delicious tacos<br />

and crispy chicken.<br />

Our final day was a whole different story; waking up at<br />

5.30am to be in Queenstown by 8am was indeed a mission,<br />

but a worthy one. The constant rainfall of the previous day<br />

had eased and as the sun began to rise, the rain stopped,<br />

and the skies cleared.<br />

We arrived in Queenstown to begin our quad bike tour, with<br />

“Nomad Safaris”. After wrapping up warm and learning the<br />

ropes we began our adventure up the mountains behind<br />

Queenstown. Keep in mind, as a reluctant adventurer, and<br />

someone who failed their restricted license test 4 times,<br />

driving a quad bike on mountainous terrain in the slippery<br />

snow and mud was not on the top of my to-do list.<br />

After venturing up the mountain to the snowy hilltops of<br />

Queenstown, we looked down upon remarkable views. Sitting<br />

at one of the highest points in Queenstown I began to think<br />

about how lucky we are as Kiwis that we have these amazing<br />

places so close and so accessible.<br />

Once back from our tour, we had time to check out the local<br />

wineries before heading back to the airport, now reluctantly.<br />

This time not because I hated the idea of the airport but more<br />

because I did not want our adventure to finish. I do not know<br />

whether that was because I was away with my best friend or if<br />

the adventures and travels we had been on were begging me<br />

to stay, but all I knew was I was not ready to go just yet. This<br />

trip taught me that New Zealand has a lot more to offer if you<br />

look in the right spots and that no matter how reluctant you<br />

might be to go outside your comfort zone, give it a go, you<br />

might be surprised.<br />

thl is the perfect road trip partner, working to make sure you<br />

have an unforgettable holiday by heading off the beaten<br />

track to explore new and unique adventures. With a number<br />

of centrally located branches in Australia and New Zealand,<br />

thl provides you with the means to get off the grid. Their<br />

campervans come fully equipped with everything you need<br />

to travel in comfort and style and provide all the space<br />

you need to bring along everything for an epic adventure.<br />

With a focus on a continual quest for design enhancement<br />

and innovation to ensure you have the best campervan<br />

experience, thl is there to bring you closer to nature with<br />

its range of motorhomes, suited to all kinds of styles and<br />

budgets. For more info go to: www.maui-rentals.com<br />

Top row: Sunrise at Lake Tekapo / The winter wonderland just north of Twizel<br />

Second Row: The squad at Tekapo / Omarama Clay Cliffs / Quad biking with Nomad Safaris<br />

Third Row: The sun came out and the rain stopped to show Wanaka in all her beauty / The squad at the Cardrona Hotel<br />

Bottom: The scenery in the South Island is simply spectacular<br />


Papua New Guinea<br />

Four reasons to add Papua New Guinea to your bucket list<br />

As the world starts to slowly reopen, and as travellers<br />

start deciding where that first trip back out in this big<br />

beautiful world is, it’s time to consider Papua New<br />

Guinea. One of the most culturally rich countries in<br />

the world, it is home to over 8 million people who<br />

speak more than 800 different languages. It’s hard<br />

to believe that all of this rich culture is right on our<br />

doorstep. Add to that an incredibly untouched natural<br />

paradise, paired with adventures that could even<br />

challenge your wildest dreams.<br />

It’s a place that is so raw and real, that it’s the kind<br />

of country that travellers spend their lifetime trying to<br />

find and hold onto. To give you just a taste of what<br />

you can find in PNG, here are four bucket list items<br />

for the adventurous soul.<br />


Papua New Guinea’s untouched rivers and lakes, and isolated<br />

coastal waters, offer some of the best lures in the world. From the<br />

challenge of catching a ‘lure shy’ Papua New Guinea Black Bass<br />

in remote rainforest-lined rivers, to showing off a prized Dogtooth<br />

Tuna or Marlin catch out at sea, Papua New Guinea is a fishing<br />

enthusiast's dream. With the past 18 months being a write-off, the<br />

fishing stocks have had time to fully replenish - 2022 is set to be<br />

the biggest and best year for fishing.<br />

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally rich<br />

countries in the world<br />


Divers and snorkellers have been coming to Milne Bay<br />

and the Tufi Fjords (yes Papua New Guinea has its own<br />

fjords!) for decades, but culture-seekers have only recently<br />

cottoned on to this unique part of the world. Alotau is the<br />

capital of the Milne Bay region, and plays host to the annual<br />

Kenu and Kundu Festival each November - a lively and<br />

colourful cultural display of war canoe racing and ‘singsings’<br />

(traditional dances).<br />

Year-round you can discover harrowing skull caves,<br />

and can also learn to cook (and enjoy) a Mumu feast (a<br />

traditional meal of local produce cooked in the earth). Up<br />

the coast in Oro Province are the Tufi Fjords, home to the<br />

world’s largest butterfly (the Queen Alexandra Bird Wing;<br />

with wingspans of up to 28cm). Visitor participation in<br />

traditional daily life is welcomed by the local villagers, who<br />

will happily show travellers how to build traditional homes<br />

and canoes from sago palms, and how to hunt and gather<br />

for food.<br />

Fishing on Lake Murray<br />

86//WHERE ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS/#<strong>227</strong><br />

Diving off<br />

Walindi<br />

Plantation<br />





Another perfect wave<br />

Thanks to Papua New Guinea’s world-renowned Surf<br />

Management Plan, the number of surfers on any one<br />

break is capped, so you’ll never be stuck waiting to catch<br />

the perfect wave - plus locals are still able to surf their<br />

own breaks. Surfing is idolised in Papua New Guinea, as<br />

are visiting pro surfers. You’ll be just as likely to see locals<br />

surfing on hand-carved planks of timber, as you will Taylor<br />

Jensen (who won the 2017 Men’s Kumul PNG World<br />

Longboard Championships), or even have the waves all to<br />

yourself!<br />

Walindi, Kimbe Bay<br />

There’s plenty of islands, waterfalls, caves and volcanoes<br />

to explore. The north coast of Papua New Guinea is our<br />

pick for keen surfers, also a renowned fishing, diving /<br />

snorkelling paradise too. Stretching for over 500km, the<br />

northern coastline of Papua New Guinea’s mainland is<br />

as chilled-out as it comes. Here you’ll find sleepy port<br />

towns and seaside villages (like Vanimo, Wewak and<br />

Madang), that offer the perfect respite for those who’ve just<br />

adventured to the nearby highlands or Sepik River. Spend<br />

the day paddling across aqua-clear waters to nearby<br />

deserted islands, explore local caves and waterfalls, or<br />

tuck into some fresh locally-caught seafood.<br />


New Britain and New Ireland islands in the Bismarck<br />

Sea are popular with divers, surfers, history buffs and<br />

adventure seekers alike. These two easy-to-get-to islands<br />

are perfect for first-time visitors to Papua New Guinea. In<br />

West New Britain Province (accessible by flight to Kimbe),<br />

you can hike to the top of the active Gabuna Volcano<br />

crater, relax in a natural spa-like thermal hot river, or visit<br />

the local firefly trees at night and see the rainforest light up.<br />

At the other end of the island in East New Britain Province<br />

(accessible by flight to Rabaul), a world of history awaits;<br />

from hidden Japanese WWII war tunnels and Admiral<br />

Yamamoto’s famed buker, to the ash-covered remains<br />

of old Rabaul town (destroyed by the nearby Mount<br />

Tavurvur volcanic eruption of 1937). And over on New<br />

Ireland (accessible for flight to Kavieng) you can go on a<br />

5-day cycling adventure, travelling down the length of the<br />

260km mostly-flat Bulominski Highway, stopping to rest at<br />

traditional village homestays along the way.<br />

West New Britain's hot thermal river<br />

As the world starts to slowly reopen, and as travellers we<br />

make more conscious decisions about where we want to<br />

travel to next, we pose the following question – how<br />

about travelling to Australia’s closest neighbour?<br />

Remote natural beauty and rich diverse culture abounds<br />

right on your doorstep.<br />

Find your remote at www.papuanewguinea.travel

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Meet Mayumi Green<br />

Avid <strong>Adventure</strong> Seeker, Lover of Nature and Community Leader<br />

Founder of Vanuatu inbound adventure<br />

tour operator, Wrecks to Rainforest,<br />

Mayumi Green is a trailblazer in<br />

adventure tourism in Vanuatu, and an<br />

avid adventurer in her own right. She<br />

founded Wrecks to Rainforest to create<br />

tailor-made packages for adventurous<br />

travellers seeking unique and exciting<br />

adventure experiences in remote parts of<br />

Vanuatu.<br />

Mayumi’s knowledge of Vanuatu and its<br />

people stems from her travels all over<br />

Vanuatu’s islands, including Tanna, Efate,<br />

Malekula, Pentecost, Ambrym, Mota Lava,<br />

Rah, Vanua Lava, Gaua, Torres islands,<br />

and in Espiritu Santo where she resides.<br />

Aside from helping visitors to have<br />

adventures in wild Vanuatu, Mayumi’s<br />

business has helped many small<br />

businesses and communities in remote<br />

parts of the country to earn income and<br />

get valuable experience hosting adventure<br />

tourists from all over the world.<br />

Mayumi Green first arrived in Vanuatu<br />

in 1988 from Tokyo for what was meant to be a two<br />

day holiday. Her then boyfriend, Kevin, had just arrived<br />

from Australia to set up his Bokissa Island resort dive<br />

business. The pair had met in Brisbane and Mayumi<br />

The editor of <strong>Adventure</strong>'s first<br />

encounter with Mayumi was when<br />

she featured on the cover of<br />

Ocean Action<br />

Image by Andy Belcher<br />

(the groper was called Boris)<br />

had subsequently returned to Japan. In<br />

Port Vila, Mayumi was introduced to the<br />

owners of Bokissa Island Private Resort<br />

and received an on-the-spot job offer. She<br />

was asked to co-manage the resort with<br />

Kevin, and they flew to Espiritu Santo the<br />

next day to find the resort hosting just the<br />

staff and two guests.<br />

Coming from fast-paced Japan, Mayumi<br />

didn’t quite know how she would cope<br />

living on a small island where the pace<br />

of life is glacial by comparison. However,<br />

as years went by, she quickly fell in love<br />

with Vanuatu’s way of life, its cultures,<br />

its nature and the timelessness of the<br />

landscape.<br />

After managing Bokissa Island Private<br />

Resort for just over two years, the pair<br />

decided to run their diving business on<br />

the island full-time as their business grew.<br />

Mayumi and Kevin married and lived on<br />

Bokissa for six years before moving to<br />

mainland Santo in 1994.<br />

In 2005, inspired by explorer Glen Russel’s story about the<br />

Lisepsep, tiny, mischievious and mythical spirit beings who<br />

supposedly live in the jungles of northern Vanuatu, Mayumi<br />

started trekking into the jungle, fascinated.<br />


Rom dance in Ambrym<br />

"Currently, Mayumi is focused on her Big Heart Island<br />

Vanuatu charity project with an aim to rebuild 40<br />

kindergartens that were destroyed last year by severe<br />

tropical cyclone Harold which tore through southern<br />

Espiritu Santo and nearby islands."<br />

Having worked as an inbound tour operator for divers,<br />

she saw a gap in Vanuatu’s market for adventurous<br />

travellers looking to get off the beaten track, and so she<br />

started her tour business, Wrecks to Rainforest, in 2008,<br />

based out of Luganville, Espiritu Santo Island.<br />

Since then, Mayumi has helped countless guests to<br />

experience the best adventures Vanuatu has on offer,<br />

centred around nature, culture or people. She has<br />

escorted visitors to places few local people have seen, let<br />

alone any overseas visitors.<br />

Places on Wrecks to Rainforest’s adventure itineraries<br />

include the rugged interior of Espiritu Santo, home<br />

to Vanuatu’s tallest mountain, the 1879m-high<br />

Tabwemasana and its surrounding cloud montane<br />

forest; the Dog’s Head Trail and the Man Bush Trail on<br />

Malekula Island, the last home of Vanuatu’s cannibals;<br />

the strenuous trek across the ash plain of Ambrym Island<br />

to its twin active volcanoes, Benbow and Marum; Gaua<br />

island and its active volcano, Mt Garet, surrounded by a<br />

deep crater lake and Siri Waterfall, the highest waterfall<br />

in the Pacific Islands; and the living, breathing customs<br />

and traditions of the people of Tanna Island.<br />

Wrecks to Rainforests specializes in customised<br />

packages and can organize different tours to suit different<br />

tastes, including soft adventure. Wrecks to Rainforests<br />

offeres its South Santo <strong>Adventure</strong>, which is a full day<br />

tour that starts with a pick up right from your Luganville<br />

accommodation. You will then be taken on a sightseeing<br />

adventure across the Navara River to the Sefnanarae<br />

waterfall. At the Navaka river mouth, you will be treated<br />

to a picnic lunch on Ipayato beach before a cool off at<br />

the Taffuntari waterfall. The price for the full day including<br />

transfers, entrance fees and lunch is Vt50,600 (NZD650)<br />

for a whole 4WD with driver for up to eight people. Other<br />

tours that can be organized around Espiritu Santo include<br />

the Millenium Cave Tour, a half-day tour to the Tuffuntari<br />

Waterfall, Narango view, Tangoa Blacksand Beach and<br />

other sites, and a half-day tour to the Loru Protected Area<br />

in East Santo.<br />

Currently, Mayumi is focused on her Big Heart<br />

Island Vanuatu charity project with an aim to rebuild<br />

40 kindergartens that were destroyed last year by<br />

severe tropical cyclone Harold which tore through<br />

southern Espiritu Santo and nearby islands. Each new<br />

kindergarten building is designed to be cyclone-proof and<br />

will cost two million vatu each (NZ$26,000). Mayumi’s<br />

friends in various countries and here in Vanuatu have<br />

helped to raise Vt700,000 (NZD9,000) so far. To donate,<br />

please visit the Big Heart Island Vanuatu on Facebook<br />

www.facebook.com/bigheartislandvanuatu<br />

vanuatu.travel<br />


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