Adventure #231

Survival issue

Survival issue


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adventure<br />

where actions speak louder than words<br />

ISSUE 231<br />

APR/MAY 2022<br />

NZ $10.90 incl. GST<br />

survival<br />


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How quickly things can change<br />

I decided to go to the Central Plateau for a few days biking, hiking<br />

and fishing, but first dropped my son off at the airport and headed<br />

south. The following morning, I woke and felt a bit hungover, but<br />

had only a few beers with the neighbours. This wore on and I was<br />

lethargic, and had a bit of a headache, evidently called a mailize.<br />

As evening drew on my temperature soared, accompanied by<br />

shaking, a sore throat and vomiting. This happy experience lasted<br />

for about two days, then slowly passed. My weekend trip was now<br />

extended to ten days of isolation.<br />

How quickly things can change!<br />

As my covid symptoms subsided, at the other end of the island,<br />

what I considered had died with rugby politics and apartheid,<br />

exploded outside of parliament. My views on the vaccine and<br />

mandates had nothing to do with how disappointed I was to see<br />

the escalation of violence and destruction. I am all for democratic<br />

protest, I support people’s right to choose but regardless of where<br />

you stand on mandates or politics, it was heart-wrenching to see<br />

kiwi police in riot gear and kiwi protesters setting fire to tents,<br />

throwing rocks and bottles at the police. This is not who we are.<br />

How quickly things can change!<br />

As the Wellington protest drew to its disappointing conclusion,<br />

on the other side of the world, Vladimir Putin and the Russian<br />

government decided to invade Ukraine. Once again regardless of<br />

your politics nobody wants to see this type of world aggression.<br />

To make it worse was Putin’s statement, which was an unmasked<br />

subtle nuclear threat, when announcing the military operation in<br />

Ukraine, he said: "Whoever tries to hinder us ... should know that<br />

Russia's response will be immediate. And it will lead you to such<br />

consequences that you have never encountered in your history."<br />

This was followed by US President Joe Biden’s aggressive<br />

response: He stated the US had “an unwavering resolve that<br />

freedom will always triumph over tyranny". In an hour-long<br />

address to lawmakers in the US he said: "Putin's war was<br />

premeditated and unprovoked. He rejected repeated efforts at<br />

diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO wouldn't respond. And<br />

he thought he could divide us here at home." He - added: "Putin<br />

was wrong. We were ready!”<br />

Russian nuclear forces are now on high alert, a world that has<br />

been nuclear-free for what seems like forty years suddenly is now<br />

threatened with mass destruction on a scale as Putin says, ‘has<br />

never been seen before’.<br />

How quickly things can change!<br />

Now that all may seem dire, and in keeping with the survival<br />

issue, but my point here is ‘’things change quickly’’; your health,<br />

your country and even the world. So, it is paramount for us to be<br />

in the present. Do not put things off till tomorrow, or till retirement,<br />

or till you have more money, or till you have more time or you<br />

are fitter. Get out and enjoy, experience, embrace every moment<br />

available to you. Our only non-renewable asset is time, and the<br />

time for us all to live and experience all that life can offer is now.<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> magazine is full to the brim with activities, adventures,<br />

and experiences; it is our hope that you will be motivated to get<br />

out and do as much as you can, live for the now!<br />

On a final, more positive note: as covid still impacts us all, as the<br />

protestors look for other platforms and as Russia makes the world<br />

unstable. It won’t be forever. Things change quickly!<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

your <strong>Adventure</strong> starts with Us<br />

23 Locations Nationwide | www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 | adventure@radcarhire.co.nz

page 10<br />

<strong>#231</strong><br />

contents<br />

Image by Eric Berger/Red Bull Image by Eric Skilling<br />

Image by Beilmann/WSL<br />

page 34<br />

page 78<br />

10//Kelly Slater<br />

the survivalist<br />

16//Gertrude Saddle<br />

exploring home with Paige Hareb<br />

22//Dance with the Devil<br />

avalanche survival<br />

34//Mt Taranaki Summit<br />

on a perfect day<br />

40//The Often Forgotten Item<br />

the emergency shelter<br />

44//Tenkara<br />

fishing from heaven<br />

48//Alex Honnold<br />

the soloist<br />

52//E-mountainbike <strong>Adventure</strong>s<br />

using technology to access history<br />

56//Trails of the Mackenzie<br />

a paradise for connecting with nature<br />

62//Legendary Mackenzie<br />

your 2022 adventure bucket list<br />

76//<strong>Adventure</strong> Travel<br />

Japan | Tahiti | Rarotonga | Vanuatu<br />

plus<br />

64. gear guides<br />

96. active adventure<br />


www.facebook.com/adventuremagnz<br />

adventuremagazine<br />

www.adventuremagazine.co.nz<br />

Nzadventuremag<br />



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It is very rare to see Kelly Slater show<br />

emotion. However, this moment, as he<br />

clinched his 56th career win, was like no<br />

other. Kelly has not only survived a 35 year<br />

professional surfing career, he has blitzed it.<br />

But what made this moment so special? Less<br />

than a week after this photo was taken, Kelly<br />

Slater turned 50 years old, quite an anomoly<br />

in the world of professional surfing. Up against<br />

a field of athletes, most of who were not even<br />

born by the time he won his first few World<br />

Titles, Kelly showed he still has what it takes<br />

to hold the number one spot in the world,<br />

despite his chronological age.<br />

Kelly's rare public display of emotion goes to<br />

show the depth of his dedication to a sport<br />

that he has excelled in over four decades.<br />

A rarely emotional Kelly Slater after he beats Seth Moniz in the Final at the Billabong Pro Pipeline<br />

on February 5, 2022, making him No.1 in the world, a week before his 50th birthday.<br />

Photo by Brent Bielmann/World Surf League<br />

For more on the ultimate survivor that is Kelly<br />

Slater, see page 10.<br />


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Steve Dickinson<br />

Mob: 027 577 5014<br />

steve@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


Lynne Dickinson<br />

design@pacificmedia.co.nz<br />


subscribe at www.pacificmedia-shop.co.nz<br />


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


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@adventurevanlifenz<br />


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“Some people call me<br />

obsessive, or driven,<br />

or lucky or whatever,<br />

I’m all of those things,<br />

shouldn’t we all be?”<br />

When we think of survival we think of the life and death situations, which Slater has faced his<br />

whole surfing career, but the flip side of that is surviving a sport geared towards youth in an<br />

ever-changing environment, and not only surviving a 35 year career but dominating a sport like<br />

no other athlete on earth.<br />

On the 6th of February 2022, Slater paddled out into giant waves at Pipeline; it was his 32nd<br />

year on the World Tour and 32nd season surfing at Pipeline. Kelly Slater, a week away from<br />

turning 50, has been competing on the World Tour of Surfing since 1988. He won his first World<br />

Title in 1992 at this very wave when he was 20 years old, before nearly every other competitor<br />

on the tour this year was even born.<br />

Early in the competition Kelly faced 22 year old wild card, local Hawaiian, Barron Mamiya. At<br />

the time Barron was born, in January 2000, Kelly had already won 6 World Titles. So could the<br />

almost 50 year old cut it against the young Hawaiian born, Pipeline local?<br />

For the first half of the heat it looked like Barron was going to be the new blood to replace<br />

the old, but with just seconds to go, and needing a 7.18 to win, the ocean provided and Kelly<br />

pulled into a huge barrel scoring a 9.23 to take the win putting him into the quarter finals. Even<br />

Kelly was quick to acknowledge the new generation chomping at his heels. “Barron is the next<br />

generation out there, it’s just a pleasure to surf against him.” And for a little insight into the<br />

secret to his success. “I don’t know what to chalk it up to, except for spending my life in the<br />

ocean”<br />

Kelly went on to win the event against a 24 year old Seth Moniz, whose father had competed<br />

against Kelly in the early years of his own career. Kelly’s win made him the most decorated<br />

Pipeline surfer of all time, winning there 8 times in his 30+ year career, first in 1992 and finally in<br />

2022, with 11 World Titles in between.<br />

So how has Kelly managed to survive so many years at the top of his sport? He joined the<br />

World Tour in 1988 and in his 30+ year career, spanning 4 decades, he has been ranked in the<br />

top ten for all but 6 of those years.<br />

Kelly paddles out at the Billabong Pro Pipeline,<br />

Image Brent Bielmann/World Surf League<br />



5 years - Major League Baseball<br />

5 years - NBA<br />

6 years - NHL<br />

7 years - NFL<br />

32 years - KELLY SLATER<br />

11<br />


56<br />


At time of print<br />

Kelly taking the drop at the Billabong Pro Pipeline,<br />

Image Brent Bielmann/World Surf League<br />



5,<br />

1,<br />

2,<br />

1,<br />

1,<br />

1,<br />

17,<br />

3,<br />

1,<br />

9,<br />

3,<br />

4,<br />

7,<br />

2,<br />

9,<br />

1,<br />

2,<br />

3,<br />

3,<br />

3,<br />

1,<br />

13,<br />

5,<br />

3,<br />

9,<br />

3,<br />

3,<br />

3,<br />


WORLD TOUR 2022<br />


20,<br />

29,<br />

28,<br />

28,<br />

27,<br />

23,<br />

28,<br />

26,<br />

30,<br />

28,<br />

23,<br />

24,<br />

27,<br />

24,<br />

25,<br />

31,<br />

23,<br />

21,<br />

29,<br />

34,<br />

24,<br />

50,<br />

27,<br />

24,<br />

22,<br />

26,<br />

24,<br />

30,<br />

21,<br />

30,<br />

32,<br />

29,<br />

27,<br />

24,<br />

25<br />

Along with some fortunate physical statistics, a<br />

true passion for the sport and a winning mindset,<br />

the secret to Kelly’s survival is his ability to study,<br />

analyse, revise, adapt, develop and learn from<br />

others and his own mistakes. He is a walking<br />

encyclopedia, whose knowledge of surfing and the<br />

ocean is simply second to none.<br />

Physical Stats: Within every sport there seems to<br />

be an ideal body height, shape and weight most<br />

suitable to that sport. Kelly happens to have the<br />

right physical characteristics to make surfing an<br />

ideal choice. However, although born with a good<br />

platform, Kelly has dedicated his life to eating<br />

healthy and working on both his physical and<br />

mental wellbeing.<br />

Passion for surfing: There is little doubt about<br />

his passion for surfing. He began surfing at a very<br />

young age, an almost escape from a difficult family<br />

situation and in his own words, “I was lucky, a lot<br />

of people get addicted to pills, but I got addicted<br />

to surfing.” He still surfs more than almost anyone<br />

else, purely cause he loves it.<br />

Winning mindset: Kelly exhibits an incredible<br />

focus and realises the importance of opportunity.<br />

No matter how far behind he may appear, he<br />

believes there’s always an opportunity for triumph.<br />

“Most anything I’ve ever set my mind to, I could<br />

accomplish.”<br />

Study: Kelly is always studying; the ocean, his<br />

equipment, what works, what doesn’t. Listen to him<br />

talk post heat and he can discuss each break in<br />

detail, knowing how the shifting patterns will affect<br />

the behaviour and therefore the potential of each<br />

wave. His knowledge of the ocean is second to<br />

none. “Your surfing can get better on every turn,<br />

on every wave you catch. Learn to read the ocean<br />

better. A big part of my success has been wave<br />

knowledge.”<br />

Analyse: No matter who Kelly is surfing against or<br />

what the conditions are he is constantly analysing<br />

each situation. “Well I’m always working on<br />

everything constantly. I never take the approach<br />

that I’m doing as well as I possibly can… I always<br />

think there’s more and I think if you don’t have that,<br />

you are not driven to be better.”<br />

Revise: Kelly once admitted to that fact that he<br />

kept a log of every heat that he lost and would write<br />

what he did wrong. This way he would be sure not<br />

to make the same mistake.<br />

Adaptability: In Kelly’s four decades of surfing,<br />

he has been a part of revolutionary changes in<br />

surfboard design and witnessed the arrival of the<br />

aerial surfing generation. For him to stay relevant<br />

he has had to adapt. “I look at it now, and my<br />

surfing that won my first title would probably only<br />

be good enough to get me 30th place in today’s<br />

competition. It’s not even comparable.”<br />

Develop: Kelly has continued to develop as an<br />

individual. He began making his own fins, and<br />

then his own boards. He spent years developing<br />

his own wave pool, and then gave up a lucrative<br />

sponsorship deal to develop his own clothing<br />

brand. “Some people call me obsessive, or<br />

driven, or lucky or whatever, I’m all of those things,<br />

shouldn’t we all be?”<br />

Fearless: Kelly once remarked, "A Formula One<br />

Driver once said. “You are never as real as when<br />

you might die.” That fear creates an intense focus,<br />

an intense presence. It defaults you to the place<br />

you should be at all times, present, here, not<br />

distracted. It’s like a drug..." Apart from salt water<br />

crocodiles, there's not much that he fears.<br />

Although some names have stayed at the forefront<br />

of their chosen sport, very few have continued to<br />

compete at the elite level against athletes decades<br />

younger than them. Surfing is seen as a youthful<br />

sport and unlike games such as tennis and golf,<br />

the professional surfer is often placed in life<br />

threatening situations when faced with big waves of<br />

consequence, so it’s not just about keeping up with<br />

the physical fitness required to be a professional<br />

athlete but also the mental fortitude needed to take<br />

the risks associated with surfing.<br />

So what’s next for Kelly Slater? As I was writing this<br />

Kelly was wearing the yellow jersey (showing he<br />

was ranked number one in the world) and had just<br />

paddled out at 20ft Sunset. Interestingly enough,<br />

by the time we went to print the yellow jersey had<br />

changed hands three times; from Kelly to the<br />

shoulders of the 22 year old wild card, Barron<br />

Mamiya, who had come so close to taking out Kelly<br />

at Pipeline, and then to 24 year old Kanoa Igarashi.<br />

At time of print Kelly is still ranked number two in<br />

the world!

“I don't mind being<br />

put out to pasture. If<br />

someone's going to<br />

make me look silly on<br />

a wave they're gonna<br />

have to be surfing<br />

pretty good. ”<br />

11x World Champion, Kelly Slater on the road to claiming the win and the yellow jersey<br />

Image Tony Heff/World Surf League


*<br />



Words by Paige Hareb - Images by Lauren Murray<br />

After travelling around the world to<br />

many beaches for the last 15 years<br />

to being “stuck” in New Zealand for<br />

the last two years, I decided to make<br />

the most of my homeland since there<br />

were still so many places I hadn’t<br />

explored. I find that quite common<br />

with Kiwis, always travelling the<br />

world but not their own backyard.<br />


Previous page: Lone camper admires the saddle<br />

Above: Bivvy spot for the night<br />

Right: Walls of schist everywhere you look<br />

With the New Zealand surfing Nationals being held<br />

in Westport in the South Island, I decided now was<br />

the right time to take the opportunity to explore more<br />

of the South. So three weeks prior to the Nationals<br />

I jumped in my newly purchased 4WD truck with a<br />

slick looking Kiwi Camping Tuatara hard shell rooftop<br />

tent. I met Lauren Murray (pro photographer and avid<br />

hiker) in Wellington, we drove onto the Inter-islander<br />

ferry and our South Island adventure had begun!<br />

Of course with my surfboards packed, I was planning<br />

to head to surf breaks on the east and west coast<br />

and do a bit of a loop of the South Island, driving<br />

down the east and up the west. With Lauren being<br />

a keen hiker and always exploring to get “the shot” I<br />

knew we would be squeezing in a few hikes on the<br />

road trip too.<br />

After checking out the Milford Sound area we pulled<br />

into the Gerturde Valley carpark, about 98 km along<br />

the Milford Road from Te Anau. I hopped out of the<br />

car and checked the sign with all the info, the first<br />

words my eyes were drawn to were “experienced<br />

hikers only”. My instant thought was “ah damn I’ve<br />

only done a handful of medium hikes, I’m not sure I’m<br />

prepared for this”. Then Lauren cut my thoughts short<br />

with “Sh*t yeah! I’m so excited! Let’s do this!”<br />

Most people do this 4-6hour return trip as a day hike<br />

but Lauren, being the experienced hiker out of the<br />

two of us, had all the gear including a tiny lightweight<br />

tent, so yes, I was a little nervous this was going to<br />

be my first ever overnight hiking experience (in a<br />

tent) at the top of a random mountain! The first part<br />

was super cool, starting from the bottom of the valley<br />

and walking through a tiny little track surrounded by<br />

lots of green shrubs. Looking up towards where we<br />

were headed, it felt like we were in the centre of a<br />

natural amphitheatre.<br />

I felt this hike had a plethora of variety in terrain.<br />

Starting with thick vegetation, then over 500m-1km of<br />

small to medium size rocks where you really had to<br />

concentrate where you put every step. After crossing<br />

a small river under a waterfall, it then opened up to<br />

scoria, then to huge open faced, steep rock slabs<br />

with some parts having and needing heavy metal<br />

rope to help you up and down. I could definitely see<br />

how if it was wet, ice or a lot of snow that it would be<br />

super dangerous to do. Up and over the ledge we<br />

finally came upon the black lake and chatting with<br />

one passing hiker who was brave enough to have a<br />

quick skinny dip in it.<br />

Another 200 metres or so of navigating more steep<br />

rock faces and some huge rocks, before back<br />

onto half dirt/shrub tracks, we eventually came to<br />

Gertrude’s Saddle! The 360 view was amazing,<br />

looking back down the valley was pretty incredible,<br />

then spinning around 180 to look over another valley<br />

through to Milford Sound. It was a moment’s thought<br />

of “where the hell am I? I feel so small!”<br />



"This was by far<br />

one of my best<br />

adventures yet."<br />

Lauren and I got super excited<br />

that we had finally made it to the<br />

top, started hooting and hollering<br />

like little kids and stripped off our<br />

sweaty hiking gear into some<br />

warmer clothing to prepare for the<br />

night. Then walking up a tiny hill to<br />

feel a little embarrassed by the way<br />

we acted as we realized that there<br />

were half a dozen of other people<br />

up there with the same idea as us to<br />

stay the night.<br />

With the sun setting we explored<br />

around the saddle searching for the<br />

best, flattest and most comfy spot to<br />

set up our tent. In between shrubs<br />

and rocks we managed to find a<br />

small area to set up with of course<br />

an awesome view to fall asleep and<br />

wake up to. We were up at 6am,<br />

packed up quick and had to make<br />

an 8am boat to explore the Doubtful<br />

Sounds, so going down was super<br />

quick and rushed but this was by<br />

far one of my best adventures yet.<br />

I would definitely do this one again<br />

and recommend to most people<br />

wanting a hike and an adventure of<br />

a lifetime.<br />

Getrude Saddle Facts:<br />

7km return trip (4-6 hrs)<br />

Experienced trampers.<br />

Essential safety (DOC)<br />

Only attempt this track if:<br />

1.You are fit and experienced – on<br />

the route you will have to:<br />

• scramble up steep rock<br />

• avoid wet rocks<br />

• cross rivers<br />

• avoid hazards by following<br />

markers<br />

2. The track and weather conditions<br />

are good on the day.<br />

3. You have the right equipment,<br />

including a personal locator beacon.<br />




By Jamie Hareb<br />

“You will never be the same again.” These<br />

words reverberated through my head from my<br />

work colleagues as I was given a farewell. I<br />

have come to understand that as humans we<br />

are in a constant state of change. But on that<br />

last evening, I never quite realised the rites of<br />

passage that I was about to embark on.<br />

I swatted over maps in fine details with my<br />

manager at Franz Josef Glacier Guides. We<br />

discussed all options on the desired route,<br />

emergency procedures, communication<br />

checkpoints and how to use PLB (Personal<br />

Locator Beacon). Everything was set in place.<br />

‘Now the only thing to it, is to do it’.<br />

At the Karangarua River bridge, the sandflies<br />

instantly made themselves’ known as I<br />

disembarked the vehicle. Nothing else in the<br />

world can make you move faster with intention<br />

like that iconic West Coast feeling. It screams<br />

that there no time to dwell on the moment or to<br />

double check your equipment. Shut the door,<br />

locked the car and I was gung-ho. As per all<br />

journeys, I recited a karakia to give praise to the<br />

whenua, to the atua (gods) for protection and<br />

guidance on this hikoi. A calm reminder that I<br />

was delving into a new space and there will be<br />

numerous learnings along the way.<br />

The planned mission included a 9 day solo<br />

perpendicular traverse of the Southern Alps from<br />

the West Coast to Mt Cook Village and back. I<br />

intended to venture up the Karangarua valley,<br />

overcoming 3 mountain passes and return over<br />

the Copeland Saddle out to the road.<br />

The next few days glanced by in a trance of<br />

freedom and wander. It’s always amazing<br />

observing what comes to your mind during times<br />

of pure solitude. In my diary I had written lyrics<br />

from a Fat Freddys’ Drop tune ‘you can change<br />

your mind, but you can’t change your destiny’.<br />

Ironically, on the 3rd day my desired path upriver<br />

had been bluffed out and after a vicious attempt<br />

at ploughing through dense bush, I was forced<br />

to redirect up over Mt Howitt (1958m) and down<br />

to the Horace Walker Hut. What a blessing<br />

that was! It caused my new route to behold the<br />

most epic, insane topography and exposure I<br />

have ever encountered. Traversing the Douglas<br />

glacier and up over the Douglas saddle into<br />

the head of the Landsborough River. Despite<br />

navigating the technical and gruelling terrain.<br />

The sublime nature of these locations reinstates<br />

those longing feelings for seeking wilderness<br />

adventures that the soul craves.<br />

Body was tired. Sleep was healing. A stunning<br />

morning rose, but I was sluggish as I gathered<br />

my gear together. There was one more mountain<br />

ascent before making my way towards Mt.<br />

Cook village. I summoned the energy and<br />

barged up the Rubicon Torrent to the Spence<br />

Glacier, relishing in the glory of a good sweat.<br />

The sun poured over the glistening armchair of<br />

surrounding mountains. Steadfast, I diverted<br />

my route NW as I ventured up a shaded gully<br />

towards Fyffe pass (2226m). Undetected from<br />

my view above was Mt. Montgomery (2340m),<br />

which was basking in the warming midday sun.<br />

I must have been 300m from the top the saddle<br />

when I heard the noise.<br />

“CRACK! Just like<br />

lightning snapping at<br />

the surface. A loud sharp<br />

noise pulsated down into<br />

the 20m wide gut I was<br />

climbing in.”<br />

CRACK! Just like lightning snapping at the<br />

surface. A loud sharp noise pulsated down into<br />

the 20m wide gut I was climbing in. I casted<br />

my gaze above me, only to behold something<br />

unfathomable. Like a dam bursting its banks,<br />

a fierce wave of snow and ice congregated,<br />

tumbling downhill. The deep roaring rumble<br />

grew in volume as it cascaded over the ridge<br />

above me.<br />


An avalanche is a scary sight, even at a distance.<br />

Image by Tatjana Posavec / Pixabay.com

FROM<br />

1999 TO 2018,<br />


742<br />





27<br />


70%<br />

OF THOSE<br />


WERE<br />


I instinctively scrambled up to the highest<br />

vantage point possible, 5-10m above the<br />

bottom of the gully. Danger evaded me for<br />

a brief moment as the ice train whooshed<br />

through beneath me. “Oh epic, this is sick!<br />

I should be videoing this” my mind voiced<br />

at the new visual sensation. However, my<br />

childlike joy was to be short-lived. The<br />

penultimate waves of ice pulsed higher and<br />

higher and whipped me off my feet.<br />

Time went super slow. My mind was going<br />

bonkers. I was now part of this turbulent<br />

roller-coaster. I had recently completed an<br />

avalanche awareness training and I didn’t<br />

need a reminder of the gloomy outlook of<br />

survival once caught in an avalanche.<br />

“Oh shit, this is how people die”. I thought<br />

as I looked at my trajectory below me<br />

towards an outreached rock. “Oh shit, this<br />

is how I die”. A head-on collision loomed.<br />

Squash, crunch and smash I went into the<br />

rock. My body, legs and arms got caught<br />

in a sandwich of ice boulders. I thought<br />

it was all over for me, I was at complete<br />

mercy to the mountain gods. I presumed<br />

that the power of the avalanche would<br />

squish me into the wall like a pestle and<br />

mortar, revealing my secret spice mix to<br />

the mountain vultures. Or the river of ice<br />

boulders would trap my bag or a limb to<br />

hoist me down within its over-turning Ferris<br />

wheel of destruction. My situation was<br />

looking rather grim.<br />

POOF! I couldn’t believe it when I opened<br />

my eyes. I was staring up the mountain<br />

with my feet in the air while still hooning<br />

downhill. As surreal as it was, it was still<br />

a mayday mission. I innately knew I had<br />

to get the hell off this death circus, and<br />

pronto. Somehow, I clambered back<br />

around onto all fours and launched for a<br />

close-by rock outcrop. Here, I clung onto<br />

the rock hanging in suspension above<br />

the avalanche for about a second. My<br />

heart sunk as the rock suddenly dislodged<br />

from its mother and I fell back on to the<br />

motorway of ice. Feeling discouraged, but<br />

fortunate as the speed was slowing down<br />

as the slope flattened off. I fought hard to<br />

wriggle and wrestle towards the edge of the<br />

avalanche. A clearance of safety seemed<br />

within reach. After what seemed hours, I<br />

leaped back onto stable ground.<br />

“ I had recently<br />

completed an<br />

avalanche awareness<br />

training and I didn’t<br />

need a reminder<br />

of the gloomy<br />

outlook of survival<br />

once caught in an<br />

avalanche. ”<br />

How does one merely put into words<br />

the feeling aftermath a dance with the<br />

devil? It would be in the terms of bliss,<br />

nirvana or heaven. Choose any or all of<br />

the above. A comprehensive awakening<br />

to dissolve all issues that one could have.<br />

Nothing else could matter except the gift<br />

of life, something forgotten through daily<br />

normalities. Not that I was thinking of<br />

anything. Just sat there, dripping in blood<br />

gazing out into a wonder of the world.<br />

The magic of those elegant mountains<br />

draped in silky white cloaks whispering<br />

the softest of sweet nothings that day.<br />

The evanescence of sheer wild beauty<br />

in that moment murmured melodies that<br />

encroached the soul.<br />

I didn’t need a doctor to tell me that my<br />

body was impaired. I feared the worse<br />

as I turned my attention to surveying the<br />

damage. I was half-expecting to view a<br />

bone sticking out of my leg, collarbone<br />

to be snapped, rib cage to be crushed or<br />

my foot to be twisted backwards beyond<br />

recognition. Fortunate as I was to nullify<br />

the extremes of these mind marauders, I<br />

was still hurt. There was no hesitation to<br />

understand that I had reached a moment to<br />

press the big red button of the PLB. At that<br />

moment, I had no idea what happens when<br />

the SOS alert gets sent nor had I talked<br />

to anyone that has pressed it before. A<br />

light flashed every 2 seconds and that was<br />

about it. Let the wait begin. I rolled out my<br />

camp mat, pulled on my jacket, whipped<br />

out some dark chocolate and engrossed<br />

my last carrot in some luscious peanut<br />

butter. I only had one thing on my mind that<br />

was to remain with me forever ‘Mountains<br />

are beautiful, but are not worth dying for’.<br />

It took about 20mins for this ecstasy of<br />

adrenaline to subside. It also aligned with<br />

dark mooted clouds beginning to hug<br />

the south-western mountain range. I was<br />

aware of my position still on an avalancheprone<br />

slope half-way up the mountain side.<br />

Surrounded by a mountain barrier in all<br />

directions except the down the extensive<br />

river corridor. Which would estimate to be<br />

a 60km hike for a full-bale body back to the<br />

SH6 road. I had to start moving, to at least<br />

to make a safe camp at a lower altitude<br />

for the night. Gingerly, I tested out the<br />

capability of my body’s facilities, or a lack<br />


View of the Douglas neve adjacent to Mt. Sefton. Which hangs about the Douglas Glacier (covered in moraine).<br />

Looking out to Mt. Thomson from the Douglas Saddle. Mt. Sefton lurking in behind.<br />


“I was feeling<br />

suspiciously guilty,<br />

having committed<br />

the great cardinal sin<br />

of all ‘experienced’<br />

mountaineers. We<br />

continue to promise<br />

ourselves and loved ones<br />

to always return home<br />

safely, avoiding risky<br />

scenarios. Failing to do<br />

so begs the commoners<br />

to question a reckless<br />

maturity.”<br />

Jamie Hareb, Happy and lucky to be alive<br />

of them. The results came in with one ok leg to<br />

stand on and one good arm to put my weight on.<br />

The other limbs faltered at any pressure. I can’t<br />

say that I was moving any faster than a glacier,<br />

never-the-less I was moving. I felt so determined<br />

to overcome this unforgiving terrain that continued<br />

to buckle me.<br />

I vowed to get up straight away every time after<br />

each fall I took. I possessively would set goals at<br />

small distance intervals to reach, 10-15m at a time<br />

before taking a short break to reassess a new<br />

target. Slowly, but surely, I was making progress<br />

downslope.<br />

Time flew by as I was fixated in survival. 2 hours<br />

had gone by before I heard this weird buzzing<br />

noise. It was getting louder and louder. Then I saw<br />

it, a freaking helicopter! I suddenly remembered<br />

(I had totally forgot) amidst my trance of gimp<br />

walking that I called for an emergency pick-up. I<br />

happily stopped dead in my tracks as it hovered<br />

down to meet me at my level. A guy jumped out<br />

and boosted me up into a seat. Whoa! What a<br />

relief! They asked for any serious injuries and how<br />

I was feeling. It almost seemed that the rescuers<br />

were as relieved as I was. They saw where the<br />

beacon was set off and thought they were in for a<br />

3-day body retrieval mission. Those heavy words<br />

lingered over me as I re-adjusted to my newly<br />

safe scenario. Thus, I remained in contemplating<br />

silence for the rest of the flight as the helicopter<br />

navigated in between building storm clouds before<br />

we eventually burst out to the coast.<br />

Medical crews awaited my arrival at Fox Glacier<br />

SAR (Search and Rescue) headquarters and<br />

instructed that I was immediately transferred<br />

to Greymouth Hospital. My manager at FJGG<br />

was there, he had received the distress signal<br />

of danger during his lunch break. Despite the<br />

seriousness of the scene, he was stoked to see<br />

me and pulled out his camera. “Smile”. I don’t<br />

know how it happened, but a cheeky grin emerged<br />

on my face in a reaction for the photo.<br />

Arriving at the hospital was a real reality check.<br />

I wasn’t cold but I was stuck in a frenzy of shock<br />

that seemed to continue for next 24 hours. I was<br />

feeling suspiciously guilty, having committed<br />

the great cardinal sin of all ‘experienced’<br />

mountaineers. We continue to promise ourselves<br />

and loved ones to always return home safely,<br />

avoiding risky scenarios. Failing to do so begs<br />

the commoners to question a reckless maturity.<br />

Why would anyone voluntarily risk their life just to<br />

climb some hills? Around 6.30pm, a phone rang<br />

back in Taranaki of an impending phone call that<br />

no parent would want to receive. It was a nurse<br />

from the Greymouth Base Hospital asking if she<br />

was the mother of Jamie Lee Hareb. Luckily there<br />

wasn’t fatal news but let’s just say it ruined her<br />

evening plans.<br />


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A devise the size of a cell phone allows<br />

people to travel into the outdoors with<br />

some sense of security, knowing that if<br />

something goes wrong, then help will be<br />

not too far away. Working off satellites,<br />

a personal locator beacon has better<br />

coverage than cellphones and has helped<br />

reduce the “search” in search and rescue.<br />

Carrying a personal locator beacon can<br />

help save lives and money. A simple<br />

rescue operation can cost around $10,000,<br />

however when it’s a search and rescue<br />

operation the cost skyrockets into the<br />

$100,000’s.<br />

With any technology, there is the possibility<br />

of misuse. There are plenty of stories<br />

online of people activating their PLB for a<br />

“quick ride home”. In New Zealand, misuse<br />

of personal locator beacons can result in<br />

as little as a warning up to a $30,000 fine.<br />

In 2012, only 109 of the 1700 activations in<br />

Australia were actual emergencies.<br />

In 2013, a tramper was accused of<br />

activating his PLB just to get a ride home.<br />

After a thorough investigation it turned<br />

out the tramper encountered more difficult<br />

terrain than he had prepared for and it was<br />

determined that he would have put himself<br />

at great risk had he ventured further under<br />

the conditions. He was cleared of any<br />

wrongdoing.<br />

There are a variety of devices for use in<br />

an emergency; it is important to know how<br />

to use them and also to remember to use<br />

them ONLY as a last resort.<br />

Rescue Beacons<br />

As with any rescue beacon, you must make sure you know how to<br />

use it before you leave and that you have spare batteries or a way of<br />

charging when you are out in the wilderness. Make sure it is always<br />

on hand, rather than kept at the bottom of your pack, for easy access<br />

in an emergency.<br />

Personal Locator Beacons: PLBS<br />

When activated the PLB will transmit your exact location to emergency<br />

services, who will then do their best to get to you as soon as possible.<br />

They are to be used for life threatening situations only.<br />

Satellite Messenger Devices:<br />

Use satellite systems to send messages or emergency distress<br />

notifications. Good for remaining in contact with friends and family<br />

or allowing people to route track your progress. Can also be used for<br />

emergency situations.<br />

Satellite phones:<br />

Similar to mobile phones but using satellites to connect with phone<br />

networks. Can be used anywhere in the world provided you have<br />

satellite coverage.<br />

When to activate a beacon or satellite message?<br />

If you have tried to use two way communications such as a phone or<br />

radio to talk to emergency services and still feel you life is in imminent<br />

danger, then your distress beacon should be activated.<br />

What happens next?<br />

A signal will be sent to a Cospas-Sarsat 406HMz satellite which<br />

notifies the nearest ground station. This call is then relayed to the local<br />

Rescue Coordination Centre which will arrange a search and rescue<br />

operation. The speed and exact response will depend on your location<br />

and circumstances. You must be prepared to survive in assistance<br />

cannot reach you immediately.<br />

Carrying a PLB has also helped perpetuate the notion that guaranteed<br />

help is just one button push away, but the reality is that not everyone<br />

can be saved…<br />




On December 13th 2012, local Kiwi, Laurie Miller was one<br />

of three men sailing off the Philippine island of Dinagat,<br />

when their 18 meter yacht, Katerina 1, began experiencing<br />

some issues and taking on water. Winds were high, at 60<br />

knots, a heavy 3m swell was running and with the motor now<br />

waterlogged they were concerned the boat would go down<br />

and take the liferaft with it, so they chose to abandon ship.<br />

The three men set off an emergency locator beacon and along<br />

with their two dogs they abandoned the boat and climbed<br />

aboard the inflatable liferaft. With plenty of provisions aboard<br />

along with the comfort of the locator beacon, the men believed<br />

they would not have to wait too long before being rescued.<br />

They initially dropped anchor to prevent the raft tipping but<br />

during the first violent night they rolled twice losing their dog<br />

Spotty along with most of the provisions. All that remained<br />

was some flares and a second locator beacon.<br />

The second night the raft rolled again and they lost the<br />

second dog and the flares. The following day they set off the<br />

remaining beacon. Conditions inside the raft were dire, in<br />

such stormy conditions they were forced to urinate inside the<br />

raft and were left sitting in urinated water up to their waist.<br />

Despite the grim conditions, time seemed to pass quickly,<br />

maybe shock or maybe they just nodded off but on day three<br />

they spotted a ship in the distance. Without flares they were<br />

unable to do anything to attract its attention. All three men<br />

struggled, but Johnny seem to suffer more and became<br />

delirious, trying to take his lifejacket off a couple of times, but<br />

the other two secured him upright to stop him falling into the<br />

water.<br />

It was not until the fourth day that they heard a motor; a local<br />

fisherman had stumbled across the raft and rescued the<br />

three men and they began the 100km journey back to land.<br />

Unfortunately not all survived. Johnny, suffering from severe<br />

dehydration and organ failure, was declared dead by the<br />

hospital staff.<br />

So what went wrong? What happened to the locator beacon<br />

signal? Where was the rescue?<br />

Could the fact that the men were caught out in a tropical<br />

cyclone that claimed the lives of 41 people have been avoided?<br />

The question as to whether<br />

or not they should have<br />

abandoned the boat is possibly<br />

easier to answer in retrospect.<br />

The boat survived the storm<br />

and washed up on a beach in<br />

the Philippines relatively intact.<br />

However, the decision was<br />

made at the time thinking that<br />

rescue would not be far away.<br />

“The only time<br />

I would use<br />

a life boat is<br />

when I have to<br />

step up onto it.”<br />

Sir Peter Blake<br />

So what happened to the locator beacon signal? According to<br />

the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the two distress signals<br />

were detected by them and they contacted the Manila Rescue<br />

Coordination Centre, the people responsible for search and<br />

rescue in that area. So why did they not respond?<br />

Laurie later received information under the Freedom of<br />

Information Act that indicated the Philippine Coast Guard did<br />

not help the men because of the sea conditions due to the<br />

cyclone and the fact that the raft was in shark-infested waters.<br />

The fateful journey of Katerina 1<br />

The Katerina 1 was later found relatively intact<br />




Drowning is the highest cause of<br />

recreational death and forth highest<br />

cause of accidental death in New<br />

Zealand. We still had one of the highest<br />

drowning rates in the OECD, ranked<br />

8th, almost double that of Australia, and<br />

five times that of the UK.<br />

In 2020 the Water Safety Sector<br />

Strategy was implemented, a joint<br />

effort from a variety of water safety<br />

organizations in the community with the<br />

goal of reducing the water deaths in<br />

New Zealand over the next five years.<br />

2021 began well and until December<br />

was on track to have a lower-thanaverage<br />

year. However, 20 deaths in<br />

December 2021 resulted in the same<br />

number of drownings as the previous<br />

year and the highest December<br />

drownings since 1996. The Xmas<br />

holiday period of 2021 - 2022 saw 14<br />

people drown, the worst figure since<br />

1983/84.<br />

So where are we going wrong?<br />

Well firstly we have a love affair with<br />

the water; over 3 million people visit<br />

beaches, 1.5million go boating, over<br />

1.1 million participate in swimming<br />

and more than 630,000 go fishing.<br />

There are also over 20 million visits to<br />

public swimming pools. Despite the<br />

best efforts to educate and change the<br />

culture around water safety, 2021 was<br />

still a tragic year in and around our<br />

waters.<br />

Two of the specific goals of the strategy<br />

were to reduce the overall deaths but<br />

specifically to half the number of men<br />

dying in our waters and totally eliminate<br />

the deaths of toddlers. Despite their<br />

best efforts, in 2021 men still made<br />

up over 80% of water fatalities and 5<br />

toddlers lost their lives, up from the 5<br />

year average.<br />

A surprising statistic was that three out<br />

of ten New Zealanders cannot swim or<br />

float in the ocean for more than a few<br />

14 people<br />

drowned this<br />

summer... were<br />

their deaths<br />

preventable?<br />

minutes. Our can-do attitude is also<br />

seen as a problem when it comes to<br />

safety in the water. There is a distinct<br />

difference between being able to swim<br />

and the skill and fitness required to<br />

swim, particularly if you are in rough<br />

waters or you are beginning to panic.<br />

Currently there is a pressure on<br />

the government to make swimming<br />

lessons free for children, historically<br />

schools had swimming pools and<br />

children were taught to swim at<br />

school. That rarely happens these<br />

days as schools move away from<br />

the risk of having pools. Swimming<br />

lessons are expensive and outside the<br />

financial reach of many kiwis, thus the<br />

push is to have swimming lessons for<br />

free at community pools. This has yet<br />

to be ruled on.<br />

Despite being surrounded by water,<br />

our knowledge of the oceans<br />

and rivers is poor. With 78% of<br />

beachgoers unable to recognise a<br />

rip it’s not surprising that they get<br />

into trouble. So often the calm water<br />

(that often indicates a rip is present)<br />

is where people believe it is safest to<br />

swim. It could not be further from the<br />

truth.<br />

Our knowledge of rivers is equally<br />

poor, this year, 6 of the 14 people who<br />

died this holiday period did so in our<br />

rivers. The education around rivers is<br />

not as widely shared and a tranquil<br />

slow moving river can present many<br />

dangers that users are unaware of.<br />

The good news<br />

Despite a terrible start to the year,<br />

New Zealand’s statistics have<br />

improved. In 1985 there were 163<br />

preventable drownings in our waters,<br />

fortunately this has halved since<br />

then. Almost half of the deaths at the<br />

beginning of this year were in rivers, a<br />

sign that maybe New Zealanders are<br />

not so aware of the dangers of these<br />

often tranquil looking waters.<br />



Each year, on average, over 100<br />

people die by drowning in NZ waters,<br />

and up to 80 of these deaths are<br />

preventable. On top of this, over 170<br />

are hospitalized as a result of water<br />

based incidents.<br />

Males are four times more likely to<br />

drown in New Zealand, making up 84%<br />

of total drownings.<br />

On average, six infants under five<br />

years old drown each year and a further<br />

34 are hospitalised. 87% of these<br />

deaths are attributed to inadequate<br />

adult supervision. 52% of preschool<br />

deaths occur at home.<br />

Maori make up 14% of the population,<br />

but 23% of those who drown. 90% of<br />

Maori who drown are men.<br />

Socioeconomic status and ethnicity<br />

also have an impact on drownings,<br />

with higher drowning rates occurring in<br />

lower socioeconomic groups, in ethnic<br />

minorities and in rural populations.<br />

Beaches (22%), rivers (20%) and<br />

offshore (19%) are where the greatest<br />

number of drownings occur.<br />

The largest number of drownings are<br />

immersion incidents (33%) where the<br />

victims had no intention of being in the<br />

water.<br />

Boating (at 22% of preventable deaths)<br />

claims the second greatest number of<br />

lives and almost three quarters (73%)<br />

of those that drown in a boating incident<br />

are not wearing lifejackets.<br />

Swimming makes up 21% of<br />

preventable drownings and a further 39<br />

hospitalisations per year. The majority<br />

of swimming deaths (39%) occur at<br />

beaches.<br />

Statistics are based on the five year<br />

average of preventable drowning<br />

fatalities 2010-2014<br />

Image by Ayyub Jauro/Pexels<br />




By George Snook<br />

Earlier this year I travelled to the land<br />

of the midnight sun, more commonly<br />

known as Norway. A practical trip that<br />

was pulled together with minimum<br />

resources. After competing at the Junior<br />

World Championships, I heard that<br />

some of the best white-water kayakers<br />

in the world were on their way North and<br />

on route to a white-water theme park<br />

that is Norway.<br />

In the span of 3 hours, I managed to<br />

organize myself a kayak and car ride to<br />

Norway from Switzerland. After another<br />

few calls with the Norwegian embassy,<br />

I was allowed to enter the country if I<br />

met their covid regulations. Fast forward<br />

a few weeks and I have found myself<br />

in the closing week of my Norwegian<br />

white-water holiday. It had been the trip<br />

of a lifetime, but the rivers had run dry,<br />

and paddling became rarer. Fortunately,<br />

in the last week we got lucky. A friend<br />

of mine notified us that there is a 60-<br />

foot waterfall only two hours away that<br />

should be flowing. That next morning,<br />

we hit the road early and were on our<br />

way to hopefully find something special.<br />

We arrived at the waterfall, and we were<br />

stoked with what we found. An amazing<br />

clean 60-foot waterfall.<br />

But this waterfall was not all sunshine<br />

and rainbows, there were hazards that<br />

we had to consider. We prepared and<br />

planned and then it was time to paddle.<br />

We all suited up and headed down<br />

ready for some free fall. After filming my<br />

friend crush the line it was my turn.<br />

I launched into the river from the gorge<br />

wall, paddled around above the waterfall<br />

for five minutes to warm up my body<br />

and then proceeded to give the “good to<br />

go” signal. Everyone was in position. I<br />

visualized my line one last time and then<br />

took to the falls. The impact from hitting<br />

the water below was heavy but nothing<br />

out of the ordinary for larger waterfalls.<br />

A few seconds had passed since I had<br />

landed, and I knew that I was upside<br />

down at the bottom of the waterfall.<br />

Recalling back my knowledge from<br />

scouting the waterfall not long before<br />

I remember that at the bottom of the<br />

waterfall there is a small pool that<br />

encloses the landing zone of the<br />

waterfall. The exit of this pool was<br />

smaller than ideal and created a<br />

recirculating “pocket” that wanted to<br />

hold my kayak and I stuck. I attempted<br />

some rolls as I knew that I would be<br />

able to paddle out of the pocket if I was<br />

up the right way. After multiple attempts<br />

at rolling up the kayak, I figured out<br />

that half of my paddle had snapped,<br />

unfortunately, it was the half that I used<br />

to roll the kayak up.<br />

My mind froze for a split second, and<br />

it was like I was watching a movie that<br />

had been fast-forwarded. I saw the<br />

worst-case scenario play out in my<br />

head at super speed. It did not end well.<br />

My brain clicked back to reality and<br />

luckily, I knew what to do to avoid that<br />

situation. It happened automatically. My<br />

right hand released and moved to the<br />

left-hand side of<br />

the paddle; my<br />

left hand followed<br />

in the opposite<br />

procedure. This<br />

meant that the left<br />

half of my paddle,<br />

the half that was<br />

still intact, was<br />

now on the right<br />

side of my body.<br />

This allowed me<br />

to use the force of<br />

"My mind<br />

froze for a<br />

split second,<br />

and it was<br />

like I was<br />

watching a<br />

movie that<br />

had been fastforwarded."<br />

the paddle blade to roll up the kayak. I<br />

had now made it up, but I was still in the<br />

pocket. With what was left of the paddle<br />

I pulled myself out from the pocket and<br />

into the safe pool below.<br />

At the time I didn't think too much about<br />

what had just happened apart from that<br />

I was happy to be able to act quickly<br />

and accordingly to get out of the sticky<br />

situation, but later on, I realized that the<br />

situation that I was in was actually a<br />

lot gnarlier than I had thought, it was a<br />

wave of delayed panic.<br />

I was later told that another kayaker<br />

from Germany had once got stuck in<br />

the same spot and after swimming out<br />

of his kayak spent 45 minutes in the<br />

pocket holding onto a rock wall. Luckily,<br />

his rescue team managed to get a rope<br />

to him, but it showed just how hard it<br />

was to access by a safety crew. If you<br />

were stuck there without a boat, it would<br />

have been near impossible to swim out.<br />

I know how dangerous that little but<br />

unforgiving pocket can be.<br />

Follow George Snook @georgesnook



*<br />



Words and images by Eric Skilling<br />

I was standing on the top of the perfect cone-shaped volcanic peak, looking down<br />

2,518-metres to the West Coast of Taranaki. Around me, everyone had that priceless wideeyed<br />

look of achievement on their faces. None more satisfying than the sense of triumph I<br />

had felt at that moment.<br />

After six attempts over more than two decades I had finally made it to the top of Mt<br />

Taranaki, and in clear weather. Three earlier attempts had been spoilt by the weather even<br />

before reaching the end of the scree slope. Another attempt was frustrated by impassable<br />

ice-covered rocks just a few hundred metres short of the summit. When I made it to the top<br />

a few years ago, we had fought a bitterly cold, almost gale force wind and the clouds had<br />

blocked all views. That had been a miserable and very tense experience.<br />


A glorious sunrise as we made our way up towards "The Lizard"<br />

"After six<br />

attempts over<br />

more than two<br />

decades, I had<br />

finally made<br />

it to the top of<br />

Mt Taranaki in<br />

clear weather."<br />

This time it was so different. Having set out before dawn, we had enjoyed a glorious<br />

sunrise before reaching the summit mid-morning. The day was near perfect - the sky<br />

above was a cloudless deep blue, with a cool refreshing breeze.<br />

Gazing eastward from the top, the horizon was broken by the sharp point of Mt Ngauruhoe<br />

and Mt Ruapehu’s jagged ridge line. To the north, we looked down to the tiny clearing of Mt<br />

Egmont Visitors Centre some 1,500-metres below us. Then onto the shark-tooth shaped<br />

Paritutu Rock and the famous Power Station Chimney of New Plymouth.<br />

Low scattered cloud was drifting in from the south and west, but you could still make out<br />

the coastline curving its way around to the grey green of the distant South Island. Sure,<br />

it would probably be clearer mid-winter with an icy-dry southerly breeze, but that would<br />

mean ice-axes, crampons and a lot more layers. Give me a little summer haze any day.<br />

As it was it would have been zero-degrees up here at dawn and there was still ice in the<br />

small crater as we approached the final rocky crest.<br />


Low cloud rolled in as we made our way back to the scree slope<br />

Climbing this landmark peak is such an exhausting pleasure, and an experience you will<br />

relive for a long time. Climbing nearly 1,400-metres up from the Visitor Centre, there is<br />

some shade in the first hour but expect to spend most of the 7 to 8 hours exposed to the<br />

sun, so carry plenty of water. A mixture of scree, rock and stairs, this is a climb that will see<br />

even the fittest using up some serious calories.<br />

All stages of the track are steep and equally, if not more challenging on the way down,<br />

especially for the tired and weary. A rescue operation was in full swing as we descended<br />

after someone had fallen going down the stairs.<br />

However challenging, it has been a feat successfully accomplished by many and should<br />

be pursued by many others. Plus, when you return, you get to enjoy an ice-cream or hot<br />

coffee at the Visitor Centre before retreating into your car.<br />

"All stages<br />

of the track<br />

are steep<br />

and equally,<br />

if not more<br />

challenging on<br />

the way down."<br />



Mt Taranaki is the North Islands second highest mountain and thousands of trampers hike the<br />

Summit Track each year. In the summer, Mt Taranaki is still a strenuous climb, but in winter it has<br />

the added challenges of snow, ice, bad weather and avalanches. A helmet, crampons and ice axe<br />

are essential as well as the ability to use them. Snow is present year round but snow cover is at its<br />

lowest in the peak summer months of Jan – April. The average daily summer temperature ranges<br />

from 1-7 o C.<br />

Since records began, there had been over 80 deaths on Mt Taranaki, the second most deadliest<br />

alpine environment behind Aoraki/Mt Cook.<br />

Although winter has seen the most fatalities, autumn is also considered treacherous; to the<br />

untrained eye conditions may seem ideal, however a thin coating of ice called verglas often covers<br />

the upper reaches, making climbing exceptionally challenging even with crampons and ice axes.<br />

The most deadliest day was in JULY 1953 when 6 people fell to their deaths.<br />



Case study: Labour weekend 2013<br />

Labour weekend 2013, ten climbers, with varying degrees of experience, set<br />

out to climb Mt Taranaki’s East Ridge.. The chain of circumstances that lead to<br />

fatalities in the outdoors are often referred to as lemons, a metaphor that comes<br />

from the old-style fruit slot machines; if you pull the lever often enough you might<br />

hit the jackpot. In the context of risk in the outdoors, the jackpot can be a fatal<br />

accident. So what were the lemons?<br />

All climbers arrived to the Alpine Club Lodge, a 60-90 minute climb from the car<br />

park, late that evening between 11.15pm and 2am so most did not get to sleep<br />

until 2am. Those wanting to climb the East Ridge were told to be up around<br />

5.30am. The remainder were going to climb the North Ridge.<br />

It began as a bluebird day when they left the lodge at 7.30am, expecting the<br />

circuit to take about 6 hours. No one rechecked the forecast before they left,<br />

even though they knew bad weather was approaching. At 11.15am, around 500m<br />

from the summit, the face steepened to 45 degrees so ropes were needed for a<br />

short stretch. With limited ropes their progress was slow.<br />

Two experienced climbers unclipped and free-climbed to the summit with the use<br />

of ice axes and no tether. By the time they reached the summit it was 3.15pm<br />

and they could see bad weather approaching so they descended back to the<br />

group and advised them to turn back.<br />

The remaining group had split into two, with four slightly ahead<br />

of the others. This group made the fateful decision to keep climbing and<br />

return down the North Face. They did not reach the summit till 8.30pm and by<br />

now one of the group was showing signs of hypothermia. As a result they slipped<br />

hitting one of the other climbers sending them 150m down a sheer ice face. One<br />

of the remaining climbers hurried down to see if they were still alive. Injured but<br />

able to walk the two continued down together leaving the other two just metres<br />

below the summit to descend together.<br />

Above: The joy of reaching the narrow ledge<br />

just below the final short climb to the summit<br />

Inserts: Nearing the top of "The Lizard"<br />

Tongariro National Park just visible peaks to<br />

the east<br />

"If you pull<br />

the lever often<br />

enough you<br />

might hit the<br />

jackpot. In the<br />

context of risk<br />

in the outdoors,<br />

the jackpot<br />

can be a fatal<br />

accident."<br />


With worsening signs of hypothermia the two<br />

dug a shallow trench and called the lodge to<br />

let them know they were marooned on the<br />

mountain only 200m below the summit, by<br />

now it was 11.30pm.<br />

A rescue team set out from the lodge at<br />

12.30am, but blizzard like weather forced them<br />

to retreat just 150m from the trapped pair.<br />

The following morning helicopters were equally<br />

thwarted by the gusting wind and as ground<br />

searchers were also unable to reach them due<br />

to the ferocity of the weather.<br />

By the time search and rescue reached the<br />

pair two days later, one had already died, and<br />

the other passed away shortly after.<br />

Lack of sleep: With some climbers not arriving until 2am the night<br />

before the tramp, they had as little as three hours sleep.<br />

Lack of experience: Although some of the group were experienced<br />

climbers, others were not experienced enough to climb the East Ridge.<br />

This slowed the whole groups progress.<br />

Poor weather conditions: The weather forecast was deteriorating and<br />

all climbers were aware, however they chose to risk climbing in a small<br />

clear weather window. As a result the conditions on the mountain were<br />

icy and difficult.<br />

Lack of equipment: The group did not have a gear checklist and did not<br />

carry enough technical equipment or emergency equipment and having<br />

to share meant the groups progress was slowed down even more.<br />

Lack of time monitoring: Having a set turnaround time is something<br />

that helps keep people safe, however the turnaround time of midday was<br />

not monitored and the group that got home safely did not turn around<br />

until 4.30pm whilst the remaining four pushed for the summit.’<br />

Lack of leadership: When tramping with a group of independent<br />

climbers, you still need to have someone who will be responsible for<br />

decision making. This did not happen.

THE<br />

OFTEN<br />


ITEM<br />

By NZ Mountain Safety Council<br />

New Zealand's extreme landscapes laced with its pure beauty is the<br />

lure for adventurists, trampers and day walkers to explore what it<br />

has to offer. With the addition of our country's volatile weather, it can<br />

make an outdoor experience both exciting and with its risks.

There are many essential survival items<br />

that people must carry and one important<br />

item that often doesn’t make the pack<br />

is the emergency shelter, says the NZ<br />

Mountain Safety Council (MSC).<br />

Packing an emergency shelter doesn’t<br />

mean carrying large amounts of additional<br />

gear, it’s about assessing the type of trip,<br />

the expected terrain and the forecasted<br />

weather, which narrows down the<br />

appropriate form of emergency shelter.<br />

MSC alpine advisor Tom Harris'<br />

experiences with search and rescue,<br />

glacier guiding and work in Antarctica,<br />

have given him a personal insight into the<br />

importance of an emergency shelter. "It’s<br />

easy to think that nothing will happen to<br />

you, but if someone gets injured or the<br />

weather changes dramatically, which is<br />

common in New Zealand, there is a high<br />

likelihood you’ll need to hunker down,” he<br />

says. "If there is any chance of high winds,<br />

rain, or cold conditions where you’re going<br />

and there’s no guarantee of getting help or<br />

getting out fast, then an emergency shelter<br />

is a must have."<br />

Aside from being a member of the MSC<br />

team, Harris has years of personal<br />

experience in the great outdoors. On<br />

personal tramping trips, Harris and his wife<br />

prefer to use a tent to avoid busy huts, and<br />

for more privacy and route flexibility, with<br />

the additional bonus of it doubling as an<br />

emergency shelter.<br />

But Harris says a tent is not the only form<br />

of emergency shelter out there. There are<br />

plenty of options out there for all kinds of<br />

trips.<br />

For those going solo, a well-designed<br />

bivvy bag has similar multi-use benefits,<br />

Harris says. It offers the flexibility to<br />

stay outside of huts, but also acts as an<br />

excellent emergency shelter in a pinch,<br />

he says. These are particularly good in<br />

challenging environments such as windy<br />

locations where it is tough to pitch a tent,<br />

or when alpine climbing where flat space<br />

can be an issue.<br />

"Tarps or flys are great, but have a bit of<br />

setup required, such as needing walking<br />

poles or trees to setup and don’t help<br />

as much with breaking the wind. This<br />

will work well if your route mostly stays<br />

below the bushline, but it won’t help you<br />

much at all in exposed areas. If you’re not<br />

interested in a tent, fly or bivvy bag, or if<br />

you’re tramping as a larger group, a bothy<br />

bag would be my pick. They aren’t too<br />

expensive, are incredibly easy to pull out<br />

and get shelter, are compact and light, and<br />

may fit bigger groups."<br />

Harris recalls one of many guiding trips<br />

he was leading on Fox Glacier where the<br />

weather turned enough for the group to<br />

need shelter. "I pulled out the bothy bag<br />

and we all hopped inside to have some<br />

lunch and take a break. Immediately the<br />

group morale lifted, and that lightweight,<br />

compact shelter turned a potential<br />

nightmare trip into an awesome memory<br />

for all.”<br />

MSC suggests that emergency shelter<br />

is part of any standard tramping kit,<br />

alongside other important survival items<br />

such as a first aid kit and communications<br />

devices. These should be carried even on<br />

day trips if you are going solo or to remote<br />

parts of the country.<br />

"A shelter is just one of<br />

the many useful items to<br />

consider in your pack, it<br />

is hard to think about the<br />

what-if situations, but as<br />

many experienced trampers<br />

know, anything can happen<br />

out there."<br />

You can find out a lot about which shelter<br />

suits you best by looking online at reviews,<br />

asking fellow trampers and talking to<br />

the staff in your local retailer. It is also<br />

important to understand how your setup<br />

works and to test it at home before you go.<br />

Store this in an easily accessible part of<br />

your pack. A shelter is just one of the many<br />

useful items to consider in your pack, it is<br />

hard to think about the what-if situations,<br />

but as many experienced trampers know,<br />

anything can happen out there.<br />

Things to consider when setting up:<br />

Setting up a shelter in an emergency situation has its<br />

challenges, however if there is time, consider the following:<br />

Choose a site:<br />

• On well-drained ground above flood level<br />

• Sheltered from wind – in the bush or in the lee of<br />

ridges and rocks<br />

Avoid setting up:<br />

• Under dead trees or large epiphytes (plants that<br />

grow on branches), which might fall in windy or wet<br />

conditions<br />

• Under possible rockfall or in avalanche path<br />

• On mosses that may fill with water during rain<br />

• In a river bed, on an island in a riverbed, or in a gorge<br />

where rising waters could flood your camp<br />

• When it is very cold, you may want to choose a<br />

campsite above the valley flats to avoid the coldest air<br />

that will gravitate there during the night.<br />

If you’re unsure on what other items to take with you, you can start with a gear list by using the MSC Plan My Walk app which<br />

will help you start planning a safe trip in New Zealand's outdoors, or jump on mountainsafety.org.nz for further information.<br />



“We had everything we needed to be<br />

safe,” Vanessa Bridge said in January last<br />

year as she reflected on being rescued<br />

from Fiordland’s remote Dusky Trackafter<br />

activating a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).<br />

After breaking her ankle three days into<br />

the challenging eight-day expedition,<br />

Vanessa and her partner, Andy Reid, both<br />

from Auckland, were thankful their “bloody<br />

heavy packs” had emergency shelter and<br />

surplus food, two important items they<br />

would have needed for an unexpected<br />

lengthy stay in the isolated outdoors.<br />

The 84km Dusky Track is no mean feat,<br />

as described on the Plan My Walk app<br />

and website it's a difficult but rewarding<br />

remote track, between Lake Hauroko and<br />

Lake Manapouri, for the well-equipped,<br />

advanced tramper. Vanessa, a keen<br />

cyclist, and Andy, an adventure racer, both<br />

slotted into that category, being fit and<br />

seasoned trampers.<br />

It was a late January afternoon when<br />

the couple began the steep descent to<br />

Loch Maree hut, through forest covered<br />

by a dense tree canopy. “Unfortunately,<br />

Vanessa slipped on a branch and broke<br />

her ankle,” Andy said. "From there we<br />

decided that it was unlikely she would be<br />

able to proceed, so we set up camp.”<br />

They pitched their emergency shelter,<br />

a small tent, and Vanessa rested in it in<br />

her sleeping bag while Andy went to the<br />

hut, about 1.5hours away, to collect some<br />

water and make an unsuccessful call<br />

attempt from his satellite phone.<br />

He then left a note at the hut detailing their<br />

situation before returning to Vanessa at<br />

about 9pm. The pair, both in their early<br />

60s, made the decision to activate the<br />

beacon shortly before 7am on Thursday as<br />

Vanessa knew her situation wasn’t critical<br />

and was able to manage her pain levels<br />

with medication overnight.<br />

“Because we were under the canopy, we<br />

were thinking the signal might not get out.<br />

It was the first time we had used one.”<br />

Just over an hour later they heard the<br />

hum of the helicopter overhead, and Andy<br />

waved his orange jacket in a small gap<br />

amongst the tree canopy for the rescue<br />

team to spot them. The couple were<br />

winched up separately and taken to the<br />

Te Anau Medical Centre by ambulance<br />

waiting for them.<br />

Andy says the decades of outdoor<br />

experience gave him and Vanessa comfort<br />

in the situation. “But without a PLB I would<br />

have felt more nervous as it’s very remote.<br />

. . it’s one of DOC’s hardest tracks.”<br />

The couple had decided to take a small<br />

tent as emergency shelter, especially after<br />

reading an alert on the DOC website that<br />

mentioned the quick rise of the rivers along<br />

the track raising the possibility of having<br />

to set up camp to wait for the river level to<br />

drop, he says.<br />

“I think there’s always the trade off with<br />

the weight that you carry. For an eight<br />

or more-day tramp, the pack was bloody<br />

heavy, maybe about 20kg. We probably<br />

had bought more food than we needed but<br />

if for some reason the PLB didn’t work, we<br />

would have been grateful for that,” Andy<br />

says.<br />

The couple were very thankful for the<br />

efficient, life-saving effort by the Southern<br />

Lakes Helicopter crew.<br />




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"Tenkara is like<br />

dancing with<br />

trout; like a<br />

fishing ballet.<br />

It is a balance<br />

between delicate<br />

and firm."



Words Steve Dickinson | Images By Lynne Dickinson<br />

A few years back on a hiking trip up the Mohaka River, as we pitched our tent and<br />

sat on the bank in the evening, the trout started to rise, plucking floating bugs off<br />

the surface as they drifted downstream and swirled in the current’s eddies. We<br />

didn’t have a line or a rod but wished we did. On our return I started to investigate<br />

light-weight trout fishing gear and to simplify the process and I discovered Tenkara.<br />

I was introduced to it via Patagonia, the clothing company that has a strong sideline<br />

in trout fishing thanks to the founder Yvon Chouinard who simply passion for<br />

the sport. I started to find out that the rods are extremely light and compact and<br />

that Tenkara fishing originated in Japan more than 400 years ago. This style of<br />

fishing started with traditional fishermen in the mountain streams of Japan who<br />

found it an effective method of catching fish in the local freshwater streams.<br />

The Japanese the word ‘Tenkara’ literally means ‘Fishing from heaven’ or fishing<br />

from the skies or empty sky with ‘Kara’ meaning empty and ‘ten’ meaning sky.<br />

Tenkara is still a rare method of fishing among freshwater mountain anglers in<br />

Japan even now, the most common method now used is bait. It was believed that<br />

it was the Samurai that started tenkara but that is not correct. Samurai did fish, but<br />

they used a more aggressive jigging technique (as you would expect!). Tenkara was<br />

largely unknown outside Japan until 2009, when Daniel Galhardo returned from<br />

a trip with a tenkara rod in his bag, it was introduced to the states and since has<br />

slowly seeped worldwide.

Surpising the size of the fish you can land with no reel<br />

Originally the rod was simply a bamboo<br />

cane rod, but unlike modern western<br />

bamboo rods, it wasn’t split and stuck<br />

back together as used extensively in<br />

coarse fishing, it was simple a bamboo<br />

pole, like the quintessential Huckleberry<br />

Finn fishing poles. Obviously in Japan<br />

bamboo is readily available and light.<br />

Because of its light weight, traditional<br />

Japanese fishermen were able to use<br />

very long bamboo rods and reach<br />

as far as needed without the need to<br />

develop reels or extended line or casting.<br />

Although there are similarities between<br />

tenkara and traditional fly fishing the two<br />

techniques developed independently of<br />

each other, with tenkara being purely<br />

Japanese in origin however there are<br />

some similarities to coarse fishing in<br />

Europe with the likes or a roach pole<br />

which was a similar method.<br />

Tenkara fishing can be seen as a<br />

streamlined alternative to traditional<br />

fly-fishing. The equipment is designed<br />

to directly concentrate on the fly and<br />

catching of the fish, very similar to a<br />

high rod technique when fly fishing.<br />

Like a lot of Japanese culture there is<br />

an elegance and simplicity to Tenkara<br />

that has a strong appeal not just in its<br />

convenience but in its presentation or<br />

the fly. There are also other advantages<br />

of using the long tenkara rods as a long<br />

rod allows for precise placement of the<br />

fly on small pools avoiding casting in<br />

cramped areas and the inevitable tangles<br />

in overhanging bushes, the long rod<br />

presentation allows for holding the fly in<br />

place on the other side of a current. As<br />

any fly fisher man will tell you the drift is<br />

all important. The drift, how the fly either<br />

on the surface or below flows through the<br />

water naturally will always be important<br />

in catching trout. The main advantages<br />

of using the long tenkara rod is precise<br />

control for manipulation of the fly drift and<br />

presentation.<br />

Recently I went to a back water river<br />

which was very tight and shallow but<br />

full of fish. On my first trip I took a<br />

traditional rod and reel, and fishing was<br />

at best difficult, at worst impossible, plus<br />

because it was so shallow and so clear<br />

the fish spooked easy. But the following<br />

day I added my tenkara set up to my<br />

gear and happily fished for hours with no<br />

loss of gear (other than being snapped<br />

off by a big boy). Tenkara simply made<br />

the presentation easy and because of the<br />

lack of movement the fish did not spook<br />

as bad.<br />

You could literally be Huckleberry Finn<br />

and go cut a long piece of bamboo add<br />

some line and a fly and you would be<br />

tenkara fishing, however the modern<br />

tenkara rods are very long and flexible<br />

rod (usually telescopic which makes for<br />

ease of carrying and pack down into<br />

itself). The rods normally range from 3.3<br />

to 4.5 metres (11 to 15 ft) long. 3.6 m<br />

(12 ft) is common. Although rods were<br />

originally made of bamboo, they are now<br />

made with carbon-fibre or fibre-glass.<br />

They also have a handle similar to flyfishing<br />

rods that can be made of wood<br />

or cork. Plus, a loop at the end of the<br />

rod to attach the tenkara line. There is a<br />

specific way to bring out a tenkara rod,<br />

you hold the opening of the rod in your<br />

hand and slowly bring out segment by<br />

segment linking each segment firmly, my<br />

13ft foot rod has 13 separate sections.<br />

The same thing applied when collapsing<br />

the rod into itself.<br />

Tenkara line: As in fly-fishing, it is the<br />

tenkara line that propels the weightless<br />

fly forward. In tenkara, the traditional and<br />

most commonly used line is a tapered<br />

furled line (twisted monofilament), of the<br />

same length or slightly shorter than the<br />

rod. The main advantage of tapered lines<br />

is the delicate presentation and ease of<br />

casting. Alternatively, a tenkara "level"<br />

line can be used. Level lines are specially<br />

formulated fluorocarbon adjusted to the<br />

desired length as they maintain the same<br />

diameter throughout their length. Tapered<br />

lines are typically easier to cast and<br />

preferred by people getting started with<br />

tenkara, whereas level lines tend to be<br />

lighter (slightly harder to cast) but can be<br />

kept off the water more easily. But once<br />

you have the tenkara line regardless<br />

of what type it is simply a case of then<br />

attaching normal fishing line to the end.<br />

The traditional tenkara line has a loop<br />

of braided line at its thicker end. This<br />

braided line is used to tie the tenkara line<br />


"Tenkara is pure simple fishing, a rod, a line<br />

and a fly and it all packs down compactly and<br />

is easy to carry anywhere."<br />

directly to the tip of the rod. I felt that the<br />

loop on my tenkara rod was not secure<br />

enough and had it removed and replaced<br />

by my local fishing store the loop was both<br />

super glued and whipped on.<br />

Tippet: This is the same as a regular<br />

fly-fishing tippet just shorter and is used<br />

to connect the fly to the line. Usually<br />

between 30 cm (12 in) and 1 metre (3 ft 3<br />

in) of tippet is added to the end of the line,<br />

personally I used about a meter and a half<br />

of tippet and found it both easy to control<br />

and simple to use. In Japan the tippet is<br />

referred to as "hea" (for hair), due to it<br />

being the thin part of the process.<br />

Tenkara fly: Artificial flies are used in<br />

tenkara fly-fishing. These are tied with<br />

thread, feathers and sometimes fur as<br />

just as normal<br />

fly fishing.<br />

Customarily a<br />

special reverse<br />

hackle wet fly is<br />

used. In Japan<br />

it is known<br />

as "kebari"<br />

literally means<br />

“feathered/<br />

haired hook.<br />

These<br />

traditional<br />

Japanese flies<br />

differ from<br />

most Western<br />

flies, in that the<br />

hackle is tied facing forward. That is the<br />

purest way of fishing Tenkara, however I<br />

have simplify used traditional flies bought<br />

form the local fishing store. Both dry and<br />

wet flies and have used both a dropper rig<br />

(dry fly and small beaded nymph) plus and<br />

traditional nymphing set up with a small<br />

bomb and nymph the only difference you<br />

don’t really need an indicator as you are so<br />

attached to the movement of the line.<br />

Whenever you talk Tenkara you nearly<br />

always get the same reaction. ‘’How’s<br />

that gonna work on bigger fish in New<br />

Zealand?”<br />

Tenkara rods are designed to handle more<br />

stress that you would think, if you do not<br />

have the option of a reel or line drag then<br />

you have to use the next option, you head.<br />

You need to fight the fish on your terms,<br />

learning to fish smarter not harder.<br />

Firstly, use the heaviest tippet you think<br />

you can get away with and buy good<br />

product don’t skimp on the line. Fishermen<br />

spend thousands of dollars on rods and<br />

reels and getting to some fish heavy<br />

location only to baulk at the cost of good<br />

line and try to save twenty dollars, don’t.<br />

That’s the business and you don’t want it<br />

to let you down.<br />

Tenkara rods are made to be bent, so get<br />

the butt of the rod to the fish front as soon<br />

as possible, ‘remember show em your<br />

butt’’, pointing the butt of the rod at the<br />

fish will help you handle most of the fish’s<br />

aggressive movements.<br />

But the time will come when they move<br />

and you need to be prepared to move with<br />

them, it pays to use common sense if you<br />

are fishing a wider deeper river and big<br />

boy decides to go for the other bank, don’t<br />

put yourself in peril by following, it’s only<br />

a fish. Try to weigh up all the alternative<br />

before you get<br />

a fish on, and<br />

you won’t be<br />

faced with a<br />

snap decision<br />

you might<br />

regret.<br />

Try to keep<br />

a 90-degree<br />

angle at the fish<br />

as with normal<br />

fly fishing. All<br />

of the normal<br />

fly-fishing rules<br />

apply to landing<br />

a fish bigger<br />

fish, keep side<br />

pressure on and be directive.<br />

Lastly, and this is only something I have<br />

read about, should a fish be getting the<br />

better of you it is suggested that you<br />

drop the rod in the water! The weight of<br />

the water will keep the hook in place but<br />

because there is not rod stress on the fish,<br />

they will return to their holding place and<br />

you can simply go back, pick up you rod<br />

and start again. Like I said, I have never<br />

tried this, but it might work well in low<br />

running, narrow rivers.<br />

Fly fishing has been described as a dance<br />

with trout, if that is so then Tenkara is<br />

ballet, it is simple, delicate, and effective.<br />

My journeys into the back hills have been<br />

a discovery of small rivers and stream<br />

many of which do not even have a name<br />

but surprisingly in the middle of nowhere<br />

a tiny mountain stream will still carry trout.<br />

Tenkara is pure simple fishing, a rod, a line<br />

and a fly and it all packs down compactly<br />

and is easy to carry anywhere.<br />

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Words and images courtsey Red Bull<br />

Alex Honnold is a professional rock<br />

climber whose free-solo ascents of<br />

America’s biggest cliffs have made<br />

him one of the most recognized<br />

and followed climbers in the world.<br />

Honnold is distinguished for his<br />

uncanny ability to control his fear<br />

while scaling cliffs of dizzying heights<br />

without a rope to protect him if he<br />

falls in a climbing style called free<br />

solo climbing.<br />

In 2017 Honnold completed the first<br />

and only free-solo of El Capitan’s<br />

“Freerider” route (5.13a, 3,000 feet),<br />

hailed by many as one of the greatest<br />

sporting achievements of our time.<br />

Free Solo' the film documenting this<br />

climb, won the Best Documentary<br />

Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.<br />

The two-part 'Alex Honnold: The<br />

Soloist VR' immerses viewers<br />

alongside the 36-year-old Californian<br />

as he exhibits the talent that has<br />

captivated people globally. The film is<br />

only available for Oculus TV, on Meta<br />

Quest VR headsets.<br />

The film, which was shot over two<br />

years by award-winner producer<br />

Johnathan Griffith of 'Everest VR:<br />

Journey to the Top of the World' -<br />

uses the latest in high-resolution 3D<br />

360° to capture Honnold in some of<br />

the most remote and wildest locations<br />

possible.<br />

VR Producer Johnathan Griffith<br />

added: "After seeing how audiences<br />

were enthralled by Alex in Free<br />

Solo, we thought that VR could bring<br />

people even closer to being on the<br />

wall with Alex as he continues to<br />

push the boundaries of the sport and<br />

human achievement."<br />

Alex Honnold soloing Desert Gold at sunrise, Vegas<br />


The three-part series 'Making the<br />

Soloist VR' on Red Bull TV, follows<br />

the production team and provides an<br />

inside look at the challenges faced with<br />

shooting VR in these environments.<br />

Honnold, filmmaker Jon Griffith and<br />

a group of climbers take us through<br />

the journey, struggles and rewards of<br />

creating such a film.<br />

Episode 1 follows Honnold to Yosemite,<br />

home of the fearsome 7,573 ft (2,308<br />

m) El Capitan, and Red Rocks.<br />

The action then switches to Europe<br />

where Honnold teams up with Swiss<br />

mountaineer Nicolas Hojac to tackle<br />

tough Dolomites free solo climbs.<br />

Episode 2 culminates with Honnold<br />

and Hojac battling a snowy and wet<br />

summer to free solo American Direct<br />

on the Aiguille du Dru in Chamonix and<br />

the Kuffner arete on Mont Maudit – the<br />

Cursed Mountain – the second-highest<br />

peak in the Mont Blanc Massif.<br />

As shooting in the mountains means<br />

uncontrollable circumstances, every<br />

aspect revolved around the crew’s<br />

ability to handle themselves in complex<br />

and often dangerous situations. While<br />

they were documenting the stars of<br />

the climbing world, the team had to<br />

have a high level of mountain skills<br />

themselves, and put together a support<br />

crew that can keep up with Honnold.<br />

Leading the artistic vision of this<br />

behind-the-scene series was Director<br />

Renan Ozturk, and helping the<br />

team navigate the high alpine was<br />

professional mountaineer Nico Hokjac.<br />

Ozturk works on getting great images;<br />

both on film and stills, while Hojac’s<br />

principal job is to rig the cameras and<br />

keep the team safe.<br />

Honnold explained: "For anyone<br />

wanting to take a deeper dive into the<br />

world of free solo climbing, The Soloist<br />

VR is the perfect opportunity to do so<br />

from the comfort of your own home.<br />

Viewers come along for the ride as we<br />

climb some of the most beautiful rock<br />

faces on earth."<br />

Nicknamed Alex “No Big Deal”<br />

Honnold, the Medical University<br />

of South Carolina, in Charleston<br />

conducted a functional MRI scan<br />

in 2016, which showed little to no<br />

activation in Honnold's amygdala which<br />

is responsible for fear responses.<br />

Of Sacramento, California, Honnold's<br />

most celebrated achievements include<br />

the first and only free-solos of the<br />

Moonlight Buttress (5.12d, 1,200 feet)<br />

in Zion National Park, Utah, and the<br />

Northwest Face (5.12a) of Half Dome<br />

(2,200 feet), Yosemite, California. In<br />

2012 he achieved Yosemite’s first<br />

“Triple Solo”: climbing, in succession,<br />

the National Park’s three largest faces<br />

- Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and<br />

El Capitan - in under 24 hours.<br />


Alex Honnold and Nicolas Hojas climbing Digital Crack (8a) on the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix<br />



OTAGO<br />

*<br />



Words and images by Duncan and Andy / Bike it Now!<br />

In the 1800s gold miners experienced the adrenaline of<br />

finding gold in the Central Otago hills and mountains.<br />

With advances in E-Mountain Bike technology we are<br />

able to travel their paths, access their history, and<br />

experience adrenaline of our own through day mountain<br />

bike adventures!<br />

In the heart of Central Otago you can find the E-Bike<br />

specialists of Bike it Now! Cromwell, and Bike it Now!<br />

Clyde. These are the places for all your biking needs.<br />

Bike it Now! have a huge array of E-bikes for every rider,<br />

and their knowledgeable and qualified staff will find you<br />

your next bike - because at Bike it Now! - it’s all about<br />

you!<br />

Our adventure starts from the door of Bike it Now!<br />

Cromwell. The ride from Cromwell to Bannockburn is<br />

a great warm up on the first six kilometres of the Lake<br />

Dunstan Trail. This new 42km cycle way, starting in<br />

Cromwell takes in the stunning scenery of the Cromwell<br />

Gorge, and finishes in Clyde. In fact, you can ride from<br />

Bike it Now! Cromwell to Bike it Now! Clyde on the trail.<br />

E-bikes are the popular choice of bike for this day trip and<br />

the teams at Bike it Now! at either end of the track can<br />

sort you out with the best bike to power you on this ride.<br />

We, however, are after more of an adventure, and keen<br />

to head into the hills, so at the Bannockburn Bridge we<br />

head south towards Bannockburn, the heart of the desert.<br />

The hills of Bannockburn are littered with stories of the<br />

past. The land has been changed by hand and water,<br />

and what is left offers some exhilarating mountain biking<br />

opportunities.<br />

Our first stop is the Bannockburn Sluicings. The<br />

Department of Conservation calls this area a “desert<br />

made by water.” and not naturally. The terrain in which<br />

we are playing has been shaped by the miners who toiled<br />

in these hills. The Slucings of Bannockburn showcase<br />

the mighty power of water that was harnessed to carve<br />

out the hillside. It is the mighty power of the high torque<br />

motors on our bikes that allow us to easily climb through<br />

and over the left over tailings to access fun turns, great<br />

views, and a landscape more reminiscent of the wild west<br />

than what we would normally expect in Aotearoa.<br />

The balance of the controlled<br />

power and suspension on these<br />

E-mountain bikes gives us a<br />

smooth ride up and over the rocks<br />

that would normally have stopped<br />

us in our tracks, and speed up<br />

the short and steep inclines that<br />

offer the views into the man<br />

made canyons. How the men of<br />

history changed this landscape<br />

with their limited technology is<br />

mindblowing. Accessing it on the<br />

E- bike technology that is changing<br />

mountain biking is also mind<br />

blowing.<br />

"The balance of<br />

the controlled<br />

power and<br />

suspension on<br />

these E-mountain<br />

bikes gives us<br />

a smooth ride<br />

up and over the<br />

rocks that would<br />

normally have<br />

stopped us in our<br />

tracks"<br />

The E-mountain bikes the team at Bike it Now! have on<br />

offer are all electric assist. Electric assist simply means<br />

that the bikes amplify the power the rider puts in while<br />

peddling. So for us, the motor doesn’t work unless we do!<br />

We might be flying up these hills on our new 90 newtonmetre<br />

of torque supercharged legs, but we are still puffing<br />

at the top, and that keeps the adventure feeling like an<br />

adventure.<br />

The bikes are not only built to handle the ups, but on the<br />

rocky drops, tight corners and flowy downs they handle<br />

with the fun we would expect from any top of the range<br />

full suspension mountain bike. Rolling the rocks isn’t a<br />

problem up or down.<br />

Further up and into the hills behind Bannockburn and<br />

the ruins of Stewart Town lie the remains of Carricktown.<br />


Marcella and Chantel descending through the tailings<br />


Craig nearing Carricktown, Lake Dunstan and Cromwell in the background.<br />

Marcella and Chantel passing by the ruins of Stewart Town.<br />

The views from this historical settlement are well<br />

earned, and normally only tackled by mountain<br />

bikers with something to prove, and time on<br />

their hands. We don’t have to toil here like the<br />

miners who lugged up their tools in order to dig<br />

the kilometres of water races into the hills. The<br />

bikes Duncan and the Bike it Now! team have<br />

for sale allow riders to purchase bikes that have<br />

the power to meet their riding goals, so we have<br />

bikes that have the power to climb these steep<br />

hills without slowing down. With a 250 watt motor<br />

that allows the bike to sustain power over long<br />

periods of time, and an amp controller to increase<br />

peak power when needed, it doesn’t take long<br />

to climb to the spot where we are eye level with<br />

kāhu cruising on wind currents. Normally, it’s at<br />

this point that the fun begins, but the smoothness<br />

of the ride up is going to be hard to beat.<br />

The descent is longer, faster, and more<br />

variable than the short tight turns of The<br />

Sluicings. The way our bikes handle the ride is<br />

confidence inspiring. We get to the bottom with<br />

adrenaline rushing. With the battery technology<br />

improvements of the past few years, even with<br />

the bikes on turbo up the hills, our bikes still have<br />

plenty of charge left in them for the cruise back<br />

into Cromwell. We’ve had a great adventure, and<br />

a good workout, but thanks to the motor we still<br />

have plenty of charge left in us too.<br />

Marcella and Chantel overlooking the Slucings and Tailings from the<br />

bygone mining era.<br />

*The weather of Central Otago can be varied<br />

and extreme. Always ride prepared with suitable<br />

clothing, water, and food. Check the conditions<br />

before riding, and follow the mountain bikers’ off<br />

road code.<br />


Reviews from<br />

millions of Tripadvisor<br />

travellers place this<br />

attraction in the top<br />

10% worldwide.<br />

Come cycling in stunning Central<br />

Otago and let the experts look<br />

after all your needs.<br />

> Lake Dunstan Trail<br />

> Otago Central Rail Trail<br />

> Roxbourgh Gorge Trail<br />

and more...<br />

Call the experts at Bike It Now!: 0800 245 366<br />

Clyde Bike Shop and Tour office open 7 Days<br />

Cromwell Bike Shop open 7 days<br />

www.bikeitnow.co.nz<br />

Tripadvisor<br />

Travellers’<br />

Choice<br />

Bike It Now!<br />



The Mackenzie is New Zealand’s largest intermontane basin – an elevated<br />

plateau ringed by mountains in every direction, including the mighty<br />

Aoraki/Mount Cook. The region is known for its stunning landscapes<br />

which change each season, and its tri-colour palette: turquoise lakes,<br />

white snow-capped mountains and golden grasslands.<br />

With such dramatic landscapes and the boundless pristine dark sky<br />

reserve above, it’s no wonder the Mackenzie is a paradise for connecting<br />

with nature. From short walks to multi-day trails, here’s a few of our<br />

favourites to help you explore this spectacular part of the country.<br />


(Image by Hollie Woodhouse)<br />

16km loop. Near Twizel.<br />

The Ben Ōhau and Greta Stream return near<br />

Twizel is a true hidden gem, taking in the summit<br />

of Ben Ōhau, views of ancient riverbeds, and<br />

Ōhau, Ruataniwha and Pūkaki lakes. The track<br />

runs through Greta Valley, past castle-like rocky<br />

outcrops and golden tussock-clad mountains,<br />

alongside pure (drinkable) mountain streams.<br />

Wander among rare native beech forests to epic<br />

views across Lake Ōhau, nestled in the shadow<br />

of the Southern Alps. Pop into Greta Hut for some<br />

local history before heading home.<br />



REGION<br />

*<br />


FLANAGAN PASS TRAIL (Below: Image by Tekapo <strong>Adventure</strong>s)<br />

23km. Near Twizel.<br />

This trail near Twizel is in the Ruataniwha Conservation Park, a<br />

37,000 hecatre park that encompasses the Ben Ōhau Range and<br />

several valleys between Lake Pūkaki & Ōhau. The trail can be<br />

walked, biked, and is suitable for horse riding. There is also access<br />

to ski-touring in the basins at the southern end of the Ben Ōhau<br />

Range.<br />

Turn off SH8 onto Glen Lyon Road and start the trail from the<br />

carpark just past the Pūkaki Canal bridge, heading to the Darts<br />

Bush Stream Track. Branching off the track at the signpost takes<br />

you on the climb up to Flanagan Pass at 1,225m. Enjoy wide<br />

sweeping views across the Mackenzie Basin.<br />

During the 1800s this trail was used as a route to Glen Lyon<br />

Station. Telegraph poles from the 1940s are still located along the<br />

track and once provided communication over Flanagan Pass to<br />

Ōhau.<br />

You can descend from Flanagan Pass using the Dorcy Track, or<br />

taking the diagonal track to the Greta Stream car park.<br />

TWO THUMBS TRACK (Above: Image by Tekapo <strong>Adventure</strong>s)<br />

56.5km section of the Te Araroa Trail.<br />

Near Lake Tekapo.<br />

The Te Kāhui Kaupeka Conservation Park was opened back<br />

in 2009, resulting from the tenure review of Mesopotamia and<br />

Richmond Station pastoral leases. Mesopotamia was once<br />

owned by English author Samuel Butler, the braided river and<br />

hanging valleys providing inspiration for Butler’s satirical novel<br />

‘Erewhon’. The Two Thumbs Track is the centrepiece of this DOC<br />

estate, and is part of the Te Araroa Trail – the 3,000km route that<br />

stretches from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff.<br />

It is recommended to walk the trail from north to south, starting at<br />

the Bush Stream carpark on Rangitata Gorge Road. On day one<br />

you have a short climb out of Bush Stream, and from there on the<br />

trail is mainly downhill. You also get great views of Lake Tekapo<br />

from the ridges on the descent. You can exit down the Roundhill<br />

Skifield road, or continue along Boundary Stream to Lilybank<br />

Road.<br />

The park is popular with hunters, with plenty of tahr and chamois<br />

around. The Stag Saddle is New Zealand’s highest horse<br />

accessible trail, and also the highest point on the entire Te Araroa<br />

Trail. There are four huts along the track, with Royal Hut being<br />

aptly named due to a helicopter visit in 1970 from Prince Charles<br />

and Princess Anne.<br />

HOOKER VALLEY (Right: Image by Rachel Gillespie)<br />

10km return via same track.<br />

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.<br />

While the three-hour return Hooker Valley Track is quite well<br />

known, have you heard about the new old Hooker Hut? This<br />

historic hut has just been rebuilt and is tucked away off the<br />

famous Hooker Valley Track. The hut has a wood burner, eight<br />

bunk beds, gas cookers, running water, and a pit toilet. This<br />

hut is a great option for those with young children as it's only<br />

950 metres from the well-maintained Hooker Valley Track. It’s<br />

also bookable via the DOC website, giving families that much<br />

needed security they’ll have a bed for all.<br />



SEALY TARNS (Image by Rachel Stewart)<br />

5.8km Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.<br />

Dubbed the stairway to heaven, the Sealy Tarns Track<br />

in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a must for the<br />

fit adventurer. 2,200 steps take you straight up to the<br />

freshwater lakes of Sealy Tarns, providing spectacular<br />

views of the Hooker Valley and the National Park. The<br />

track branches off from the Kea Point track in the village<br />

and is steep with a total height gain of 600m. Those<br />

wanting an overnight adventure can continue on the<br />

alpine route for a couple of hours to Mueller Hut.

HOPKINS VALLEY TRACK (Above: Image by Shellie Evans)<br />

21-35 km return via same track. Ruataniwha<br />

Conservation Park, near Lake Ōhau.<br />

This is an advanced tramping and mountainbike track with a<br />

range of terrain: grasslands, shingle, beech forest and river<br />

banks. There are six huts dotted along the valley. Following<br />

SH8 south from Twizel turn onto Lake Ōhau Road. The<br />

Hopkins Valley is at the end of the road, a total of 60km<br />

from Twizel. Park at the Ram Hill carpark, or continue on to<br />

Monument Hut if you have a 4WD vehicle.<br />

RICHMOND TRAIL (Above: Image by Hollie Woodhouse)<br />

13km one way. Near Lake Tekapo.<br />

0800 22 44 75 | cyclejourneys.co.nz | 3 Benmore Place, Twizel<br />

Over by Lake Tekapo is the Richmond Trail with sweeping<br />

views of Lake Tekapo, the Godley Valley and surrounding<br />

mountains. The trail is part of the Te Araroa trail – you can<br />

walk or bike it (grade 4) and it offers unbeatable views.<br />

The trail follows an old glacial terrace through tussocks<br />

and patches of native vegetation. While the track is<br />

graded easy, there are a few steep climbs (or descents,<br />

depending on which way you walk it) above Boundary<br />

Stream on the way back to Lilybank Road. This trail starts<br />

and finishes in different places – half-way up the Roundhill<br />

access road, or just past the Boundary Creek bridge.



By Lynne Dickinson<br />

With an adventure race looming I was<br />

faced with the daunting task of finding<br />

myself a new pair of shoes in time for the<br />

event. I’m a bit of a “jack of all trades,<br />

master of none” type enthusiast. I do some<br />

biking, some running, a bit of hiking and<br />

a bit of adventure racing, and I wanted<br />

something that would tick all the boxes.<br />

But when I went shopping I found that<br />

although there were so many to choose<br />

from, and although many boasted similar<br />

features, it was hard to find one to fit my<br />

specific needs.<br />

I did my research before I hit the retail<br />

shops, asking around what other people<br />

wore in a range of situations.<br />

A friend who is an avid biker had recently<br />

purchased a pair of trail shoes. Sue is<br />

predominantly a mountain biker and<br />

having spent years in clips, a recent injury<br />

had made her change her pedals and she<br />

needed some new shoes to suit. She was<br />

looking for a more solid based shoe with<br />

a good grip for pushing her bike through<br />

steep tricky sections in the forest. She<br />

purchased a pair of Salomon Wings Sky.<br />

Another friend is an ultra runner, covering<br />

a ridiculous amount of miles each week;<br />

shoes are her lifeline, and her connection<br />

to the ground. So I reached out to her to<br />

see what she looked for in a trail shoe.<br />

Jenny spends most of her time running,<br />

so her needs were different again. She<br />

wanted something lighter and more<br />

flexible, however she was quick to point<br />

out that no one shoe could do it all. As a<br />

result she has different shoes for different<br />

scenarios. She admitted to being a bit of a<br />

Hoka girl, “I have Hoka Challenger ATRs<br />

for the less muddy trails and Hoka Torrents<br />

when I need more grip”, and for the super<br />

muddy stuff, some Icebug Acceleratas.<br />

So the secret is finding the shoe that<br />

is right for you… My problem was that<br />

I wanted one shoe that would do it all.<br />

In adventure racing you need to bike,<br />

hike, sometimes run and there’s always<br />

a water activity such as kayaking, rafting<br />

or paddleboarding. The terrain varies<br />

depending on the location and there’s<br />

always going to be times when you are<br />

pushing your bike up a steep hill, it just<br />

seems to come with the territory. But with<br />

so many things I wanted my shoes for, I<br />

had to choose the one that ticked most of<br />

the boxes.<br />

After trying on a variety of shoes in the<br />

shop, I ended up choosing the Salewa<br />

Ultratrain Shoe. These came highly<br />

recommended from my husband mainly<br />

due to the sole, which is made from<br />

Michelin outdoor compound, excellent on<br />

wet and slippery surfaces. Regardless of<br />

the many technical attributes, these just<br />

fitted MY feet perfectly. There is plenty of<br />

room in the toes, the soles are grippy but<br />

flexible, and the upper surface has plenty<br />

of extra protection from the elements,<br />

including a quick lacing system to help<br />

keep rocks and dirt out. And to top it off I<br />

absolutely love the colour!<br />

So what should YOU look for when<br />

choosing your trail shoe?<br />

The sole needs to have a good grip, and<br />

the depth of that grip will depend on the<br />

terrain you intend to be moving over. If<br />

you are mainly running on bush tracks<br />

your needs will be different from someone<br />

running on sand or over rocks. The type<br />

of rubber used in the sole is important<br />

too; good trail shoes will provide superior<br />

traction in both wet and dry conditions.<br />

Still on the sole, depending on what you<br />

are planning to do will determine whether<br />

you want a more rigid or softer flexible<br />

sole.<br />

Look for a good upper fabric that will<br />

protect you from the extra wear and tear<br />

from branches, rocks, dirt and water that<br />

you are likely to encounter on a variety of<br />

terrains. A good trail shoe will often have<br />

extra reinforcements in the toe and heel<br />

areas. The upper fabric needs to be more<br />

durable than your average running shoe,<br />

simply because it will likely be subject<br />

to more elements. Many now will have<br />

a waterproof element to the fabric, so<br />

if that is a factor for you look for a shoe<br />

constructed with GORE-TEX.<br />


One of the features I noticed in most trail shoes was the<br />

shoe lacing system. Some come with a pocket that allows<br />

you to tuck the loose end of the lace inside to prevent<br />

them coming undone or getting caught. Others come with<br />

a toggle system that allows you to loosen and tighten your<br />

shoes with one swift pull.<br />

Another feature is the heel drop, the amount of cushioning<br />

under the heel. This will once again depend on the main<br />

use of your shoe, if you intend to use them mainly for<br />

running then look for a pair with a greater heel drop.<br />

"Remember, there is<br />

rarely a time when<br />

one shoe will do it all,<br />

so choose the one that<br />

is best for your major<br />

needs."<br />

If you are in your shoes for a long time, the weight of them<br />

can make a real difference, so check how they feel but<br />

also how much they weigh.<br />

So how do you know which one is right for you?<br />

Firstly you have to know what type of trail or activity you<br />

are likely to navigate. This is easy if you always run the<br />

bush, for example, but it does get a little trickier when you<br />

have a variety of terrains and uses.<br />

One of the biggest mistakes I have made when buying<br />

shoes in the past is getting them too small, especially for<br />

when I am adventure racing. If you are going to be in your<br />

shoes for a longer period of time your feet are going to<br />

swell, so make sure you have enough room. If you have<br />

the typical kiwi wide feet, then look for a shoe that gives<br />

you more room in the toes, your feet will thank you for it.<br />

Try on plenty of shoes, what may feel great on your feet<br />

can feel totally different on someone else so let the shoes<br />

do the talking. Some people prefer the feeling of a high<br />

profile shoe, which can provide extra support around the<br />

ankles, whereas others prefer a low profile style allowing<br />

for more maneuverability.<br />

Remember, there is rarely a time when one shoe will do<br />

it all, so choose the one that is best for your major needs,<br />

and you may just need to follow Jenny’s lead and have a<br />

different shoe for each different occasion!<br />

Stretch gaters<br />

help to keeps<br />

debris out of the<br />

lace area<br />

Quick lacing system makes lacing easy<br />

and the neoprene cover keeps pebbles<br />

and brances out of your shoes.<br />

Extra features such as SALEWA’S 3F<br />

system help to keep the shoe snug and<br />

connected around your ankle<br />

and Instep helping to keep out debris.<br />

Look for a durable breathable<br />

mesh or a waterproof fabric if this<br />

is important to you.<br />

Extra protection at the toe, sides<br />

and heels helps to protect your<br />

shoes from a variety of terrains.<br />

A higher heel drop will provide<br />

more cushioning<br />

Look for a good grip on the soles,<br />

and a lug suitable for your activity.<br />


Salewa Alp Trainer 2 $299.90<br />

This is a multipurpose all-round trail<br />

walking / hiking shoe – at home on<br />

groomed trails or something a little<br />

higher up the mountain (NEW for this<br />

coming winter)<br />


hoka CHALLENGER ATR 6 $269.95<br />

This adaptable, all-terrain shoe defies convention<br />

— performing light on the trail and smooth on the<br />

street, thanks to its midsole geometry and outsole<br />

construction. Dynamically designed for versatile<br />

traction, its distinctive outsole has zonal construction<br />

to optimize grip and weight. Developed with broad,<br />

closely spaced zonal lugs, the Challenger ATR 6’s<br />

outsole delivers smooth transitions from one surface<br />

to another. This season’s iteration utilizes recycled<br />

UNIFI Reprieve yarn derived from post-consumer<br />

waste plastic.<br />


merrell Moab Flight Eco Dyed - Mens/Womens $259.00<br />

This version of the Merrell best-selling<br />

cushioned trail runners is made with<br />

solution dyed yarns, a process that uses<br />

less water and energy compared to<br />

traditional dyeing methods.<br />


KEEN NXIS (woMen’s) $349.99<br />

The faster you go, the farther you go, the more you’ll see. That<br />

means more alpine hikes, more sunset views, and an extra-full<br />

camera roll. Splash through every puddle, hop across rocks, and<br />

slide through scree. Our lightest hiker to date with the KEEN<br />

famous fit and all-terrain tread, NXIS is ready for whatever your A to<br />

B looks like.<br />

• Famous Comfort: Fit 18 years in the making, our original fit<br />

holds your heel firmly in place while giving your toes room to<br />

spread out.<br />

• All-Terrain Tread: Our proprietary horseshoe tread has deep<br />

lugs for extra grip on any trail surface.<br />

• Iconic Toe Protection: Move fast with confidence, not stubbed<br />

toes. The split toe cap strikes a balance between protection<br />

and feel.<br />

• Waterproof: Thanks to a breathable KEEN.DRY waterproof<br />

membrane that keeps out water.<br />

Available at WWW.KEENFOOTWEAR.CO.NZ FROM 1 MARCH 2022.<br />


Salewa ultra-train 3 $299.90<br />

A lightweight, neutral, cushioned trail running<br />

or walking shoe.<br />


• Pomoca outsole<br />

• POMOCA® S Path<br />

• Stretch gaiter<br />

• Anti-rock heel cup<br />

• Reinforced Rand<br />

• Motion Guidance<br />

• Ortholite Footbed<br />

• 3F System<br />



merrell Moab FST 2 GTX - Mens/Womens $299.00<br />

Experience out of the box comfort you<br />

expect from Moab but with lighter and faster<br />

athletic styling, a Goretex® waterproof<br />

membrane and a Vibram® Megagrip®<br />

outsole.<br />


Salewa Mountain Trainer 2 GTX $399.00<br />

This is our most heavy-duty, robust<br />

Trail, Backpacking shoe. This has the<br />

same build as out Mountain Trainer Mid<br />

GTX – just with out the mid cut upper!<br />


• Stretch gaiter<br />

• Reinforced Rand<br />


• Gore-Tex<br />

• Vibram<br />

• Climbing Lacing<br />

• 3F System<br />


Merrell Moab Speed - Women’s $259.00<br />

The boot beloved by 50 million feet<br />

is now made lighter and faster. The<br />

Moab Speed is a hiking hybrid that<br />

doesn't look like a hiker, available in a<br />

ventilated version (available in stores<br />

or online now) and a GoreTex version<br />

(in stores nationwide, or by calling<br />

us to request your size) for both Men<br />

and Women.<br />


Featured<br />

merrell Sprint V Leather - Men’s $249.00<br />

Fire up all cylinders. This rugged casual shoe features<br />

a full grain leather upper and extreme comfort for an<br />

any day adventurer.<br />


merrell moab 3 (men's & Women's) $219.00<br />

The #1 hiking shoe in the world just got better. The Moab 3 is now<br />

made more comfortable, with more eco-friendly material choices and<br />

more stable with great grip for any trail. Launching worldwide soon<br />

(NZ late April/early May).<br />


Planet in mind<br />

• Made with 100% recycled laces, lining and webbing<br />

Better Support<br />

• Designed with an improved Kinetic Fit ADVANCED<br />

contoured insole with cushioning pods in the heel and forefoot.<br />

More Comfort<br />

• Softer, plusher midsole foam and the famous Merrell Air<br />

Cushion in the heel helps your feet to absorb shock.<br />

Better Traction<br />

• Built with Vibram® outsoles with new and improved biting lugs<br />

that grip on varied terrain.<br />

Durable<br />

• Crafted with the protection of full grain leather and mesh uppers<br />

with rubber toe caps for longevity on the trail.<br />

All Seasons<br />

• This version is ventilated. Weatherproof versions coming later<br />

that are built with Goretex® and waterproof liners that will help<br />

to keep your feet dry while hiking.<br />


glerups The Shoe Honey Rubber - $189.00<br />

Looking for some comfy shoes to take on adventure with you?<br />

Made with 100% wool, glerups are the warmest and coziest.<br />

It is like a hug for your tired feet and well worth the space in<br />

your backpack. Relax and recover in glerups.<br />


Outdoor Research Helium AscentShell Jacket $699.99<br />

Fully seam-taped 3-layer jacket with Pertex Diamond Fuse<br />

fabric, helmet-compatible hood with wire brim and HoodLock to<br />

reduce volume, stretch underarm panels, external and internal<br />

chest pockets, pack-friendly hand pockets, YKK Aquaguard<br />

zippers, elastic drawcord hem. 326g (m), 298g (w).<br />


patagonia Macro Puff $699.99<br />

This ultralight hoody delivers high-loft, water-resistant<br />

warmth due to its PlumaFill insulation, a revolutionary,<br />

down-like alternative with all the benefits of a synthetic.<br />

Fair Trade Certified sewn, it's available in a range of<br />

colours, as well as a jacket variant. 363g.<br />




Explore Planet Earth ePE Comas Swag Bag<br />

$199.00<br />

Designed for rugged adventures and oversized<br />

for comfort. The EPE Swagbag features a hollow<br />

fibre layered filling for superior thermal efficiency<br />

when warmth is needed the most.<br />


Kiwi Camping Mamaku Pro -5°C Sleeping Bag<br />

$109.00<br />

The Mamaku Pro provides exceptional warmth<br />

on cold adventures. The semi-tapered design<br />

features a drawstring contoured hood that packs<br />

down into the handy compression bag for easy<br />

pack and carry.<br />


Exped WinterLite -15 Down Sleeping Bag (medium)<br />

$899.99<br />

Designed for cold-weather mountaineering and<br />

harsh environments. Features a water-repellent,<br />

breathable, windproof, lightweight shell with 850g<br />

of 800-fill power goose down. Differential cut,<br />

adjustable draft collar, 3D foot box. 1380g<br />


kiwi camping Ruru 4 Hiker $439.00<br />

The Ruru is a lightweight, easy-pitch hiker tent with a<br />

semi-geodesic alloy frame. It breaks down into three<br />

separate bags for hiking.<br />


kiwi camping Intrepid Lite Air Mat<br />

$109.00<br />

Weighing just 630g, the Intrepid<br />

Lite is a compact and comfy<br />

sleeping mat ideal for tramping,<br />

hiking or hunting. Made from<br />

310T Nylon Ripstop.<br />


SteriPEN® Classic 3 $249.95<br />

A sleek, ergonomic and easy to use<br />

SteriPEN water purifier to keep you safely<br />

hydrated by destroying over 99.9% of<br />

waterborne microorganisms. Produces up<br />

to 8000 litres of purified water.<br />



Jetboil Jetpower Fuel 100g, 230g & 450g from $8.99<br />

Fuel efficiency translates to weight, space, and money savings. Since Jetboil is up to<br />

twice as efficient as conventional stoves, you can take half as much fuel on your trip, thus<br />

saving weight. A Jetpower fuel canister, with 100 grams of fuel, boils as much water with<br />

Jetboil as competing stoves do with their big 227 gram canisters. The other big benefit is<br />

space savings since Jetpower canisters nest conveniently inside the cooking cup.<br />


jetboil STASH Cooking System $299.95<br />

The lightest and most compact jetboil ever.<br />

We know your dreams are big and ambitious.<br />

Which is why we designed the all-new Stash<br />

to be lightweight and compact, maximizing<br />

your pack space without sacrificing that iconic<br />

Jetboil performance. At 7.1 oz or 200 g, the .8L<br />

Stash is 40% lighter than the .8L Zip.<br />


Gasmate Turbo Butane Stove & Pot Set $139.00<br />

For quick boiling when you need it! A super<br />

lightweight aluminium stove with stainless<br />

steel burner, piezo ignition, stabilising feet and<br />

accessories all packaged in a mesh carry bag.<br />


gasmate sika stove $41.99<br />

The Sika Stoves provides a powerful 10,900<br />

BTUs of cooking power and can support pans<br />

130mm in diameter. Weighing just 103g, it<br />

comes with it’s own plastic storage container.<br />



The first thing you’ll notice is that the front label on their pouches have changed for the better by adding Health Star Ratings<br />

and energy, protein, fat and carbs per pouch. They have also improved the readability of our back labels.<br />

Back Country Cuisine is available at leading retailers. For more information or to find your nearest stockist visit:<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

tasty chicken mash $9.49 - $13.99<br />

With smoky flavoured freeze dried chicken, cheese<br />

and vegetables.<br />

3.5 Health Stars - Gluten Free<br />

Available small serve (90g) or regular (175g)<br />


Apple & Berry Crumble $13.19<br />

A sweet mix of freeze dried apples and berries topped<br />

with a delicious gluten free cookie crumb.<br />

3 Health Stars - Gluten Free<br />


INSTANT PASTA $4.89<br />

Just add boiling water for perfectly cooked pasta.<br />

3.5 Health Stars<br />

Sizes – Family 120g<br />


sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power<br />

bank $119.00<br />

Built tough for the outdoors and with a<br />

massive battery capacity you can keep all<br />

your devices charged no matter where your<br />

adventure takes you.<br />



Inspired by the innovative,<br />

everchanging drinks scene,<br />

we instinctively knew how a<br />

drop of Jägermeister and a<br />

backbeat of cold brew coffee<br />

could transform any night. The<br />

enviable result? A brand-new<br />


BREW COFFEE. A unique<br />

fusion of JÄGERMEISTER’s<br />

56 botanicals and intense cold<br />

brew coffee.<br />


TIRED<br />

LEGS?<br />

deepcreek local ipa $3.55<br />

With only 93 calories per can, this midstrength,<br />

refreshing, low calorie IPA is<br />

the perfect beer for the active lifestyle!<br />





DESSERT.<br />

toa music in ear headphones $139.00<br />

Toa Music. A game-changer in personal<br />

audio. Clear sound, a tree in the ground,<br />

sustainable construction, touch control"<br />

and 5% support for local outdoor nonprofits.<br />

Created by Kiwi adventurers.<br />


backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

<br />

<br />

Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch<br />

Born from <strong>Adventure</strong>: Shackleton Blended<br />

Malt Scotch is based on the spirit supplied to<br />

the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition, expertly<br />

crafted using a selection of the finest Highland<br />

Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Available at<br />

various Liquor Retailers .<br />


deejo ultra light knife<br />

Ultra-light knife in Z40C13 stainless steel, black titanium<br />

finish. Secure liner lock system decorated with fine laser<br />

engraving. Belt clip. Solid blue beech wood handle slab.<br />

11 CM CLOSED / 20.5 CM OPEN<br />


hydroflask 24oz (710mL) Lightweight<br />

Wide Mouth Trail Series: Topaz, Slate,<br />

Obsidian, Clay $99.99<br />

Our Lightweight Trail Series flasks<br />

are 25% lighter, making it easier to<br />

take your hot or cold drink wherever<br />

your adventure takes you.<br />



pacsafe RFIDsafe V100 RFID Blocking Bifold Wallet $60.00<br />

This sporty looking wallet keeps your cash and cards safe<br />

from unauthorised transactions with its RFID blocking<br />

material. It has 9 card slots, a zip-secure cash sleeve and<br />

comes with an adjustable cut-resistant wrist strap to ensure<br />

it stays with you.<br />


Quest bike trailers $1995 inc GST<br />

Designed and engineered in the<br />

Southern Alps of New Zealand, it will<br />

take you on and off the road carrying<br />

all the necessities to have a great time<br />

exploring our beautiful cycle trails or on<br />

that epic overseas adventure.<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 />

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 />

Experts at adventure travel since 2000<br />

We live what we sell!<br />

www.madabouttravel.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 />

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 />

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 />

Our Mission<br />

To bring like-minded adventurers together for epic journey’s<br />

fuelled by top-notch coffee. All while supporting the things<br />

we care about and restoring nature.<br />

www.epiccoffee.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 />


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 />


Unlock your adventure horizon with Packraft New Zealand.<br />

Online supplier of Kokopelli packrafts, accessories and<br />

adventure inspiration. Shop online or contact us for expert<br />

advice for everything packrafting; hike-raft, bike-raft, hunt-raft,<br />

whitewater, fishing, canyoneering, urban and travel.<br />

www.packraftnewzealand.co.nz<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 />

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 />

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 />

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 />

With stores in Clyde and<br />

Cromwell, Bike it Now! is<br />

your access point to the<br />

Central Otago Bike trials: T<br />

> Lake Dunstan Trail<br />

> Otago Central Rail Trail<br />

> Roxbourgh Gorge<br />

and more...<br />

www.bikeitnow.co.nz<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 />



Overnight the travel industry stopped<br />

dead in its tracks, for over 2 years, thanks<br />

to Covid!<br />

So now, more than ever, as you start<br />

to look at your travel plans, you need<br />

someone on your side to make sure your<br />

adventure travel goes smoothly, because<br />

we are not over the bumps in the road<br />

just yet.<br />

Now, more than ever before, you need<br />

a travel agent who actually knows what<br />

they are talking about; someone who<br />

has real experience both as a travel<br />

expert and in the activities you want to be<br />

involved with.<br />

Phil and Katie Clark, Mad about Travel,<br />

are passionate about helping people live<br />

their dreams; whether its heli-skiing in<br />

Canada, diving in Truk Lagoon or hiking<br />

in Nepal.<br />


With over 22 years of travel experience,<br />

there aren’t many places they haven’t<br />

skied, dived or hiked. Add to that,<br />

travelling as a family of four for the past<br />

ten years, means they have a unique<br />

insight on how families travel and what<br />

makes family travel fun, interesting and<br />

most of all easy.<br />

In this new, post Covid 19 climate,<br />

using a travel expert is more important<br />

than ever! Border requirements are<br />

constantly changing, along with flight<br />

schedules, testing rules and vaccination<br />

requirements. As part of the Travel<br />

Managers Group (TMG), “Mad about<br />

Travel” is backed by the might of the<br />

Flight Centre group. This means their<br />

information is up to date, their airfares<br />

and accommodation rates are the best<br />

available and their accounting and backoffice<br />

systems are second to none.<br />

Mad about Travel can help you plan your ultimate ski trip<br />

Using a travel expert means you can<br />

develop a relationship with someone<br />

who knows where you have been<br />

and what you like. Even if you enjoy<br />

researching travel and hunting out great<br />

accommodation options, your travel<br />

expert will often be able to book the same<br />

properties at the same or better rates,<br />

with favourable terms and extras (like<br />

free breakfast, refundable terms and<br />

transfers).<br />

Also, your travel expert will find you the<br />

best travel insurance to look after you and<br />

your family which covers the activities<br />

you’re doing; skiing, mountain biking and<br />

sailing can all require special insurance.<br />

When things go wrong is when your travel<br />

experts value really comes to the fore.<br />

In this covid world things go wrong all<br />

the time and quickly. You just call them<br />

and speak to a real person, someone<br />


who wants to help you rather than waiting<br />

for hours on hold to an airline who really<br />

couldn’t care less! Flights, transfers and<br />

accommodation are easily fixed using direct<br />

access tools and you can get on with your<br />

trip.<br />

Now more than ever using a travel expert<br />

makes sense.<br />

Mad about Travel’s by-line is “we live what<br />

we sell”. There is not a better endorsement<br />

for an <strong>Adventure</strong> based Travel specialist!<br />

Call them to plan your next adventure.<br />

Mad about Travel<br />

+64 22 151 0198 | 0800 623 872<br />

Phil@madabouttravel.co.nz | info@madabouttravel.co.nz<br />

www.madabouttravel.co.nz<br />

Above: Let Mad about Travel help<br />

you plan your bike adventure to NZ,<br />

Canada and the USA.<br />

Image by Greg Rosenke<br />

We are MAD about TRAVEL!<br />

Experts at adventure travel since 2000<br />

Book your next adventure with<br />

Mad about Travel!<br />

We are here to<br />

look after you.<br />

"We live what we sell"<br />

0800 623 872<br />

info@madabouttravel.co.nz<br />


t r a v e l<br />


JAPAN<br />


"Watch snow<br />

monkeys bathe,<br />

learn how to<br />

prepare soba<br />

noodles, dive<br />

with sharks,<br />

explore Asia’s<br />

largest cave<br />

system, go ice<br />

fishing or try<br />

fat biking in the<br />

snow!"<br />

While for many, adventure screams<br />

adrenalin rush, danger and high risk,<br />

Japan National Tourism Organization<br />

(JNTO) has redefined ‘adventure’ in<br />

terms of leaving your personal comfort<br />

zone – whatever that may look like for<br />

each individual.<br />

The fresh approach means visitors<br />

can look to do something different,<br />

feeling challenged emotionally or<br />

spiritually and exploring an area of<br />

interest that may never have registered<br />

before. <strong>Adventure</strong> means ‘escape’<br />

on a whole new level – an escape<br />

from the everyday, a chance to push<br />

yourself beyond personal limits and an<br />

opportunity for reinvention.<br />

The Japanese archipelago offers<br />

endless opportunities to explore. In<br />

the north, Hokkaido offers large scale<br />

national parks, wild coastlines, rare<br />

fauna and the heritage of Ainu culture.<br />

Nagano, less than an hour from<br />

Tokyo, features striking alps, yearround<br />

trekking, world-class skiing and<br />

canyoning. Head south to Okinawa<br />

for scuba diving, cruising uninhabited<br />

islands and the warmth of the local<br />

Ryukyu culture. Here are some more<br />

adventure suggestions that are found<br />

all over Japan.

Camping/Glamping – Deer watching<br />

and open-air hot springs in World<br />

Heritage Site: With Japan’s variety<br />

of climates and changing seasonal<br />

landscape there are many locations to<br />

set up a tent and immerse yourself in the<br />

great outdoors for both beginners and the<br />

more experienced. Deep in the forests<br />

of Shiretoko Natural World Heritage Site<br />

and National Park in eastern Hokkaido is<br />

Rausu Onsen Campsite. This unique site<br />

allows visitors to spot native fauna like the<br />

Ezo deer and then relax in an open-air hot<br />

spring nearby.<br />

Canyoning – Explore canyons carved<br />

out over millions of years: There are a<br />

number of places to experience canyoning<br />

in Japan, including in Hokkaido and<br />

Nagano, but some of the best canyoning<br />

can be found in the nature-rich area of<br />

Minakami in Gunma Prefecture. There is<br />

no better way to seek adrenalin inducing<br />

summer thrills than in the fast-flowing<br />

waters from Japan’s Northern Alps that<br />

have over millions of years carved out<br />

Kamoshika Canyon, creating smooth<br />

slides and deep pools. Descend a<br />

15-meter waterfall using ropes, then swim,<br />

slide and jump down canyon walls, all with<br />

the help of an experienced guide.<br />

Caving – Go caving in one of Asia’s<br />

largest cave systems: Japan harbours<br />

several mystical, ancient caves. Okinawa,<br />

known as a diving destination, offers a<br />

magical and exotic cave diving experience<br />

in its famed Blue Cave. Additionally, one<br />

of the largest and most beloved collections<br />

of caves in Asia is found on Okinoerabu<br />

Island in Kagoshima. The large cave<br />

system attracts spelunkers from all over<br />

the world to explore a 1.2 km illuminated<br />

section of the cave, with milky stalactites<br />

and emerald-green pools.<br />

Climbing – Experience the spectacular<br />

seasonal beauty from on high: Did<br />

you know 70% of Japan is made up of<br />

mountainous areas? That may be why<br />

climbing is so popular in Japan as it offers<br />

a wealth of trekking and rock-climbing<br />

locations, with incredible views of a<br />

changing natural landscape. Mt Myogi in<br />

Gunma Prefecture is a rewarding climb<br />

for the adventurer looking for a challenge.<br />

There are an assortment of rock<br />

formations and swathes of natural beauty<br />

that showcase the colours of the season.<br />

Culture – Try on, and learn about the<br />

ritual around the kimono: Travelling<br />

across Japan, you will find regional<br />

traditions and differences offering a<br />

unique tapestry of traditional performing<br />

arts and long-established customs. In<br />

Hokkaido, learn about one of Japan's<br />

indigenous peoples, the Ainu; study the<br />

ways of the ninja in Shiga; try karate in<br />

Okinawa; observe mesmerising kagura<br />

performances in Miyazaki or learn about<br />

the Ama free-divers in Mie. Dressing in a<br />

kimono is a ritualistic process that is well<br />

worth a try on your next visit. Put yourself<br />

in the hands of an expert at Ryoan—a<br />

kimono shop in Shizuoka City, established<br />

in 1965. The English-speaking owner will<br />

help you pick out a kimono, dress you, and<br />

explain the history of the garment.<br />

Cycling – Ride along a scenic lake:<br />

Japan is lined up and down with scenic<br />

cycling routes, including world-famous<br />

tracks such as the Shimanami Kaido<br />

which connects Shikoku to Honshu. Lake<br />

Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan, is one<br />

of Tohoku's most scenic spots year-round.<br />

In the warmer seasons, cyclists from<br />

around the world gather to explore the<br />

numerous beauty points that line its 20 km<br />

course. There are plenty of bikes available<br />

to rent nearby so that you can enjoy an<br />

unforgettable trip while cycling beside the<br />

stunning cobalt blue lake.<br />

Diving - Dive with a swarm of<br />

houndsharks in Chiba: As an island<br />

nation that stretches over 3000 kilometers<br />

long, Japan boasts several diving sites<br />

along its long coastline. This underwater<br />

world is populated with a diverse variety<br />

of marine creatures. The southern coast<br />

of Chiba Prefecture's Boso Peninsula,<br />

jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, is a<br />

prime location for diving, surfing, fishing,<br />

and other marine activities. The Ito-<br />

Tateyama area is one of the few places in<br />

Japan where divers can experience the<br />

‘shark scramble’, a swarm of hundreds of<br />

banded houndsharks. There are also large<br />

populations of red stingray, bulgyhead<br />

wrasse and longtooth grouper.<br />

Fishing – Try your luck ice fishing<br />

amidst the snowscapes of Mt<br />

Akagi: Japan is both mountainous and<br />

surrounded completely by water, offering<br />

various fishing locations in which to test<br />

out any number of fishing methods. Lake<br />

Akan in the Akan-Mashu National Park<br />

in Hokkaido and the Japan Alps near<br />

Gifu and Nagano are both famous for fly<br />

fishing, while Okinawa and the Ogasawara<br />

Islands are perfect for deep-sea fishing.<br />

Climb Mt. Akagi, one of the Three Famous<br />

Mountains of Gunma Prefecture, to the<br />

frozen Lake Onuma, where you can take<br />

part in traditional smelt ice fishing. Cut a<br />

hole in the ice and dangle string to catch<br />

a fish and if you are lucky enough you can<br />

bring your catch to a nearby restaurant to<br />

have it deep-fried or turned into golden<br />

brown tempura.<br />

Food & Drink - Make soba noodles in<br />

the birthplace of Japanese buckwheat<br />

noodles: A tour of Japanese dining offers<br />

glimpses of Japan's climate, aesthetics<br />

and even religious values. Try making<br />

soba in Nagano Prefecture, one of the<br />

most famous areas for the buckwheat<br />

noodle dish. Soba was likely first made<br />

in Nagano, and pristine water and local<br />

buckwheat make its noodles particularly<br />

delicious. There are many specialty shops<br />

around the region today, a handful of<br />

which offer soba-making experiences.<br />


Snow monkeys, rafting, food, skiing, hiking and kayaking... Individually all great reasons to visit, all together they help make<br />

Japan the perfect adventure destination...<br />

Hiking and Walking - Travel Nagano's<br />

ancient pilgrim paths: Japan’s diverse<br />

terrain is well worth exploring on one of<br />

the many scenic walks and hikes. You<br />

will encounter countless mesmerising<br />

landscapes of majestic mountains,<br />

endless seas filled with drift ice, ponds<br />

of different hues of blue and picturesque<br />

gorges. One of the highlights is the<br />

guided tour along the Togakushi Kodo in<br />

Nagano—an ancient pilgrimage route.<br />

The 10-kilometer route connects the five<br />

shrines on the slopes of Mt. Togakushi that<br />

are a traditional centre for Shugendo, a<br />

form of mountain worship. Along the route,<br />

view 400-year old cedar trees and wander<br />

through the wetlands on a boardwalk built<br />

to blend in with its surroundings.<br />

Kayak/SUP - Enjoy a kayaking tour<br />

around a candle-shaped island:<br />

Kayaking is a relaxing way to leisurely<br />

drift across the scenic waters that can<br />

be found throughout Japan, from Lake<br />

Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, to the<br />

Kushiro-shitsugen and its diverse wildlife<br />

population to Lake Kawaguchi and its<br />

spectacular view of Mt Fuji. Rosoku-jima,<br />

or ‘Candle Island’, located near Dogo<br />

Island in the Oki Island chain, is a large<br />

rock pillar that juts straight out of the water.<br />

At sunset, the sun appears to illuminate<br />

the tip of the pillar like a lit candle. Enjoy<br />

from a sea kayaking tour or sunset cruise.<br />

The Oki Island chain is characterized<br />

by pristine nature and beautiful rock<br />

formations, making it a breathtaking area<br />

to view from the water.<br />

Ski and Snowboarding – Or….take<br />

to the slopes on a fat bike!: The highquality<br />

powder snowfall in Japan is<br />

the envy of skiers and snowboarders<br />

worldwide. There are many resorts to<br />

be found in well-known places such as<br />

Hokkaido's Niseko and Nagano's Hakuba.<br />

Nagano's Togari Onsen Snow Resort is<br />

a ski resort with a 2500m long course<br />

that accommodates both beginners and<br />

experts alike and boasts Japan's only<br />

‘snow-bike park’. Load a fat bike (a bike<br />

with oversize tyres to accommodate<br />

extreme terrain) into the ski lift on your<br />

way to an exhilarating ride down the<br />

specially designed 800m course, with<br />

slopes and trees that the wide tires<br />

navigate easily, to have a different kind of<br />

snow thrill.<br />

Surfing – Surf where the pros do<br />

on Japan's surf island of Niijima:<br />

Surrounded by water, Japan boasts worldclass<br />

waves and beaches used for major<br />

surfing events as well as hidden spots that<br />

offer a more private surfing experience.<br />

Niijima Island is one of Japan’s most<br />

popular surf islands, with long, white<br />

beaches and beautiful, milky blue seas.<br />

The island has hosted the world’s best<br />

surfers as part of the Pro Tour WCT.<br />

Niijima Island is technically part of Tokyo<br />

but is located in the Izu Islands south of<br />

the metropolis, accessible by high-speed<br />

ferry and small plane.<br />

Wildlife Watching - Bathing snow<br />

monkeys in the scenic mountains<br />

of Nagano: A variety of astonishing<br />

wild animals can be found in Japan's<br />

diverse natural environment, including<br />

Hokkaido's wild bears, the enormous<br />

whales splashing in the waters of Okinawa<br />

and Nagano's hot-spring-bathing snow<br />

monkeys. At Jigokudani located within<br />

the borders of Joshin’etsukogen National<br />

Park, wild Japanese macaques (snow<br />

monkeys) saunter out of the snowy forest<br />

and slip into a steamy hot spring, relaxing<br />

in their natural habitat and forge an<br />

incredible memory for those watching.<br />

For more information visit:<br />

www.japan.travel/adventure/en/<br />


t r a v e l<br />

TAHITI<br />


Tahiti is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful<br />

places on earth, the water, the beaches, the<br />

mountains, and the lagoons. You can see why<br />

it is the quintessential place to get married or<br />

go on your getaway honeymoon. However, it<br />

has the reputation of not only being beautiful,<br />

but expensive! Yet most destinations can be<br />

expensive if you stay at costly places, but they<br />

don’t have to be, and Tahiti is no different.<br />

Ok, Tahiti is not Bali, but it does not need to break<br />

your bank balance either. There is a range of<br />

good priced yet beautifully located hotels, the<br />

is an ever-growing number of Air BnB homes,<br />

which when you look online are often beautifully<br />

situated and cost effective. Over the last ten<br />

years or so, there has been real growth in<br />

boutique smaller properties called ‘’pensions’’,<br />

like a guesthouse. These are normally a familyrun<br />

businesses many located in more secluded<br />

locations, where you can have a room, or a<br />

house, which often comes with a boat (for surfing,<br />

diving, fishing) and the family will also feed you.<br />

It is a full immersion experience that gives you a<br />

taste of the Tahitian lifestyle and local knowledge<br />

which if linked in with activities like surfing or<br />

diving that local knowledge is priceless.<br />

Apart from romantic weddings and honeymoons,<br />

Tahiti is also seen as a lazy lay on the beach or<br />

by the pool with a cocktail, which you can do, but<br />

it has a lot more to offer:<br />

Hiking in Tahiti, lush vegetations, waterfalls, historic sights and amazing views!

Above: Tahiti's warm, clear water makes for perfect diving conditions all year.<br />

Top Right: Not all the waves in Tahiti are huge- Ask Paige Hareb, New Zealand's top surfer. There are great waves all over Tahiti.<br />

Bottom Right: The wharf to Teahupoo's Bonjouir pension.<br />

The DIVING in Tahiti is amazing, it is not<br />

known for its sponges and coral, say like<br />

Fiji, but it has a reputation for large pelagic<br />

fish, barracuda, sharks, stingrays, manta,<br />

even whales in the correct season. The<br />

water clarity is superb and of course, it’s<br />

warm. Most of the islands offer some<br />

professional scuba experience, surprisingly<br />

some of the more remote islands like<br />

Fakarava offers Professional PADI dive<br />

operators simply because people will travel<br />

the extra distance because the diving is so<br />

good.<br />

Hand in hand with quality scuba diving<br />

is FREEDIVING. With the growth of<br />

freediving worldwide, Tahiti has become<br />

a mecca for freedivers – as mentioned in<br />

the diving section there is a plethora of<br />

pelagic fish in Tahiti, all close to the reef<br />

edge and easily accessible. Spearfishing<br />

is a full-time occupation for many<br />

Tahitians, as fish is the prime source of<br />

portion. So, Tahitians know where all<br />

the best spearfishing places are, where<br />

to go on what tides and in what season<br />

seasons.<br />

SURFING in Tahiti has a world reputation,<br />

but unfortunately to the masses, Tahiti<br />

is only known for Teahupoo the massive<br />

wave on Tahiti-Iti. There are numerous<br />

YouTube clips of Teahupoo and massive<br />

sets rolling in but don’t let this put you<br />

off, there are only a handful of surfers<br />

who feel comfortable in these conditions.<br />

However, there is surf all over Tahiti, the<br />

main island, and the smaller islands. They<br />

are predominantly reef breaks, however,<br />

there are several beach breaks. Some<br />

of the reef breaks are within paddling<br />

distance of the shore, some not. Staying<br />

at a pension is a great way to get into the<br />

local surfing scene, the family will take<br />

you out to the best reef – determine your<br />

ability and put you in the right spot to have<br />

the most fun. If not staying at the pension<br />

it pays to get a surf guide, there are many!<br />

Tahiti is a ‘PADDLE NATION’ on any given<br />

day on any lagoon you will see locals<br />

paddling, mostly va’a (same as our waka<br />

ama) or paddleboards and even sea<br />

kayaks. There are numerous places to<br />

hire from and a lot of the hotels offer free<br />

use of equipment. Some hire places do<br />

offer sea kayaks but it’s not sea kayaking<br />

as we know it in New Zealand, there are<br />

options for sea kayaking excursions on<br />

the other islands. Word to the wise if you<br />

are going to hire a paddleboard, kayak or<br />

a va’a, stay away from the surf and stay<br />

away from the pass in the lagoon (the<br />

gap in the reef). The tide rips out through<br />

these passes, on an outgoing tide and<br />

you would not be able to paddle against<br />

the amount of water heading out to sea,<br />

so where it goes you go!<br />

Not all activities in Tahiti are on or in the<br />

water there are some breathtaking and<br />

historical sites and adventure that lie<br />

inland; Waterfalls, mountain peaks, lush<br />

valleys, and ancient ruins, there is a lot to<br />

be explored, on foot, HIKING.<br />

There are guidebooks available, and<br />

most hotels will have an information desk<br />

you can ask or simply hunt online. But<br />

as always, it’s best to get a guide. A lot<br />

of the tracks are hard to find, some you<br />

need a permit for and some on custom or<br />

private land. Most guides will offer a 4x4<br />

option to get you to the right start point<br />

so that you can get the most out of your<br />

on-foot experience. For a taste of what is<br />

available go to https://tahititourisme.com/<br />

en-us/tahiti-activities/outdoors/hiking-intahiti/<br />

The paradigm that Tahiti is expensive and<br />

for weddings and honeymooners, is a<br />

concept of the past. There are affordable<br />

places to stay, to eat, and to fully<br />

experience what Tahiti and her islands<br />

has to offer.<br />

To see what is available visit<br />

www.tahititourisme.nz/en-nz/<br />



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• On Rarotonga’s southwest sunshine coast | Sizzling sunsets<br />

• Extensive free activities - stand-up paddleboarding, snorkelling (all-tide), kayaking, tennis, gym,<br />

beachfront swimming pool, learn to dance the hula, make a lei, play the ukulele, husk a coconut<br />

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toll free 0800 727 686 | P (+682) 25800<br />

| info@therarotongan.com<br />

www.TheRarotongan.com (Live Chat avail.)

t r a v e l<br />



Are you dreaming of holiday with the perfect balance of<br />

relaxation and water sports action? Then the Cook Islands is<br />

calling your name. Rarotonga, the country’s capital, is a Mecca<br />

for water sports activities.<br />

Snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding are the most<br />

accessible and most popular activities that you can do with<br />

in an hour after landing in Rarotonga. There are many great<br />

spots located directly out your front door, but be sure to check<br />

for any safety concerns or warning signage around passages.<br />

You can hire all your snorkeling and paddling equipment from<br />

various businesses such as KiteSUP, <strong>Adventure</strong> Cook Islands<br />

and Captain Tamaʼs. If you want a special and unique paddling<br />

experience try a guided night paddle tour or paddle board yoga<br />

class.<br />

Guided snorkeling trips are recommended for 1st time snorkels<br />

or for the more experienced snorkeler wanting to venture into<br />

open, deep water. There are many companies to choose from,<br />

some even offering sea scooters.<br />

For the adrenaline seeking traveler you have kitesurfing and<br />

wing surfing lessons, diving courses or game fishing charters to<br />

choose from.<br />

Head over to the East side of the island of Muri Beach for<br />

the best spot to pick up the ever growing sport of kitesurfing<br />

and wing surfing. What is wing surfing? Wing surfing is best<br />

described as the greatest aspects of windsurfing and kitesurfing<br />

combined together. Think of a kite sail without strings and the

Above: Rarotonga offers world-class diving<br />

Left top to bottom: Wing surfing is perect with the Rarotongan trade<br />

winds - Image courtesy of KiteSup<br />

Night time paddleboarding<br />

Rarotonga is the perfect place to learn a new water sport.<br />

Rarotonga’s Original<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> Water Sports Centre<br />

Multi<br />

Award<br />

Winner<br />

wind surf sail without the mast. Wing surfing is not supposed to<br />

replace windsurfing, kiteboarding or surfing. It's a complement,<br />

an addition and an alternative. Wing surfing is very easy to get<br />

into and ideal for light winds when kitesurfing is not possible.<br />

Although it was conceived to be used with a foil board, it can<br />

also be for riding stand-up paddle boards (SUP), windsurf and<br />

kiteboards, and even skateboards and snowboards.<br />

Most people require at least 3 lessons of kitesurfing or wing<br />

surfing to go from zero to hero so be sure to book in at the<br />

start of your holiday. Lessons are constructed in 2 hour time<br />

blocks over three days so you can plan other activities around<br />

your lessons. Muri is the ideal learning spot with its clear,<br />

shallow, and warm waters and reliable S.E. Tradewinds from<br />

May-October. Gear hire is also available for experienced kiters/<br />

wingers.<br />

Dive Centres offer introduction courses for the beginners well<br />

as 2 tank dives for certified divers. All deep sea diving trips are<br />

boat-based and most of the dive sites are just ten minutes from<br />

the departure point. There are plenty of options for the beginner<br />

to advanced including drop offs, coral gardens, night dives,<br />

lagoon dives and family diving experiences (8 years and older).<br />

Up to 60 meter visibility, 73 types of live coral, and hundreds of<br />

fish species, Rarotonga is an ideal place to experience diving.<br />

Don’t leave it for your last day as you can’t dive with in 24hr<br />

of flying. Diving is good year round, but for an added highlight<br />

humpback whale migration season is July-September.<br />

est 2010<br />



PH: 27877 info@kitesup.co www.kitesup.co

t r a v e l<br />



Kastom and culture forms Vanuatu’s identity. Its why Ni-Vanuatu are present in the now. It’s<br />

why they are grounded and content. A cultural experience is on offer to any travellers. It can<br />

be felt in an interaction in a local food market or a visit to a kava bar, right through to wandering<br />

through a village in a remote outer island.<br />

As raw as it is diverse, Vanuatu’s culture (known as ‘kastom’ in Bislama, the language spoken<br />

in Vanuatu) can be experienced through your everyday interactions. It’s the lifeblood of the<br />

country, and the further you go from the trail, the more diverse the range of cultures you’ll<br />

experience. Whether you’re looking to visit a cultural village on one of the main islands, or stay<br />

in a village bungalow on one of the outer islands, sharing a meal with locals or marvelling at<br />

Naghol, you’ll find yourself coming face to face with a rich culture which is in many cases, still<br />

rather unaffected by the outside world.<br />

" It’s the<br />

lifeblood of the<br />

country, and the<br />

further you go<br />

from the trail,<br />

the more diverse<br />

the range of<br />

cultures you’ll<br />

experience."<br />


Sand drawing (or sandroing in<br />

Bislama) is a ni-Vanuatu artistic<br />

and ritual tradition and practice,<br />

recognised by UNESCO as a<br />

Masterpiece of the Oral and<br />

Intangible Heritage of Humanity.<br />

If you want to know everything<br />

about sandroing, the best person<br />

to learn from is Edgar Hinge at<br />

the National Museum in Port Vila.<br />

Passionate about the artform, he<br />

can initiate you in this challenging<br />

art. Children enjoy it as much as<br />

adults.<br />

Sandroing is deeply rooted in<br />

many of Vanuatu’s cultures. Epi,<br />

Paama, Malekula, Ambrym,<br />

Pentecost, Ambae, Maevo and<br />

Mota Lava all have their very own<br />

ways of practicing sandroing. It<br />

is considered to be an ancient<br />

way of sharing information. For<br />

centuries, it has been an efficient<br />

way to communicate messages<br />

between communities – and to<br />

leave messages behind. But<br />

there is much more to it. Great<br />

dexterity is needed to perform a<br />

sandroing in a single, continuous<br />

gesture. Mistakes are not<br />

allowed, and you must redo the<br />

entire drawing if you make one.<br />

Each drawing is symmetrical,<br />

leading some to consider<br />

sandroing to be a genuine<br />

method of mathematical training.<br />

There are a number of wellknown<br />

designs such as the<br />

turtle. But each sandroing often<br />

also hold several meanings at<br />

once, and can symbolize deeper<br />

meanings as well: life, death and<br />

even love.<br />


" In some parts of<br />

Malekula, young<br />

men who reach a<br />

certain age must<br />

go through a rite<br />

of passage in order<br />

to be recognized<br />

as a man by their<br />

community. "<br />



As on most islands of Vanuatu, in some<br />

parts of Malekula, young men who reach<br />

a certain age must go through a rite of<br />

passage in order to be recognized as a<br />

man by their community. The Neimangi-<br />

Lewen kastom is a rite of passage<br />

undertaken by seven clans on Malekula<br />

Island. Some of the clans taking part this<br />

year are the Botket clan, Neval, Tasbol,<br />

Nesiryen and Nepang.<br />

Originally, the Neimangi-Lewen lasted for<br />

one year, and during this time, the young<br />

men would go through ‘kastom training’ to<br />

master various skills in order to graduate<br />

as men in their society. These days, most<br />

young men are required to attend school<br />

in order to get an education. Because of<br />

this, the one year of hiding is no longer<br />

possible and instead, young boys are<br />

taught the kastom during school breaks.<br />

Once they are considered to be ready for<br />

the next step, they are sent into hiding for<br />

three months.<br />

During the three month long hiding period,<br />

the young men are first taught all the<br />

songs of the old kastom ways and stories.<br />

These songs have specific purposes and<br />

meanings for different occasions such as<br />

weddings and other kastom ceremonies<br />

that are part of life on Vanuatu’s second<br />

largest island. They are then taught bush<br />

knowledge: which trees are good for firemaking,<br />

when is the right time to plant<br />

different crops by watching the moon,<br />

how to study flower blooming patterns<br />

to predict the harvest ahead as well as<br />

seasons and also learn sand drawing<br />

as well as memorizing the songs that go<br />

along with them.<br />

Another important set of skills that are<br />

taught is bushcraft — how to survive in the<br />

bush alone by hunting and scavenging.<br />

Each young man must learn the art of<br />

bow and arrow making and master the<br />

weapon. Most importantly each boy<br />

becomes fluent in their local tongue along<br />

with all these other skills before the end<br />

of the training where communities and<br />

villages come together to celebrate in<br />

the Neimangi-Lewen kastom ceremony.<br />

Visitors are often invited to attend and<br />

take part in the cultural festivities. During<br />

the ceremony, feast making and custom<br />

dances take place throughout and visitors<br />

can even take part in the Nevinmatuo<br />

which is the bow and arrow competition.<br />

The Neimangi-Lewen kastom ceremony<br />

celebrations will be held this year in<br />

December near the village of Melken in<br />

southeast Malekula. From here, festival<br />

goers can also plan to hike the famous<br />

Manbush Trail.<br />


NAGHOL, otherwise known as land<br />

diving, is a rite of passage for the men<br />

of Pentecost Island. It's the inspiration<br />

for modern-day bungee jumping and<br />

is what Pentecost is famous for. We’ve<br />

compiled a quick cheat sheet to help<br />

you with planning your trip, whether it<br />

be as a day trip or multi-day visit.<br />

Locals say that Naghol started from a<br />

time when a woman was running from<br />

her husband and was chased to the top<br />

of a coconut tree. She jumped off (with<br />

vines attached to her legs) and survived<br />

and he followed, yet did not survive.<br />

Naghol marks the start of the yam<br />

harvest season, with the better jumping<br />

resulting in better yams. It's not<br />

specifically a ceremony that occurs for<br />

tourists, though it draws visitors from<br />

around the world to witness the marvel<br />

that is Naghol.Tours to Pentecost Island<br />

to experience Naghol take place on<br />

Saturdays in the months of April to<br />

June. These day tours coincide with the<br />

rite of passage taking place (because<br />

the vines are strong for the ceremony to<br />

take place after the wet season).<br />

For more information go to www.vanuatu.travel<br />



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