Adventure Magazine

Issue 237: Survival Issue

Issue 237: Survival Issue


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adventure<br />

where actions speak louder than words<br />

where actions speak louder than words<br />

ISSUE 237<br />

APR/MAY 2023<br />

NZ $11.90 incl. GST<br />


we ARE tramping<br />


ISSUE<br />

#237<br />

Gaz Zeh Yaavor<br />

One of the slips at Muriwai after Cyclone Gabrielle left my son<br />

and his family home red stickered.<br />

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gear, from the top brands, to keep you safe, comfortable, warm and dry. Our friendly staff are happy to provide<br />

expert advice, ensuring you get the right equipment and the right fit. If you need it for tramping, we have it,<br />

because at Bivouac Outdoor we ARE tramping.<br />

Adelaide Tarn<br />

Kahurangi National Park<br />

Photo: Mark Watson<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> has been creating<br />

the ‘survival issue’ for the last ten years;<br />

it’s a lot more than ‘everyone likes a<br />

good train wreck story’ – it’s an issue<br />

about willpower and determination, about<br />

commitment and resolve. It shows the<br />

best of people, sometimes in the worst<br />

situations.<br />

In January, on our way to Alaska, we<br />

stopped over in Fiji. On arrival, our phones<br />

lit up with texted questions, “Were we<br />

safe? Did we leave OK? How was the<br />

airport?” We then discovered that the<br />

airport had flooded as we took off through<br />

some heavy turbulence. The flooding was<br />

widespread throughout New Zealand, and<br />

being away and viewing it unfold was hard<br />

to watch as people lost their homes and<br />

their lives.<br />

Then a week or so later came the second<br />

blow, Cyclone Gabrielle, and with it, the<br />

making of a perfect storm. An already<br />

waterlogged country drowned again and<br />

was battered by the cyclone. The country<br />

was devastated. As we looked on from a<br />

distance, knowing there was nothing we<br />

could do, it made little difference to the<br />

degree of our concern. Then, like so many<br />

others, our family had their own survival<br />

story unfold. Some of our family live at<br />

Muriwai; as the water-sodden cliffs faced<br />

howling winds and more rain poured, the<br />

cliff turned into slips, and the rest was on<br />

the news; loss of life, hundreds of houses<br />

red stickered, evacuation and lives ruined.<br />

A whole community was ravished in one<br />

night simply by the weather.<br />

Time will tell how that story unravels, if<br />

Muriwai will be rebuilt. But that connection<br />

to a survival situation has made this<br />

<strong>Adventure</strong> issue more poignant.<br />

This issue is dedicated to all those<br />

who have gone through so much over<br />

the last few months, those who have<br />

lost loved ones and houses, income<br />

and communities. Those who feel lost,<br />

isolated, and confused. We want you to<br />

know that you are not forgotten, New<br />

Zealand as a community will help, and<br />

normality will return.<br />

There is an old Jewish fable that says<br />

“Gam Zeh Yaavor” which means ‘this<br />

too shall pass’. That all things, no matter<br />

how difficult, ‘will pass’, which as with all<br />

survival, is the key to success, whether<br />

that is lost on a mountain, faced with<br />

floods or weathering a storm – ‘it will pass’<br />

Steve Dickinson - Editor<br />

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

The story - Gam Zeh Yaavor<br />

King Solomon could not banish his grief<br />

and sadness. No matter what he tried —<br />

the treatments prepared by his doctors, the<br />

guidance offered by his counsellors, he<br />

was just unhappy, depressed, becoming<br />

more despairing every day that passed.<br />

Messengers were sent throughout the<br />

kingdom with a promise of wealth and<br />

power to anyone who could help the king.<br />

The greatest experts, sorcerers, and<br />

doctors came to the palace and tried their<br />

best, but to no avail.<br />

After a while, a wizened-up old man<br />

dressed in ragged clothes arrived at the<br />

palace gate. “I am a farmer,” he said, “I<br />

study nature, every day. I have come to<br />

help the king.”<br />

King Solomon’s courtiers dismissed him.<br />

“I shall wait, then.” Said the old man and he<br />

sat down to wait till the king would see him.<br />

The king’s condition worsened. He felt sad<br />

and helpless, he was lost to his depression<br />

and suffering and saw no end in sight.<br />

Finally, when all hope was lost, the courtier<br />

let the old man in. Without speaking a word,<br />

the man approached the king, handed him<br />

a simple wooden ring, and with that he left.<br />

The king looked down at the ring, read the<br />

etched inscription, and slipped it on his<br />

finger. Then he smiled.<br />

“What does it say, Your Majesty?” asked the<br />

king’s courtiers.<br />

“Just four words,” said the king.<br />

“This, too, shall pass."<br />

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Earlier this year, Kiwi Mike Dawson joined the Antarctic Heritage Trust<br />

NZ's Inspiring Explorers Expedition to the South Pole to celebrate<br />

Roald Amundsen's 150th birthday. Here he explains when this photo<br />

was taken....<br />

Image by Lizzy<br />

Eight year old Mick at the crater lake on Mount Ruapehu!<br />


Last year it was Mt. Taranaki, this year it was Mt. Ruapehu for<br />

8 year old Mick Van de Zeeuw. The weather conditions were<br />

perfect for the climb, with sun and light winds forecasted. After<br />

his adventures on the Northern Circuit in the snow last spring,<br />

he was amazed with the bare landscape on the mountain in<br />

the summer, wearing his <strong>Adventure</strong> cap. Proud and excited<br />

to finally be there after so many adventures close by! As<br />

the clouds came in at the top, it was the “easy” track down<br />

jumping from rock to rock via Restful ridge towards Knoll<br />

Ridge before coming back at the SkyWaka.<br />

"Taken on New Year's Eve during a break on a freezing Antarctic day,<br />

as we traveled across the Polar Plateau towards the South Pole. It was<br />

one of the coldest days of the expedition, any exposed skin quickly<br />

became frost nipped and at this stage, we were 45 days into our<br />

Expedition. We were all tired but excited to celebrate the New Year in<br />

one of the most remote places on the planet."<br />

Full story on page 6.<br />


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 />


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


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@adventurevanlifenz<br />


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and the publishers make no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any of the material contained herein.<br />

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M<br />



Pavel Alekhin performs in California, USA.<br />

The image is a composite and retouched in<br />

image editing software.<br />

Image by Denis Klero / Red Bull Content Pool<br />



Inspiring<br />

kiwi Explorers<br />

Mike Dawson has been involved with <strong>Adventure</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> for<br />

many years; kayaking, exploring, skiing and coaching. Now he can<br />

add polar-exploring to his resume after recently returning from an<br />

expedition to South Pole!<br />

50<br />

days<br />

to the<br />

South<br />

Pole<br />

Interview with<br />

Mike Dawson<br />

Images<br />

supplied by<br />

Mike Dawson<br />

To celebrate 150 years since the birth of legendary polar explorer<br />

Roald Amundsen, Antarctic Heritage Trust chose three Inspiring<br />

Explorers to undertake a guided traverse of close to 1000km from<br />

the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole, a route inspired by Reinhold<br />

Messner and Arved Fuchs’ Antarctic crossing. Mike Dawson was<br />

one of them.<br />

Joining Mike was fellow Kiwi, Auckland firefighter Laura Andrews<br />

and Norwegian intelligence analyst Marthe Brendefur. They were<br />

guided by Norwegian polar guide Bengt Rotmo and led by Antarctic<br />

Heritage Trust executive director Nigel Watson.<br />

With temperatures ranging from -25°C to -40°C, the team faced all<br />

types of weather and reached elevations of 2,800m skiing for up to<br />

10 hours per day for 50 days, each pulling a 60-80kg sled.<br />

The trip was extremely strenuous; participants needed to ski,<br />

mountaineer, endure extremely cold weather and have the mental<br />

stamina to continue in extreme conditions when physically tried. On<br />

his return we caught up with Mike:<br />

Who is Mike Dawson? I'm currently living in Okere Falls. I’m 36<br />

years old and have represented New Zealand in the canoe slalom<br />

at the London and Rio Olympic Games. My passion was always<br />

getting out and exploring new rivers and new places around the<br />

planet, so I ended up doing a few extreme kayaking adventures<br />

around the world.<br />

Heading South. The team slowly climbs while navigating<br />

through a maze of Sastrugi upwards towards the Polar<br />

Plateau on a bluebird day towards the end of the expedition.<br />


Someone who knows you well how do you think that they<br />

would describe you.? This is from Laura Andrews: Mike is this<br />

incredible guy who’s got a contagious belief that everything is<br />

possible. Despite being a legend himself, he builds everyone else<br />

up around him, making them feel like Olympian’s and inspiring<br />

them to expand themselves. He’s sarcastic, jokey and positive.<br />

He’s incredibly humble, super switched on, and lives life well for<br />

every moment. Mikes is incredibly capable, he has a novel worth<br />

of crazy experiences behind him. The amazing thing is that he can<br />

do these adventures and capture it as the same time. The aweinspiring<br />

content inspires, educates and connects.<br />

"Mike is this<br />

incredible<br />

guy who’s<br />

got a<br />

contagious<br />

belief that<br />

everything is<br />

possible."<br />

How did you become part of this expedition? The expedition<br />

was put on by the Antarctic Heritage Trust — The trust is a New<br />

Zealand-based not-for-profit that cares for the expedition base<br />

huts and approx. 20,000 artefacts left behind by early Antarctic<br />

explorers including Captain Robert Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton<br />

and Sir Edmund Hillary. The reason for this expedition is to<br />

celebrate 150 years since the birth, Roald Amundsen, who in 1911<br />

became the first person to reach the geographic South Pole. Our<br />

team was a joint New Zealand and Norwegian expedition with<br />

3 kiwis and 2 Norwegians. It's the trust's sixth major Inspiring<br />

Explorers Expedition following a crossing of South Georgia in<br />

2015, an ascent of Mount Scott in Antarctica in 2017, a successful<br />

crossing of the Greenland ice cap in 2018, and kayaking<br />

expeditions on the Antarctic Peninsula in 2019 and 2020.<br />

What training if any did you do and how much lead up time<br />

did you have? Skiing 1000km in Antarctica wasn’t something I<br />

knew a lot about and it was completely different from whitewater<br />

kayaking so the preparation was a huge task. I guess the easiest<br />

way to look at it was getting conditioned to be on your feet all<br />

day for 50 days towing a sled and the strain this would put on<br />

your body. I think [the sled] was about 85kgs at its peak. It was<br />

definitely heavy.<br />

To do this I was towing tires as much as possible around in the<br />

bush in New Zealand to try and replicate the drag on my muscles.<br />

Then obviously the gym and keeping fit. It's interesting doing<br />

something like this when you don't have a lot of experience or<br />

know what it's going to be like in terms of the environment or the<br />

toll on the body. It was a huge learning curve, just operating in<br />

that environment under that fatigue day in day out. The other side<br />

of preparation was trying to figure out the equipment, and how<br />

you're going to stay warm and access things on your sled during<br />

the day. If there's a big storm or it's really cold you can't take<br />

your gloves off so you need to learn how to do that with them on.<br />

Even thinking about stuff as simple as what kind of food to take<br />

because most things freeze — these are little bits you need to<br />

figure out before you get on the ice.<br />

Most of your successes have been sitting down how was<br />

the challenge of a walking/standing challenge? Whitewater<br />

kayaking is fast-paced. When you’re out on a kayak mission<br />

you’re constantly solving the puzzle of Whitewater in front of you.<br />

Scouting, setting safety, and then running rapids. It comes at<br />

you all day. Skiing across Antarctica is completely different. The<br />

pace on the snow is slow. Often we were moving around 2,5km<br />

per hour with our goal being prioritizing keeping the team healthy<br />

and in the best condition to continue moving for 50 days on end.<br />

There’s definitely a lot of risks operating in the polar environment,<br />

but it’s a slow burn and can be managed much easier than the<br />

dynamic environment of the river.<br />

The train never stops as Auckland firefighter Laura Andrews navigates the team away from the Ronne Ice<br />

shelf and into the interior of the continent, across yet another wide open plain of majestic Antarctic scenery.<br />


Spirits were high as the team celebrated a successful<br />

expedition through the remote and inhospitable<br />

regions of Antarctica.<br />

Describe the others in the group? The expedition<br />

was unique in the fact that we hadn’t spent a lot<br />

of time together prior to departing. The expedition<br />

was a joint New Zealand-Norwegian expedition,<br />

in partnership with Ousland Explorers, and, would<br />

be guided by Norwegian polar guide Bengt Rotmo<br />

who has completed countless expeditions in the<br />

colder parts of the world including crossing the<br />

North West Passage by ski. Our team was led by<br />

trust executive director Nigel Watson, who has<br />

been a member of all the (8) IEE Expeditions<br />

including Greenland crossing, South Georgia<br />

Crossing, Mt Scott etc. Marthe Brendefur, a cyber<br />

"Intelligence Analyst" and ex-Norwegian Armed<br />

Forces member from Norway who skied across<br />

the Greenland ice cap in 2019 and has traversed<br />

the scandinavian high plateau at Finnmarksvidda<br />

and Hardangervidda joined the team with a huge<br />

amount of experience in the polar regions. Making<br />

up the Kiwi contingent was 28-year-old Laura<br />

Andrews, a firefighter at Auckland Airport, who had<br />

completed heaps of incredible adventures around<br />

the world.<br />

"all were<br />

used to being<br />

out there on<br />

the mission,<br />

however<br />

our polar<br />

experience<br />

ranged from<br />

almost none<br />

to world<br />

leaders."<br />

So the team had a mix – all were used to being out<br />

there on the mission, however our polar experience<br />

ranged from almost none to world leaders.<br />

Pre the event were you scared? How many of<br />

the other explores some of which did not return<br />

did you read up before you left? I wouldn’t say<br />

I was scared. There were some nerves mostly<br />

around what it was going to be like operating in<br />

such a cold and desolate environment day after<br />

day. I constantly tried to find out – How was it going<br />

to be? Would I enjoy it?<br />

And then of course the team – most of us were<br />

meeting for the first time in Punta Arenas to head<br />

South. We had spoken on Zoom etc, but to be<br />

thrown into an undertaking like this with people you<br />

barely know in a place you no almost nothing about<br />

was daunting and I guess a huge risk factor for the<br />

success of the expedition.<br />


After 50 days on a blistery cold day, the expedition team arrives at<br />

the South Pole, with the Amundsen Scott South Pole station in the<br />

background. The flags in the foreground mark the South Pole and the<br />

point that Roald Amundsen reached over 100 years earlier.

The scale of the never-ending white landscape is mind-blowing. Endless horizons of snow and ice<br />

in every direction without any sign of civilization as we continued South, for days on end.<br />

"Best moment?<br />

The moment<br />

the plane left<br />

after being<br />

dropped on<br />

the edge of<br />

the Ronne Ice<br />

shelf, and<br />

just realizing<br />

the magnitude<br />

of the<br />

undertaking"<br />

It seems from what I have read so far there was a lot of reflection on<br />

those that had travelled to the pole before you - what part did that<br />

history play? Having Nigel Watson on the expedition meant we were<br />

able to draw on the endless Antarctic History.<br />

Best moment? The moment the plane left after being dropped on the<br />

edge of the Ronne Ice shelf, and just realizing the magnitude of the<br />

undertaking. Once the plane left it was eerily silent and we knew we<br />

were a long way from anywhere – this was it, the only way back was<br />

South to the pole.<br />

Worst moment? I’m not sure there was a specific moment. There were<br />

some hard days when you were tired physically and mentally. The sled<br />

in certain snow conditions would make it hard sometimes but despite<br />

how hard it was you know that if you get one ski in front of the other<br />

eventually we’ll make camp and rest. I guess just remembering to take it<br />

day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.<br />

What was the coldest day? The temperature ranged over the trip, but<br />

one thing was constant and that was it never went above 0 degrees.<br />

I’d say over the entire expedition it would have averaged around -20<br />

degrees, without taking wind into account. Once we climbed up onto the<br />

Polar Plateau (2800m) it was really cold, getting closer to the -30 mark.<br />

Ever felt like giving up? Some days you’re broken and every step hurts<br />

and camp can’t come quick enough. I never felt like giving up, although<br />

at one point I had a realization of how far there was to go. We were<br />

3 weeks into the expedition, all tired and we were understanding our<br />

timeline to the pole and I realized we still had a month out there. It was a<br />

humbling moment of how far the team had to travel, and what laid ahead.<br />

Did you learn anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?<br />

The biggest learning for me was how much of a privilege it is to be out<br />

there in the environment, battling the elements with just the food and<br />

equipment you can carry, on a pretty massive undertaking. And how far<br />

you can get by breaking it down and focusing on the task in front of you<br />

— basically of taking it day by day, step by step.<br />

Affter having done the trip, what advice would you give yourself? I’d<br />

bring less stuff… Everything that goes in the sled has to be carried so a<br />

minimalistic approach is best. I’d pack more food — I dropped 12kgs in<br />

50days and when you’re only 83kgs at the start, that’s a lot. And that it’s<br />

not a race, take your time and enjoy the journey.<br />

Arriving by plane on the edge of the Ronne Ice shelf & the Antarctic continent was<br />

a daunting moment.<br />



Cochamó<br />

the high and the wild &<br />

how to keep it that way<br />

Words and photos by Derek Cheng<br />

Place your foot on the blank rock-face.<br />

Ease your weight onto it as you hold<br />

your breath and squeeze your insides.<br />

Don’t think about how far you’d fall if<br />

your foot slips.<br />

This is slab climbing, moving up on<br />

a featureless part of a less-thanvertical<br />

wall. There are no holds,<br />

nothing to grab and pull yourself<br />

higher. It’s all balance and footwork.<br />

It feels impossible, or, at best, highly<br />

improbable.<br />

Your heart hangs in your mouth as you<br />

carefully weight your foot. This eases<br />

the pressure on your other foot, which<br />

may or may not upset the magical<br />

formula that is, for the moment, keeping<br />

you attached to the wall.<br />

If done well, it feels like levitating,<br />

but there’s a fine line between heartin-mouth<br />

terror and levitation, a<br />

line I became very familiar with in<br />

Cochamó, Chile. The granite cliffs of<br />

this mountain-filled valley in northern<br />

Patagonia, sometimes called the<br />

Yosemite of the south, are full of<br />

discontinuous cracks and corners that<br />

are linked via blank, steep slabs.<br />

I had an early taste of this on one of<br />

our first climbing days. We were on<br />

the first pitch of a route called Surfing<br />

For Stone, rated ‘R?’, indicating the<br />

potential for an ugly fall due to sparse<br />

gear protection. I had climbed through<br />

the wet chimney at the bottom, and<br />

was searching for somewhere to place<br />

said protection. One moment, my foot<br />

was smearing on the rock. The next, it<br />

slipped and sent me tumbling down into<br />

the chimney, my torso inverting after I<br />

tripped on the rope behind my leg.<br />

The rope eventually came tight,<br />

arresting my fall several metres below.<br />

I gathered myself, assessed the<br />

damage. Mostly scot-free, aside from<br />

a banged-up elbow. Up I continued,<br />

beyond the place where I'd fallen,<br />

and then up a hand-crack as the wall<br />

steepened.<br />

It started to drizzle as I started up<br />

another featureless section, my feet<br />

clinging to the blank wall, my heart in<br />

my mouth. Wet rock and friction are not<br />

natural bedfellows. My foot popped,<br />

spinning me sideways into a 10m bum-<br />

slide that ripped up my soft-shell<br />

pants, underwear and butt-cheek.<br />

With a bruised body and ego, my<br />

will to continue dissipated as the<br />

skies opened. Down I went, tail<br />

between my legs, leaving behind<br />

gear to be retrieved another day.<br />

"My foot<br />

popped,<br />

spinning me<br />

sideways<br />

into a 10m<br />

bum-slide<br />

that ripped<br />

up my softshell<br />

pants,<br />

underwear<br />

and buttcheek."<br />

Right: The climbing on the first pitch<br />

of Der Grantler, in Cochamó's Trinidad<br />

valley, is steep and demanding.<br />


It was an abrupt introduction to a<br />

unique place that appeals to those who<br />

love the high and the wild. Cochamó<br />

is not your everyday holiday climbing<br />

destination, where you clip some bolts<br />

on a nearby cliff and then stroll to<br />

the local for sunset beers. Here, the<br />

only weather updates come via radio.<br />

There’s no helicopter coming to rescue<br />

you if something goes wrong. And<br />

aside from occasional bread cooked at<br />

one of the campsites, the only food is<br />

what's carried in.<br />

Such an isolated place might seem like<br />

a deterrent, but there are undeniable<br />

benefits to unplugging. No faces glued<br />

to phones. A simplified life, a rewilding,<br />

connecting only with what’s in<br />

front of you and letting everything else<br />

fall away.<br />

Access starts at the end of a dirt road,<br />

where horses ferry up to 60kg of<br />

gear up a 12km trail to the campsites<br />

near the confluence of two rivers.<br />

These sites, where climbers set<br />

up basecamp, are surrounded by<br />

Above: Rachel Knott enjoys the view from The<br />

Penthouse bivvy in Cochamó's Anfiteatro, one of<br />

a number of valley's that are full of granite walls.<br />

"Such an isolated<br />

place might seem<br />

like a deterrent,<br />

but there are<br />

undeniable benefits<br />

to unplugging."<br />

impressive cirques of granite. There’s<br />

El Anfiteatro to the south, Trinidad<br />

to the south east, La Junta and La<br />

Paloma to the north, Arco Iris to the<br />

west—each sector with several peaks,<br />

rock-faces up to 1400m high, and<br />

a number of established routes, as<br />

well as innumerable ones yet to be<br />

developed.<br />

An abundance of classics awaits in<br />

Anfiteatro, where climbers sleep under<br />

an enormous boulder just above<br />

the treeline. The rock-walls seem to<br />

lean in and look down on you from<br />

every direction. There’s Luchando<br />

con Mariposas (translation: ‘Fighting<br />

with Butterflies’), which includes<br />

several slab pitches to test your gecko<br />

footwork; La Aleta de Triburón (‘The<br />

Shark’s Fin’), which has a stunning<br />

aréte with gulp-fuls of exposure; Al<br />

Centro y Adentro (‘To the centre, and<br />

inside’), which follows a crack system<br />

that eats your fingers, hands, fists and,<br />

at times, your whole body. The crux<br />

pitch of the latter, of course, tests your<br />

gecko abilities on featureless rock.<br />


"The bivvy boulder in Trinidad is in<br />

the forest, but no less magical."<br />

Right: Jordan Sterzinger reaches high in a crack on Al Centro y Adentro, a<br />

classic 12-pitch climb in Cochamó's Anfiteatro.<br />

The bivvy boulder in Trinidad is in the forest, but no<br />

less magical. Several mountains encircle, providing<br />

the day's adventure: a thin seam guards the top-out of<br />

No Hay Hoyes (‘There are no todays’); a long corner<br />

system demands all manner of grovelling on Homo<br />

Santa (‘the Santa species’); the overhanging fistcrack<br />

on Der Grantler (‘The Grumbler’) will leave you<br />

breathless and weary, as will the steep and enormous<br />

flake you have to traverse on Las Manos del Dia (‘The<br />

Hands of the Day’).<br />

It became a familiar routine to do battle with the climbs<br />

throughout the day and plod back to our bivvy spot<br />

by headtorch, fatigue seeping through every pore.<br />

We then collapsed in a happy daze by the campfire<br />

as someone passed around that evening’s shared<br />

dinner; rice and lentils one night, freshly-mashed garlic<br />

hummus with fresh, fire-baked bread the next.<br />

As nurturing as this was, Cochamó is rapidly changing<br />

as it becomes a household name among the<br />

international climbing community. Ten years ago there<br />

was no nearby township, and climbers arrived to a<br />

handful of farms in the countryside, knocking on locals’<br />

doors to ask to buy food and for a ride to the trailhead.<br />

Only hundreds of people a day occupied two campsites<br />

during the summer months. Today there are still no<br />

cafes or power lines, but there's a small shop (selling<br />

exorbitantly-priced bananas and satellite internet)<br />

and five campsites, with daily visitor numbers in the<br />

thousands.<br />

And then there’s the constant fight to stave off industrial<br />

development. Much of the land east of the river, which<br />

includes Anfiteatro and Trinidad, is owned by Chilean<br />

businessman Roberto Hagemann. The company where<br />

he owns most of the shares, Mediteráneo SA, has<br />

tried to gain consent for a hydroelectric power-plant.<br />

Previous attempts to install dams have been similarly<br />

blocked, thanks to the diligent efforts of local and<br />

international NGOs.<br />

The good news is that, earlier this year, Cochamó<br />

was declared a nature sanctuary, protecting an 11,000<br />

hectare area of native forest. The designation is<br />

thought to make the area less vulnerable to real estate<br />

development, hydroelectric dams and uncontrolled<br />

tourism, but with two caveats: a management plan and<br />

governance model are yet to be developed, and the<br />

protected area does not include Hagemann’s land—<br />

which he is now trying to sell, for hundreds of millions of<br />

dollars—nor a vast chunk of the climbing area.<br />

The underlying question is this: how much development<br />

is too much, or, put another way, how wild do we<br />

want our wild places to remain? As soon as humans<br />

encroach on a new place, some of that wildness is<br />

lost. If we allow visitors, how do we interact with the<br />

land while also preserving its beauty? How many is too<br />

many, and if we restrict numbers, how can that be done<br />

equitably?<br />

The balancing act between conservation and tourism<br />

is also playing out in New Zealand, where the multibillion<br />

dollar tourism industry is trying to gain back<br />

what it lost in the Covid pandemic. Draft National Park<br />

management plans could open the door to a gondola<br />

in Franz Joseph, and a far greater number of flights<br />

in Aoraki / Mt Cook. The plans for those areas are<br />

currently being redrafted in light of the Supreme Court’s<br />

Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki decision, in December 2018, which<br />

clarified the role of iwi in government conservation<br />

plans. The new draft plan for Aoraki / Mt Cook is due to<br />

be released later this year, while the new timeline for<br />

Westland Tai Poutini is yet to be announced.<br />

In the meantime, it seems like we should be exploring<br />

the high and wild while they remain relatively free of<br />

the masses. Cochamó is still such a place, with its skyscorching<br />

condors high above native alerce forests,<br />

pristine pools, rushing rivers, and walls of endless<br />

granite.<br />

One of my last climbs there was on a route called<br />

Gardens of the Galaxy, a 840m climb up the La Junta<br />

peak. The first pitch required some delicate climbing<br />

around a wet streak. The crux pitch demanded some<br />

forceful pulling on a thin flake, followed by some wishful<br />

stemming up a blank corner. Steep slab protected<br />

the higher portions of the climb, and my best gecko<br />

impressions were not enough to prevent the odd fall.<br />

We failed to top out, but that mattered little as the sun<br />

set, bathing the valley in alpenglow as we descended.<br />

The forest below was thriving with bird-song. Above,<br />

the clouds swept over the summits as snowmelt fed the<br />

river below. We were but tiny specks in this immense<br />

place, the only people on the mountain. It was as if this<br />

magical place existed for us—and us only.<br />



an impossible<br />

task?<br />

Allie Pepper is an Australian<br />

mountaineer who believes the<br />

biggest challenges offer the greatest<br />

rewards. She has reached the<br />

summits of Mount Everest and also<br />

one of the world’s most dangerous<br />

mountains, Annapurna 1. She<br />

has now set what seems like an<br />

impossible task to climb to the true<br />

summits of all 14 of the worlds<br />

8000m peaks without additional<br />

oxygen, in the world's fastest time.<br />

We caught up with her to find out<br />

what makes her tick and what is<br />

behind the challenge.<br />

allie pepper,<br />

takes on<br />

14 of the<br />

worlds<br />

highest<br />

peaks<br />

Images supplied by Allie Pepper<br />

Hi Allie, tell us about yourself?<br />

I am a 47-year-old mountaineer from the Blue<br />

Mountains of Australia. I discovered climbing in 1999<br />

when I signed up to an Outdoor Recreation course<br />

at a local college. I grew up in Australia’s largest<br />

climbing area but had never rock climbed until then.<br />

With a low self-esteem and no clear direction in my<br />

life at the time I found a career that I enjoyed, and I<br />

was naturally good at.<br />

At the start of 2000, I joined a technical<br />

mountaineering course in New Zealand. That course<br />

changed my life as I finally found my passion.<br />

Later that year I finished my Outdoor Leadership<br />

Certificate. I then worked as an assistant guide on an<br />

expedition to Aconcagua in Argentina. It was the first<br />

time I had the taste of high altitude mountaineering,<br />

and I was addicted. I discovered that I was physically<br />

strong in the thin air and had the ability to look after<br />

others, not just myself.<br />

My mountaineering journey took me from the<br />

Southern Alps of New Zealand to the Andes of South<br />

America. After 3 seasons of climbing and guiding in<br />

the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, I decided I was ready<br />

to climb an 8000m mountain. In 2007 I went to Cho<br />

Oyu, in Tibet. My climbing partner suffered frostnip<br />

on his toes during our acclimatisation phase on<br />

the mountain. He stayed at the Base Camp while I<br />

headed to the summit alone - which I managed to<br />

achieve without the use of additional oxygen.<br />

At the time I had dreams to scale all 14 of the 8000m<br />

mountains however, I did not have the financial<br />

means to do so. I chose Everest to climb next<br />

because I believed if I summited Everest, it might<br />

satisfy me enough that I would not need to climb<br />

anymore 8000ers. It took me 3 years to save up for<br />

that goal. In that time, I did not go to altitude or even<br />

put on a pair of crampons. My dream was to summit<br />

without additional oxygen however I was too slow<br />

on the mountain from my time spent at low altitude.<br />

I spent so long saving up for the expedition, I didn’t<br />

want to waste my time and money. I made the summit<br />

using bottled oxygen and did not fulfil my entire goal.<br />

This only made me hunger more for thin air.<br />

I have been on six expeditions to 8000m peaks since<br />

I summited Everest in 2011. Most recently I climbed<br />

Annapurna 1 in April. After climbing Annapurna, I<br />

realised that high altitude is where my spirit is truly<br />

free, and I am exactly where I am meant to be. I feel<br />

I am at home in the mountains, and I am my true<br />

self. I am at a time in my life where I can give full<br />

commitment to my passion. I now have the desire<br />

and motivation to fulfil my dream and ambition which<br />

started in 2007 after my Cho Oyu expedition.<br />

I aim to summit all 14 peaks without the use of<br />

additional oxygen. I have been training physically,<br />

mentally, and spiritually for this project for years<br />

now. I have learned from my successes, and I have<br />

learned from my failures. Most importantly I have<br />

been honest with myself, and I know that I cannot<br />

reach my full potential in my sport without giving this<br />

a go.<br />

Whilst on the journey to complete my project, I aim<br />

to inspire others that they can dream big too and<br />

they are capable of more than they know. It’s never<br />

too late in life to follow your passion and achieve<br />

big things. The biggest challenges offer the greatest<br />

rewards.<br />

"I realised that<br />

high altitude<br />

is where my<br />

spirit is truly<br />

free, and I am<br />

exactly where<br />

I am meant to<br />

be. I feel I am<br />

at home in the<br />

mountains, and<br />

I am my true<br />

self."<br />


"My project<br />

is to scale<br />

all 14 of the<br />

world’s highest<br />

peaks without<br />

the use of<br />

supplemental<br />

oxygen.”<br />

Where are you now based?<br />

Hazelbrook NSW<br />

What is the pull of climbing?<br />

It is my passion.<br />

What do you get, what do you give up with climbing?<br />

A life fulfilled. Nothing.<br />

Let’s talk about this statement.<br />

“My project is to scale all 14 of the world’s highest peaks<br />

without the use of supplemental oxygen.” to the TRUE<br />

summits, in the world's fastest time.<br />

Why? When? How?<br />

My goal is to complete the summits of all 14 peaks over the next<br />

two and half years. Whilst on the journey to complete my project,<br />

I aim to inspire people of all ages and walks of life that they are<br />

capable of more. It is never too late to dream big and take steps<br />

towards our highest version of ourselves. We don’t know what our<br />

true potential is until we break out of our comfort zone.<br />

Have you given yourself a time frame?<br />

By the end of May 2023<br />

What’s the biggest challenge?<br />

The funding of the project as well as the documentary.<br />

What’s the biggest fear?<br />

I have trained my mindset to be fearless. I don't think into the<br />

future with fear, and I try to stay in the now.<br />

Explain the difference to the dumb, the difference between<br />

with and without oxygen.<br />

The easiest way I can explain is to talk about the difference when<br />

I started to use it on Annapurna last year at 7800m. I went from<br />

being frozen to my core, taking two steps and stopping to rest<br />

and speaking one word at a time. To; talking in full sentences, so<br />

warm I had to take off my mitts and a layer from under my down<br />

suit. I swapped my mitts for gloves and was able to walk at a<br />

constant pace without stopping. Basically, three times the speed<br />

as beforehand. I could easily make decisions and was way more<br />

coherent than without it. I felt like I was back at Base Camp in<br />

terms of the altitude.<br />


" I like to focus<br />

on the positives<br />

so I am not<br />

going say 'my<br />

worst' as you<br />

are what you<br />

speak."<br />

M I C R O L I G H T<br />

A L P I N E<br />

How does the ‘GoFundMe me’ page work?<br />

I have a GoFundMe for my project costs and one for<br />

the charity I support, The Juniper Fund.<br />

Updated with recycled fabrics, recycled down, zoned<br />

micro and nano baffle stitch-through construction. Our<br />

classic hooded down jacket is lightweight, packable<br />

and provides instant warmth when the temperature<br />

drops in the mountains.<br />

How would someone who knows you well<br />

describe you?<br />

Always positive and very motivated.<br />

What do you think your biggest attribute is, what<br />

is your worst?<br />

Wanting to expand my awareness and grow in<br />

myself. I like to focus on the positives so I am not<br />

going say 'my worst' as you are what you speak.<br />

If someone told you that they were thinking of<br />

doing what you hope to do – what would you say?<br />

Enjoy the journey! How can I help you? Can we do<br />

this together?<br />

Who are your sponsors helping you with this<br />

challenge?<br />

Petzl | Himali | Backcountry Cuisine | Seven Summits<br />

Treks | Global Rescue<br />

www.alliepepper.com<br />

www.instagram.com/alliepepperadventures<br />

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

Hunting And Fishing New Zealand stores nationwide. Auckland: Living Simply, Tauranga: Hamills, Rotorua: Hamills,<br />

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Motueka: Coppins Outdoors, Nelson: PackGearGo, MD Outdoors, Kaikoura: Coastal Sports, Christchurch: Complete<br />

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

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equipoutdoors.co.nz, gearshop.co.nz, outfittersstore.nz<br />

Distributed by Outfitters 0800021732 www.outfitters.net.nz<br />



Journey<br />

to the<br />

Source<br />

Words and images by Eric Skilling<br />

Nobody wants to find themselves faced with making a<br />

decision to abandon a multi-day hike within a few hours<br />

of starting, but thanks to some serious dehydration<br />

suffered by one of our group, that is exactly where we<br />

found ourselves.<br />

Planning for this trip began over six months ago, which<br />

made it even harder to face the prospect of having<br />

to turn around and go home. Generally, and I stress<br />

generally, I find the further south you venture in New<br />

Zealand, the more spectacular the wilderness. The<br />

5-day Rees Dart Circuit in the south-western corner of<br />

Otago in the South Island promised some of the best in<br />

New Zealand alpine country.<br />

Less than three hours into the trip and we were<br />

gathered around a member of our party as she sat pale<br />

and glassy-eyed, leaning heavily on one arm, clearly<br />

distressed. It would have made a bizarre scene had<br />

there been any witnesses, but we were alone. Six of<br />

us gathered on a small mound amid an expanse of<br />

grassland. Nearby the Rees River snaked its way down<br />

the gently sloping valley. Above us the sky was a sheet<br />

of deep blue, without a single cloud or jetstream in<br />

sight. It was hot with only the gentlest of breezes.<br />

Such a peaceful scene that gave no hint of the drama<br />

taking place in our little group.<br />

Dehydration<br />

in the<br />

Unforgiving<br />

Southern<br />

Alps<br />

Karen (not her real name) had been lagging whenever<br />

the track wandered off the valley floor and up the<br />

gentlest of climbs. She had mentioned feeling<br />

lightheaded, which she blamed on the pollen-filled<br />

air. After another short bush-bash over a small ridge,<br />

she emerged onto the small grassy mound, muttered<br />

“I need to sit down”, dropped her pack and crumpled<br />

down beside it.<br />

My first thought was Covid. Two of our party were still<br />

suffering the longer-term effects of infection and let us<br />

face it, it’s still at the forefront of most of our minds.<br />

How wrong I was. I gazed down at Karen and assessed<br />

our options – continue and risk the symptoms becoming<br />

debilitating, maybe even forcing a clumsy evacuation.<br />

Alternatively, and more appropriately, set up camp<br />

where we were gathered, and if Karen recovered, we<br />

faced eleven hours of hiking the next day.<br />

Fortunately, we were dealing with a highly experienced<br />

tramper. Slowly Karen became more animated, and<br />

her eyes began to focus. She reached for her pack,<br />

rummaged around, pulled out a packet of electrolytes<br />

which she added to a full water bottle. She must have<br />

downed nearly 400ml in her first drink.<br />

Jan reflecting early morning Dart Valley<br />


"Ironically the crisis was<br />

partly caused by the superb<br />

weather that greeted us<br />

when we arrived in late<br />

December."<br />

I was still dubious even as the colour<br />

slowly returned to her face. She<br />

wet a cloth and wiped her arms and<br />

neck. Ten minutes later she was a<br />

different person – a bit unsteady but<br />

determined to continue.<br />

She reluctantly handed me her tent<br />

to carry, and we walked the few<br />

hundred metres to the swing bridge<br />

at 25-mile creek. By the time we had<br />

all taken our turn to cross, Karen<br />

had enjoyed another long drink and<br />

her sense of humour had returned.<br />

Ironically the crisis was partly<br />

caused by the superb weather that<br />

greeted us when we arrived in late<br />

December. We had underestimated<br />

the effect of the long days travel<br />

to reach the start. It was after 3pm<br />

before we had hefted packs onto our<br />

backs, and it was blatantly clear we<br />

had all become dehydrated to some<br />

extent during the long drive.<br />

The sun had begun to slide behind<br />

the jagged peaks of the Forbes<br />

range that loomed above us and a<br />

shadow was creeping across the<br />

valley towards us. Within an hour<br />

we were pitching tents in an almost<br />

perfect spot for a night’s camp on<br />

the edge of the forest, close to fresh<br />

water. The stark-white glacier on Mt<br />

Earnslaw shone brightly overhead,<br />

nearly 2,200 metres above us. It<br />

felt pretty good to be enjoying an<br />

evening meal together, and later<br />

succumbing to sleep while listening<br />

to the gentle sounds of the river<br />

nearby.<br />

Next morning’s dawn chorus was, to<br />

quote another member of the party,<br />

“just glorious”.<br />

Fearing we might underestimate the<br />

effects of the previous day’s dramas,<br />

we set a goal to reach Shelter Rock<br />

hut, yesterday’s official goal, by<br />

midday. If we failed to meet that<br />

deadline the hut would become our<br />

shelter for the night, and we would<br />

cancel the side trip to Cascade<br />

Saddle we had originally planned for<br />

the following day.<br />

We made Shelter Rock hut by<br />

11am! Karen seemed to be back to<br />

her normal self, sharing her wealth<br />

of botanical knowledge as she is<br />

inclined to do, pointing out various<br />

obscure but beautiful flora along the<br />

way. What a team.<br />

Shortly after midday we had made<br />

it past the source of the Rees and<br />

were celebrating on the crest of<br />

the saddle at 1471 metres – a<br />

celebration made that much sweeter<br />

knowing how close we had come to<br />

ditching the venture.<br />

Mt Aspiring is such an apt right<br />

name for a National Park that offers<br />

many great wilderness experiences<br />

for avid and ambitious adventurers.<br />

Tramping to the source of both the<br />

Rees and Te Awa Whakatipu/Dart<br />

rivers left me in awe of these huge<br />

glacial valleys towered over by<br />

rugged snow-topped peaks.<br />

At times we wandered over wide<br />

open grassy flats, creased by the<br />

many tributaries that guide melting<br />

snow and ice from the peaks up to<br />

two thousand metres above us. In<br />

other places the trail winds through<br />

fern and moss layered beech forest,<br />

and thanks to some great pest<br />

control, we got to enjoy the calls of<br />

many native birds. Close encounters<br />

(yes, plural) with curious robin are a<br />

certainty, and we were lucky enough<br />

to pique the interest of a young kea<br />

who danced to within a few feet in a<br />

vain attempt to garner some morsel.<br />

Each of the three main huts are<br />

unique. Shelter Rock hut sited in<br />

a grassy flat surrounded by subalpine<br />

plants and steep valley walls.<br />

Daleys Flat hut sits above the lower<br />

reaches of the Dart River. Dart Hut<br />

must however, rate as one the best<br />

in New Zealand. Built alongside an<br />

energetic Snowy Creek and filled<br />

with the sound of water crashing<br />

its way over some huge boulders<br />

nearby. It also offers superb tent<br />

sites.<br />

Tanya and Kate above an ice strewn valley floor and imposing cliff faces of te Awa Whakatipu valley.<br />

Emerging onto Slip Flats on the way to Rees Saddle.<br />


Eric in sight of the source of Te Awa Whakatipu.<br />

"The melting ice is leaving behind a brutally scarred<br />

landscape, yet to be softened by the smoothing effect<br />

of water erosion or any significant plant life."<br />

Dawn mist on the way to Sandy Point<br />

Amber approaching Rees Saddle with the imposing<br />

Mt Clarke in the distance<br />

Approaching Dart Hut with ice shrouded peak<br />

of a distant Mt Edward.<br />

Group photo just before reaching Daleys Flat Hut<br />

Allowing for an extra night at<br />

Dart Hut allows time to take the<br />

day trip to the source of Te Awa<br />

Whakatipu/Dart River with a view<br />

of the Dart Glacier. Well worth<br />

the planning and effort. Less than<br />

20,000 years ago this region<br />

was part of a network of massive<br />

glaciers that gouged out the valley<br />

now filled by the waters of Lake<br />

Whakatipu, continuing all that<br />

way to where Kingston now sits.<br />

Today, the lower regions of the<br />

valley walls, while still impressive,<br />

have had time to erode, and for<br />

alpine plants and beech forests<br />

to establish themselves, slightly<br />

lessening their precipitous sides.<br />

Geologically the last section of the<br />

Dart River as you head towards<br />

Cascade Saddle is a landscape<br />

still in its infancy. Here you get an<br />

insight into what this whole region<br />

looked like thousands of years<br />

ago before the glaciers retreated.<br />

The melting ice is leaving behind<br />

a brutally scarred landscape, yet<br />

to be softened by the smoothing<br />

effect of water erosion or any<br />

significant plant life.<br />

The day I ventured into the valley<br />

was overcast with plenty of low<br />

and damp looking cloud. I was on<br />

my own with most of the group<br />

enjoying an easy day at Dart hut.<br />

The air sliding off the glacier was<br />

cold. Vegetation at the entrance<br />

to the valley is sparse and limited<br />

to stunted new generation plants.<br />

Mostly the land is nothing but bare<br />

moraine and crystal-clear streams<br />

of water. Valley walls along the<br />

western side are cracked, broken<br />

shist cliffs, capped by thick ice<br />

sheets riddled with threatening<br />

looking ice-cliffs. Many streams<br />

of melting ice freefall several<br />

hundred meters down from the<br />

clifftop to join the river below,<br />

their silver colour contrasting<br />

starkly against the blacks of the<br />

precipitous faces. At the base of<br />

one of the larger waterfalls smaller<br />

chunks of ice have formed a wide<br />

triangular fan.<br />

Closer to the glacier at the upper<br />

reaches of the valley, large<br />

mounds of ice lie on the valley<br />

floor, covered in a layer of small<br />

rocks and moraine dust from the<br />

ice cliffs above or perhaps left<br />

behind by the retreating glacier.<br />

The glacier itself might be a mere<br />

thumbnail of ice compared to<br />

its former glories, but it remains<br />

impressive. Get out there before it<br />

retreats into history.<br />

Many other highlights made<br />

this a memorable visit - various<br />

rock bivs give an insight into the<br />

resilience of earlier inhabitants<br />

who mined, hunted and gathered<br />

in the region, and the bush is full<br />

of stunning flowering plants to<br />

mention just a few.<br />

And we nearly missed out on<br />

almost all of it.<br />




All-inclusive<br />

package from<br />

$440 per person<br />

(twin share)<br />

Package includes:<br />

• Track transfers<br />

• Coffee and cake on arrival at<br />

On the Track Lodge<br />

• 2 nights in comfortable chalet<br />

accommodation*<br />

• All meals (Day 1 dinner & dessert,<br />

Day 2 breakfast, packed lunch & dinner<br />

& dessert, Day 3 breakfast & packed<br />

lunch). Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free<br />

meals available)<br />

• Use of On the Track Lodge kayaks<br />

and all other amenities, including a<br />

hot-tub.<br />

*Upgrade to stay in the newly<br />

renovated vintage train carriages<br />

(with private bathroom).<br />

Discover the hidden wonders of the Nydia Track, it is not as well known or<br />

busy as the Queen Charlotte Track but just as beautiful.<br />

The track takes you through coastal forest (rimu, nikau and beech) with<br />

superb views and is suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness,<br />

boots are recommended and some of the streams are not bridged.<br />

• Start from Havelock and take a shuttle to historic Kaiuma Bay, (4-5 hours).<br />

• Dine then stay at On the Track Lodge in a comfortable chalet<br />

or train carriage accommodation.<br />

• Spend the next day relaxing at the lodge, kayaking or taking some shorter walks.<br />

• The next day complete the rest of the tramp (carrying your freshly<br />

prepared packed lunch) to Duncan Bay in time for another shuttle ride back to Havelock.<br />

On The Track Lodge<br />

Nydia Track, Marlborough Sounds<br />

+643 579 8411 | stay@onthetracklodge.nz<br />

www.onthetracklodge.nz<br />

multi day hiking<br />

suRvival guide<br />

Once again the silence was disturbed by the<br />

rustling of plastic and the shuffling of feet. I<br />

rolled over and tried to shut out the noise.<br />

I’d been in bed for a few hours but everytime<br />

someone entered the hut the same thing<br />

happened; they would first try to find their<br />

torch, then rummage through their packs<br />

looking for their sleeping bags and toiletries<br />

and finally they would settle, only for this<br />

process to be repeated by the next ten people<br />

as they slowly trickled off to bed.<br />

Yep, we were staying in a hut, and I had<br />

prepared myself for a disturbed night sleep,<br />

however, I foolishly believed that people would<br />

show some degree of hut etiquette. How<br />

wrong I was…<br />

We learnt a few things on our recent trip to<br />

the Routeburn that we thought we’d share so<br />

you too can survive (and enjoy) your overnight<br />

hiking experience.<br />

The hike:<br />

Take poles: They protect your knees,<br />

especially on the downhills, improve your<br />

power and endurance on the uphills and<br />

provide balance on uneven trails.<br />

Hikers Wool: Great for those niggling sore<br />

spots in your feet.<br />

Preventative medicine: Be prepared with<br />

voltaren, etc and use early if you suffer from<br />

any ailments such as sore knees.<br />

Pack Cover: Don't forget a cover for your<br />

pack incase of rain.<br />

Pack Liner: Also remember to line your pack<br />

with a waterproof liner.<br />

Wet weather gear: Doesn't work unless you<br />

put it on!<br />

tips and<br />

etiquette<br />

Food:<br />

Salami not Tuna: If you are taking a filling<br />

for a wrap, consider the smell and mess.<br />

Remember you have to carry it out after<br />

you've eaten it.<br />

Seal: Make sure all your food and tea bags<br />

etc are in sealed containers or bags.<br />

Treats: Cheese and crackers and a glass of<br />

wine at the end of the day is worth the extra<br />

weight. Take the bladder out of a casked wine<br />

and carry that!<br />

Sleeping:<br />

Pillow: If you have room to carry a pillow,<br />

great, otherwise take a pillowcase to stuff your<br />

clothes into.<br />

Packing cells: If you pack your gear into<br />

separate packing cells it makes it easy to sort<br />

at the end of the day.<br />

Prepare for bed: Do this before the end of<br />

the day by laying out your sleeping bag and<br />

gear before you go to bed and have your head<br />

torch handy.<br />

Leaving early? Pack your gear outside, not in<br />

the sleeping hut.<br />

Hut Life:<br />

Cooking areas: Keep clean and clear so<br />

others can use.<br />

Carry a cooker: Although the Great Walks<br />

have cookers it's always good to carry your<br />

own so you can enjoy the great outdoors.<br />

Take a newspaper for the DOC ranger, they<br />

will be eternally grateful.<br />

Walking poles help<br />

alleviate any extra<br />

stress on your body<br />

At the start of the Routeburn<br />

Having our own cookers meant<br />

we could make the most of the<br />

beautiful day outside<br />



surviving<br />

the<br />

forces<br />

of<br />

nature<br />

It seems as if neither a cyclone nor an<br />

earthquake can stop her and her ambition is<br />

limitless: In her third attempt, extreme swimmer<br />

Nathalie Pohl has successfully managed to<br />

cross New Zealand’s Cook Strait as the first<br />

German woman and the fastest European<br />

woman to do so. With an exceptional time of<br />

06:33:00 hours, the 28-year-old reached the<br />

finish line on Ohau Bay at 4.30 p. m. local time<br />

(UTC+13) on 1 March.<br />

A very hazardous channel<br />

The passage between Ohau Bay on New<br />

Zealand’s North Island and Arapawa Island<br />

on its South Island is considered particularly<br />

dangerous. Only 130 extreme swimmers<br />

worldwide have ever successfully made the<br />

crossing. In addition to being a busy shipping<br />

lane, there are often sharks to contend with and<br />

significant seismic shifts on the seabed, which<br />

can cause dangerous currents. The Cook<br />

Strait is also known for its rough seas. Strong<br />

currents can add many hours to the swim. As<br />

Nathalie Pohl has experienced twice before,<br />

New Zealand’s forces of nature are something<br />

to be reckoned with. She had to abort her<br />

attempts in 2019 and 2020 after struggling<br />

against the current for hours, sometimes even<br />

swimming “backwards”.<br />

Crossing was on the back burner due to<br />

floods, cyclone and earthquake<br />

The motivation was all the greater this year.<br />

But the extreme swimmer had to worry<br />

about the crossing for a long time. Extensive<br />

rainfall caused flooding in New Zealand. Then<br />

cyclone Gabrielle and an earthquake made<br />

the start almost impossible. For more than<br />

three weeks, Nathalie Pohl waited for better<br />

weather. Meanwhile, she continued to train<br />

in a disciplined manner, but the uncertainty<br />

was not an easy situation, especially mentally.<br />

"New Zealand did not make it easy for me. It<br />

wasn't sure until the end whether I would be<br />

able to compete at all. Staying focused over<br />

Nathalie<br />

Pohl: the<br />

first German<br />

woman to<br />

cross Cook<br />

Strait<br />

such a long period of time was a real challenge. Even during the swim,<br />

the conditions were far from ideal. The weather suddenly changed again.<br />

I am just happy that I made it after all," explains the 28-year-old. But she<br />

didn’t allow herself to be daunted. After all, Nathalie Pohl is characterised<br />

in particular by her iron will. “In open-water swimming, the most important<br />

thing is your mental strength. No matter how well you have prepared,<br />

there will always be a residual risk. Mastering such a challenge with<br />

nothing but the strength of your own body results in such an adrenaline<br />

rush for me,” she says.<br />

Intensive preparations are the key<br />

Her success was preceded by months of preparations. To get ready for<br />

the crossings, Nathalie Pohl completed extremely intensive training that<br />

went far beyond just the swimming itself. In addition to hundreds of hours<br />

in the water, she also engaged in special strength training and exercises<br />

to prepare her for the cold and darkness. Her trainer Joshua Neuloh<br />

explains: “In December, we prepared for the Cook Strait in Portugal. We<br />

were in the Atlantic, facing two-metre waves, a water temperature of 16<br />

degrees and bad storms. There were no boats out. Even the Portuguese<br />

navy had kept its fleet in port. But Nathalie was out there, training hard.”<br />

Finally, food is a major topic. In the water, Nathalie has to eat every 30<br />

minutes due to the enormous exertion. With such high waves as those<br />

she experienced in New Zealand, even just being able to eat something<br />

is a major challenge.<br />

Within reach: The first German woman to complete the “Ocean’s Seven”<br />

Nathalie has once again shown that all these deprivations and years<br />

of training have paid off. The Cook Strait crossing marks Nathalie’s<br />

successful completion of the sixth of seven stages on her way to attaining the<br />

“Ocean’s Seven” – the world’s toughest long-distance open-water swimming<br />

challenge. The seventh stage in the icy North Channel between Ireland and<br />

Scotland is planned for September. If it all goes to plan, Nathalie Pohl can<br />

crown herself Queen of the Seas. She would be the 23rd person in the world,<br />

as well as the first German woman and youngest swimmer, to complete this<br />

challenge.<br />

More information available at: www.nathaliepohl.de<br />

About the Cook Strait:<br />

• The Cook Strait separates New Zealand’s North and South Islands<br />

• It was named after the British captain, explorer and seafarer James<br />

Cook<br />

• It is 26 kilometres wide (although the distance swum is always longer<br />

due to the currents)<br />

• Some specific challenges for extreme swimmers include strong currents,<br />

storms and sharks<br />

• There are only around ten attempts to cross it every year<br />

• The water temperature is a mere 15 to 18 degrees<br />

• To date, 130 swimmers have completed the crossing<br />

• It is one of the seven stages in the “Ocean’s Seven”<br />

• Side note: The “Ocean’s Seven” involves swimming across seven sea<br />

channels on five different continents. It is important that the athlete<br />

starts and finishes on land and does not touch the support boat or wear<br />

a neoprene wetsuit. Only 22 swimmers in the world have achieved this<br />

feat. Nathalie Pohl would be the first German woman to do so.<br />

" In addition to<br />

being a busy<br />

shipping lane, there<br />

are often sharks<br />

to contend with<br />

and significant<br />

seismic shifts<br />

on the seabed,<br />

which can cause<br />

dangerous<br />

currents. "<br />



when<br />

things go<br />

wrong in the<br />

backcountry<br />

Expecting<br />

the -<br />

By Matt Butler<br />

It was a day I will never forget, and one that I look back on with<br />

a degree of trepidation. This is the story of the day when things<br />

could have gone so wrong, but luck meant we made it home<br />

alive. It is a moment that changed my view on rivers and made<br />

me second guess every time I crossed one from that point<br />

onwards.<br />

I had been a fly-fishing guide for a couple of years by the time<br />

of the incident. Almost every day during the summer was spent<br />

exploring valleys and traversing waterways in search of that<br />

elusive trout. Clients paid me good money to get them to places<br />

where they could have the experience of a lifetime, but this time<br />

it was our lives that were on the line.<br />

A friend reached out to me several months before a planned trip<br />

from the USA. He only had one day to spare, which is usually a<br />

tough ask when fishing our waters. But as I knew he was quite<br />

an experienced angler, the possibility of going heli-fishing in the<br />

New Zealand backcountry had him frothing. The key benefit<br />

of using helicopter transport is being able to access remote<br />

sections of a river that would usually take days to walk into. This<br />

usually means less pressure, no people, but also no information<br />

on the river conditions.<br />

As a guide, weather is the highest priority when planning a trip—<br />

not only what it will be like on the day but what it was like several<br />

days prior. The heavens can truly open up in the Southern Alps<br />

and, within hours, turn tranquil flowing rivers into raging torrents.<br />

This was one of those days.<br />

The night prior, there had been a lot of rain, and I mean a lot. I<br />

woke up to check the flow rates on the larger metered rivers to<br />

see that they were very high and still rising. Although the front<br />

had moved on and the rain had stopped, I decided then and<br />

there that it was clearly a no-go for heli-fishing. The only problem<br />

was, my mate was on his way down the west coast, and with<br />

only one day to spare, it was unlikely we could fish further afield<br />

where the rains had less effect.<br />

I rang him to have a frank and honest conversation, but it<br />

was obvious he was still keen to at least try to explore in the<br />

helicopter in case we found fishable water. After spending a few<br />

years exploring the West Coast by both land and air, I knew<br />

there were several "backup" water options, such as the spring<br />

creeks that boil out of the ground and meander their way to feed<br />

the main rivers. These almost never flood in rain and are often<br />

used as a refuge for trout escaping the floodwaters, so I knew<br />

that in the worst-case scenario, we could explore one of these.<br />

As the weather was clearing, I knew flying would be no issue, so<br />

I reluctantly agreed to meet him on the coast and see what we<br />

could find.<br />

unexpected<br />


"Taking a closer look at the proposed<br />

crossing, the water appeared no deeper<br />

than usual, and although the smooth<br />

surface showed movement, the volume<br />

of water was difficult to predict. "<br />

On the drive over, it quickly became evident<br />

that the rivers were in a bad state. Every<br />

bridge crossed was like driving over a<br />

river of chocolate milkshake. The rivers<br />

weren’t overly high, but they were dirty,<br />

usually a sign of short, but isolated, heavy<br />

downpours. The further I drove, the more<br />

I began to worry that this was just going to<br />

be a scenic flight rather than a 'once-in-alifetime'<br />

fly fishing trip.<br />

As I started driving down the coast to<br />

where the rivers entered the ocean, I<br />

crossed the river that we had planned to<br />

fish that day. I expected it to be just another<br />

raging torrent, but to my surprise, it wasn't<br />

at all. Although it was higher than usual for<br />

that time of year, the water was visibly clear<br />

and fishable. To say I was delighted is an<br />

understatement.<br />

I carried on further south to meet my mate<br />

at the helipad, and upon arrival, told him<br />

of my discovery. He was excited, and<br />

although I told him it’s still an 'unknown' of<br />

what it’s like in the headwaters, we both<br />

became quietly hopeful. The helicopter<br />

roared into life, and we began to climb into<br />

the mountains, crossing several swollen<br />

brown river snakes along the way. I still<br />

didn’t know what to expect, but as we came<br />

up over the ridge, the valley opened up in<br />

front of us to show off a crystal blue, clear<br />

river that was truly a sight for sore eyes.<br />

The odd thing about rivers is that they look<br />

deceptively smaller from the air. It’s very<br />

difficult to gauge water depth and volume,<br />

and the clear water can make even the<br />

biggest rivers look easily passable. We flew<br />

low over the river, spotting a few trout as<br />

we buzzed on by, and eventually came to<br />

a nice flat landing spot on the grassy bank.<br />

It was clear we had now made the decision<br />

to fish here for the day, and the helicopter<br />

would be leaving us alone in the valley until<br />

our designated pickup time of 5 pm.<br />

As the machine lifted and took off back<br />

down the valley until it was no more than a<br />

speck in the distance, silence enveloped us<br />

as we stood there in an ambiance of light<br />

drizzle and towering peaks. The overnight<br />

rain had made the towering waterfalls<br />

pound down the cliffs, shooting water<br />

fountains out from the rock like a firehose.<br />

We were content, to say the least.<br />

After a quick moment to gear up, we<br />

made our way over to the river. As I had<br />

been here several times before, it was<br />

immediately obvious that although the<br />

water was clear, it was high and pushing<br />

down some serious volume. It wasn’t an<br />

immediate concern; however, as the high<br />

flow often pushes the brown trout to the<br />

edges, where they are easily targeted, so<br />

we just launched into hunting down our first<br />

target.<br />

It wasn’t long until we found our first fish,<br />

cruising around a backwater in an effort to<br />

make life easy on itself. We managed to<br />

tempt it with a big juicy dry fly, and we were<br />

on the board for the day. As we released<br />

the 5 lb brown trout back to the water, a<br />

wave of relief washed over both of us.<br />

Whatever happened from now on, the day<br />

was a success.<br />

We pushed on up the river, sticking to<br />

the side where we had landed and were<br />

rewarded with several more fish caught in<br />

the net. The section we were fishing began<br />

with open grassy flats before ascending<br />

into a tighter valley carved by a glacier.<br />

As we made our way upstream, around<br />

midday we encountered our first hurdle<br />

- a high bank pool flanked by thick forest<br />

on one side and a nice open gravel bank<br />

on the other. Unfortunately, we found<br />

ourselves on the side with the bush. After<br />

a quick assessment, it became clear that<br />

crossing was not an option unless we<br />

backtracked a fair distance to where the<br />

river spread out. However, we spotted<br />

another gravelly corner above the forested<br />

section, which meant that we only needed<br />

to traverse a short section of bush to reach<br />

fishable water again. We broke down the<br />

rod, put our heads down, and pushed<br />

through the bush, making the more difficult<br />

but correct decision.<br />

We eventually emerged back into the open<br />

and resumed our search for trout. By this<br />

point, it was only 1 pm, and we had climbed<br />

high into the valley where the river started<br />

to terrace between huge, slow-moving<br />

pools and steep, powerful rapids. Standing<br />

at the end of one of these enormous, ginclear<br />

pools, we looked up the river and<br />

saw a towering rock wall on our side, with<br />

the river flowing hard against it. On the<br />

opposite side, there were open gravel and<br />

grassy banks stretching as far as we could<br />

see. It was evident that if we wanted to<br />

continue, we would have to cross.<br />

I had crossed the tail of this pool several<br />

times in the past, and although it was<br />

usually around waist-deep, the crossing<br />

was never difficult. Taking a closer look at<br />

the proposed crossing, the water appeared<br />

no deeper than usual, and although the<br />

smooth surface showed movement, the<br />

volume of water was difficult to predict.<br />

Normally, in these situations, I would wade<br />

in to about thigh depth to test if the crossing<br />

was possible, but on this day, I did not.<br />

As the water was clearly going to be<br />

swift, my mate and I stood side by side<br />

and crossed our arms behind each<br />

other's backs in a brace position. In these<br />

situations, four legs are better than two.<br />

We were crossing at the tailout of the<br />

pool where it would be the most shallow<br />

and started to make our way across. As<br />

we reached waist-deep, the power of the<br />

water became more apparent, although our<br />

waterproof waders gave us a false sense of<br />

confidence.<br />

Then suddenly, everything went wrong.<br />

We took one more step, and the river<br />

suddenly got much deeper. In a panic to<br />

regain control, my mate lost his footing, and<br />

the water lifted him off the bottom. I tried<br />

desperately to maintain my stance, but our<br />

close brace meant that he also pulled me<br />

off my feet. This was bad.<br />

We instinctively let go of each other as<br />

we began to get sucked downstream, and<br />

our waders began to fill with water. Just<br />

20 meters downstream from us was a<br />

thunderous rapid that, if we entered, would<br />

surely lead to our demise. As we were only<br />

4-5 meters from the other side of the river,<br />

there was no going back. So I screamed,<br />

"Swim!" and we both frantically swung<br />

our arms towards the shore. What felt like<br />

an eternity must have only been a few<br />

seconds, as we managed to grab the rocky<br />

bank on the other side, clambering up to<br />

safety.<br />

Panicked, drenched, and exhausted, I<br />

looked back at the river to get my bearings<br />

and noticed we had been pushed far down<br />

the river, only metres from going off the<br />

edge of the tailout into the rapids. Realizing<br />

we were just moments from death, we lay<br />

back onto the grass, equally overwhelmed<br />

and relieved.<br />

The feeling didn't last long, though, as<br />

we came to the realization that we were<br />

both drenched and freezing. Supposedly<br />

our waders had kept our legs dry, but our<br />

torsos were wet through, and with the<br />

drizzle still coming down, it was time to act.<br />


" If the weather had<br />

turned...we would have<br />

had no choice but to<br />

try and make use of the<br />

resources we had."<br />

walk to the helicopter landing site, and although we quickly<br />

warmed up, we were far from comfortable.<br />

We made it with about an hour to spare and took shelter among<br />

the forest canopy, shivering and counting down the minutes.<br />

We listened intently for any sound of a helicopter, but in such a<br />

steep valley with gushing water, it was hard to pinpoint a noise.<br />

Then all of a sudden, the machine burst out above us over the<br />

trees, turned to face us, and touched down. We were safe,<br />

alive, and would soon be warm.<br />

As a guide, it was usually my responsibility to be prepared<br />

for such a situation, and luckily I still had all my gear in my<br />

pack. So I quickly dug into my backpack to find my survival kit.<br />

We both stripped off our top layers of clothing and wrapped<br />

ourselves in emergency mylar blankets before checking our<br />

bags for dry clothes. Luckily, our bags had stayed mostly<br />

above the waterline, so we both had relatively dry jackets.<br />

We sat there to calm our nerves and slowly warm up, grateful<br />

that we were still breathing. We weighed our options and<br />

decided to start moving towards our designated pickup spot.<br />

I had a lighter ready, but as the surrounding foliage was<br />

drenched from the night's rain, it would have taken more<br />

energy to start a fire than it was worth, so we just packed up<br />

and got moving.<br />

The walk was punishing. We started to realize that the water<br />

that had made it into our waders had seeped down to our feet,<br />

and we heard the slosh with every step. It was around a 3km<br />

We were lucky that day, no doubt about it. If the weather had<br />

turned and the helicopter been delayed, or if the event had<br />

occurred earlier in the day, we would have had no choice but<br />

to try and make use of the resources we had. From that day<br />

on, it changed my view on what gear I carry and how I carry it.<br />

That's why I eventually created my own brand of survival kits<br />

and outdoor gear to help us better prepare for our adventures.<br />

Our flagship "KEA KIT" products take all the guesswork out<br />

of creating your own survival kit, and with version 2 launching<br />

soon, we're looking to take this ethos to the next level.<br />

You can see more at www.keaoutdoors.com<br />

The things we did wrong that day were numerous but<br />

inconspicuous. This, coupled with my familiarity with the<br />

weather and location, allowed some complacency to creep in.<br />

Since then, I can say that I am more cautious than ever and<br />

only cross rivers that I am comfortable with. The key is to be<br />

aware of your limits, know when the risk is too great, and take<br />

care, no matter what adventure you are on. Stay safe out there!<br />




For more information visit www.kilwell.co.nz

under thick ice<br />

wakboarding<br />

in the arctic<br />

German wakeboarder Felix Georgii is known for his<br />

creativity when it comes to unlocking new spots and<br />

trick variations therefore, it came as no surprise that the<br />

2018 X Games gold medallist chose a Swedish frozen<br />

lake north of the Arctic Circle as the perfect location to<br />

invite his friends, two-time World Champion Gührs and<br />

six-time Austrian Champion Dominik Hernler.<br />

The trio created an obstacle course by cutting out lines<br />

in the 80cm thick ice surface and shaping the ice blocks<br />

into a kicker, boxes and even a five-metre-wide igloo to<br />

jump over and ride through.<br />

Aerial view of Dominik Dernler in action - Image by Lorenz Holder/ Red Bull Content Pool<br />


Dominik Dernler in action - Image by Lorenz Holder/ Red Bull Content Pool<br />

"Creativity is super important for me; thus we are<br />

working with a completely new material. With ice,<br />

we can create obstacles that you can't do in a<br />

regular wake park on plastic obstacles."<br />

#theshackletonwhisky<br />

Despite temperatures dropping down<br />

to minus 18 degrees Celsius - that had<br />

seen men and equipment being frozen<br />

over - the trio swiftly broke the ice<br />

and demonstrated their creative trick<br />

repertoire.<br />

Georgii said: "Creativity is super important<br />

for me; thus we are working with a<br />

completely new material. With ice, we can<br />

create obstacles that you can't do in a<br />

regular wake park on plastic obstacles."<br />

As wakeboarders normally flock to warmer<br />

destinations to ride in board shorts, this<br />

time the three athletes suited up in 6mm<br />

thick wetsuits to remain warm for over<br />

an hour in 1° degree-cold waters before<br />

landing their trick and heading back<br />

indoors to warm up. The 29-year-old<br />

added: "We have to get our hands on the<br />

best neoprene equipment there is."<br />

Gührs, 32, explained: "After two days it got<br />

really cold, it was minus 10 degrees and<br />

then I started to freeze up, my jacket was<br />

all frozen, my boots were frozen up and<br />

I just felt like a proper ice man. I couldn't<br />

move anymore and in the end it was<br />

actually pretty extreme."<br />

After learning how to stay calm while being<br />

pulled upside down under the ice, Georgii<br />

connected with two-time Red Bull Illume<br />

Overall-winning photographer Lorenz<br />

Holder to create the perfect shot.<br />

German Holder placed his flashes facing<br />

down on the ice surface and used the ice<br />

body as an amplifier to shine light through<br />

the dark waters, freezing Georgii in the<br />

perfect moment while being pulled from<br />

one side of the ice opening under the<br />

surface to the exit.<br />

Georgii enthused: "Under water it's just<br />

black everywhere, but you can feel the ice<br />

sliding along the board and that's a super<br />

awesome feeling."<br />

Throughout the 11-days build, the<br />

crew and machinery had to withstand<br />

temperatures of down to -32° degrees<br />

Celsius, resulting in frozen beards,<br />

chainsaws and pools, that were reopened<br />

and cleared every morning. In total 518<br />

tons of ice were lifted out of the lake from<br />

which roughly 10 tons were used to create<br />

the obstacles on three distinctive lines.<br />

The 110 metre-long feature line pushed<br />

the riders to deliver big airs and technical<br />

slides; a natural line demanded quick feet<br />

to jump from pool to pool and a creative<br />

line meant the wakeboarders could slide<br />

over a long slab of ice equipped with ice<br />

walls.<br />

Hernler, 31, declared: "My highlight was<br />

definitely the riding, sliding around on ice<br />

obstacles was something new I've never<br />

done before."<br />


"After learning how to stay<br />

calm while being pulled upside<br />

down under the ice, Georgii<br />

connected with two-time Red<br />

Bull Illume Overall-winning<br />

photographer Lorenz Holder<br />

to create the perfect shot."<br />

Felix Georgii under the ice - Image by Lorenz Holder/ Red Bull Content Pool

time to<br />

paint<br />

a new<br />

picture<br />

Words by Lynne Dickinson<br />

Images as stated<br />

alaska<br />

We’ve always wanted to visit Alaska.<br />

The picture we had was painted<br />

by years of Warren Miller movies,<br />

reading “Into the Wild '' and<br />

watching numerous clips of huge<br />

cliff jumps and heliskiing in Valdez,<br />

we had created a collage of a<br />

wild, extreme, hostile and remote<br />

destination.<br />

So with travel restrictions finally<br />

lifted we started to plan our<br />

adventure and were surprised how<br />

easy it was to reach Alaska, and<br />

how accessible it was to experience<br />

the vast range of outdoor<br />

adventures that has made Alaska<br />

such a sought after destination.<br />

We had googled the ‘best things to<br />

do’ in Alaska during winter, which<br />

of course included skiing, moose<br />

spotting, fat biking, snowmobiling,<br />

snowshoeing and viewing the<br />

Northern Lights and planned our trip<br />

accordingly.<br />

Centre Ridge - Image by Ralph Kristopher<br />


"Fat biking was<br />

a great way<br />

to get around<br />

and familiarize<br />

ourselves with<br />

the area and it<br />

was fantastic<br />

having our own<br />

personal guide<br />

in Dusty."<br />

The town of Anchorage is dwarfed by the majestic Chugach Mountains in the background - Image by Lynne Dickinson<br />

Above: Dustin and Steve<br />

on the Tony Knowles<br />

Coastal Trail<br />

Left: The illusive Winter<br />

Bull Moose - Image<br />

compliments Visit<br />

Anchorage<br />

We had left the heat of a NZ<br />

summer (well actually the middle<br />

of unprecedented floods) and after<br />

a short connecting flight arrived at<br />

Anchorage, a city blanketed in snow.<br />

Anchorage sits at the base of the<br />

Chugach Mountains with Cook Inlet<br />

at its feet. Six mountain ranges can<br />

be seen from Anchorage, including<br />

the Alaska Range in the north where<br />

you’ll see the infamous Denali on<br />

a clear day. There are another 200<br />

recognised mountains, 60 glaciers<br />

and 30 lakes and ponds in the<br />

Chugach National Forest and State<br />

Park, all within 80km of Anchorage.<br />

We arrived in the late evening and<br />

were met by Teri from Visit Anchorage<br />

who drove us straight to the Lakefront<br />

Anchorage, our accommodation for<br />

the night. We were greeted with a<br />

life-sized polar bear and bison in the<br />

lobby (both stuffed) along with nearly<br />

every other Alaskan animal hanging<br />

on the walls (well mainly their heads!)<br />

It was quintessential Alaska, where<br />

the urban meets the wild.<br />

Our first morning we were greeted<br />

with a picturesque white city, with<br />

deep snow everywhere. Dustin Eroh,<br />

co-owner of Alaska Bike <strong>Adventure</strong>s,<br />

picked us up from our hotel to take us<br />

on our fat biking adventure. Fat biking<br />

is fairly new in New Zealand, however<br />

in climates such as Alaska, where the<br />

ground is covered in snow for half<br />

the year, fat biking has been around<br />

for a while. In fact, fat bikes were<br />

first seen in the 1900’s but it wasn’t<br />

until the 70’s that modern-looking fat<br />

bikes came to life with the help of bike<br />

frame builders from Alaska.<br />

Dustin took us out to the start of the<br />

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail which<br />

winds 17 km along the coast from<br />

downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park.<br />

On paper, this looked like a fairly<br />

easy ride, however with the amount of<br />

snow we were soon breaking a sweat<br />

despite the cold. This was our first<br />

introduction to Anchorage and it did<br />

not disappoint. Biking along snow filled<br />

trails we could see numerous mountain<br />

ranges in the distance and an ice<br />

covered ocean moving eerily alongside<br />

the trail.<br />

Fat biking was a great way to get<br />

around and familiarize ourselves with<br />

the area and it was fantastic having<br />

our own personal guide in Dusty.<br />

His knowledge of the area and our<br />

surrounds were invaluable. At one point<br />

we left our bikes on the side of the trail<br />

and headed onto the foreshore, which<br />

was covered in ice bergs and snow.<br />

We walked to the edge and watched<br />

the change of tide move the icebergs<br />

along right in front of us<br />

Our next stop was Girdwood, a<br />

45 minute drive from downtown<br />

Anchorage for some skiing and<br />

snowmobiling and hopefully to catch<br />

a view of the Northern Lights. The sun<br />

was doing its best to break out from the<br />

clouds as we drove along Turnagain<br />

Arm towards Girdwood. We stopped<br />

numerous times to photograph,<br />

however, nothing can capture the<br />

grandeur of the scenery here and no<br />

photo could do it justice.<br />


Inserts top to bottom: Steve deep in fresh snow at Alyeska<br />

Alyeska Resort under the Northern Lights and Relaxation in the Alyeska Nordic Spa - Images compliments Visit Anchorage<br />

Girdwood is a small settlement founded<br />

in the 1890’s to supply miners during<br />

the Turnagain Arm gold rushes and<br />

home of the Alyeska Resort, which was<br />

our next stop. We were surprised at the<br />

magnitude of both the mountain and the<br />

resort itself. It is part of the Chugach<br />

mountain range and is the largest ski<br />

area in the state. With numerous places<br />

to eat at the hotel and a shuttle running<br />

regularly, it was a great base for our<br />

stay.<br />

The snow continued to fall and we<br />

woke to almost a foot of fresh snow. Not<br />

knowing the mountain we decided to<br />

work our way up from the bottom. The<br />

snow was perfect, it was super light and<br />

made for incredible skiing. At the top<br />

of Alyeska the runs drop into big bowls<br />

with few trees to be seen, a little more<br />

similar to home. The terrain is suitable<br />

for intermediate to advance skiers and<br />

on the north side you’ll find a host of<br />

double blacks including the longest<br />

double black in northern America. On a<br />

clear day you can see the ice covered<br />

Turnagain Arm, up to seven “hanging”<br />

glaciers and endless peaks deep into<br />

the Chugach Mountain range.<br />

With unusual daylight hours in this part<br />

of the world, the lifts don’t open until<br />

10.30am but continue until 5.30pm so<br />

we skied until dusk and then headed<br />

to the Nordic Spa right next door to our<br />

hotel. This adults only spa is nestled<br />

into the forest as you move between<br />

hot and cold pools and rest in saunas<br />

and steam rooms. With no cell phones<br />

allowed (and no kids) it created a serene<br />

place to unwind at the end of the day.<br />

Wrapped in the supplied bath robes we<br />

wandered between pools and saunas<br />

before heading back inside to their<br />

bar for a celebratory drink (still in our<br />

bathrobes). They also have a restaurant<br />

and massage services available.<br />

One of the draw cards for anyone<br />

coming to Alaska is the thought of<br />

seeing the Northern Lights and we<br />

were no different. We knew that<br />

Girdwood and Alyeska were prime<br />

viewing locations due to their lack of<br />

light pollution so we checked the skies<br />

before heading to bed. Unable to see<br />

the mountain due to the low cloud we<br />

settled in for a good night sleep. The<br />

following morning as we were on our way<br />

snowmobiling our host casually asked,<br />

“So did you see the Northern Lights last<br />

night?” You can imagine our horror to<br />

find out that we had missed them!<br />

We were joined on our snowmobile tour<br />

by two ‘good ol boys’ from Texas and<br />

their friend from Girdwood. They had<br />

also been touring around Alaska hoping<br />

to see the Northern Lights and some<br />

wildlife. Like us, they had missed the<br />

Northern Lights the night before but had<br />

Skiing in Alyeska on a clear day exposes incredible views - Image by Sagar Gondalia<br />

seen moose in the carpark at Walmart<br />

in Anchorage. Surely we would get a<br />

glimpse of a moose out in the back of<br />

Girdwood, but we had no such luck.<br />

Our guide, Erica was about 5ft nothing,<br />

had a constant smile and a flash of<br />

purple in her hair. Despite her small<br />

stature she was skillful at handling a<br />

snowmobile and super experienced in<br />

the outdoors.<br />

We had hoped to join the glacier tour,<br />

however the conditions did not allow it<br />

so we joined their scenic tour that took<br />

us through private trails in the Chugach<br />

Mountains. After an hour or so of riding<br />

around we stopped for some reindeer<br />

"the northern<br />

lights shone<br />

bright over<br />

alyeska<br />

resort -<br />

unfortunately<br />

we were<br />

asleep!"<br />


Glacier City Snowmobiles also run tours to the Glacier when the conditions are right - Image from Visit Anchorage<br />

hotdogs which we ate around an outside fire<br />

surrounded in snow. Snowmobiling is not<br />

something you do everyday, well not if you<br />

come from New Zealand (maybe if you live<br />

in Alaska), plowing through the 3 foot deep<br />

snow, surrounded by mountains and forests<br />

was a unique experience.<br />

Our last night at Anchorage we were<br />

determined not to miss the Northern Lights<br />

so we set our alarms for 1am. There is a<br />

nightly aurora forecast that shows when the<br />

lights will be most visible and the forecast was<br />

looking good. However, it also needs to align<br />

with a clear, cloudless night, and as we went<br />

to bed the clouds were beginning to form.<br />

Undeterred we got up at 1am and rushed to<br />

the window but saw nothing but clouds. So<br />

we reset the alarm for 2am, 3am, 4am, and<br />

eventually gave up at 5am.<br />

At 9am, slightly sleep deprived after our<br />

northern lights effort, Matt Worden, owner and<br />

guide of Go Hike Alaska picked us up from our<br />

Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage,<br />

(a real taste of home) and drove us out to<br />

Glen Alps in Chugach State Park.<br />

Our group of hikers consisted of four fellow<br />

travellers, one from Florida, two from Seattle<br />

and one from San Francisco and us from NZ.<br />

We chatted and bonded on our way out to<br />

the park before donning our snowshoes and<br />

following Matt onto the snow. We were looking<br />

forward to exploring the outdoors and keeping<br />

our fingers crossed that we’d get to see a few<br />

moose. Believe it or not, 1,500 moose live<br />

within Anchorage city limits and Glen Alps was<br />

considered one of the best viewing spots.<br />

Walking in snowshoes takes some getting<br />

used to but once you get in the rhythm it’s<br />

easy going. The snow was deep and fresh so<br />

it was a real exploratory experience. We felt<br />

like real pioneers trudging through the snow<br />

covered hemlocks and meadows surrounded<br />

by sheer mountains. As we moved across the<br />

snow, Matt pointed out where each mountain<br />

range was, where glaciers had been and due<br />

to the fact that we were walking on virgin snow<br />

it was easy to see that there were no other<br />

footprints around, which meant no moose.<br />

Two hours snowshoeing went too quickly. At<br />

one point one of our fellow trampers asked<br />

if we could stop and just listen to the quiet<br />

for a while. It was amazing how silent the<br />

snow covered landscape was, maybe even<br />

unsettling. There was not just ‘no noise’ but<br />

the snow seemed to suck the air out of the<br />

silence like a giant muffler.<br />

Our guide, Erica stoking the fire while the<br />

boys from Texas warm up with a hot drink<br />

Hiking in snowshoes, a super peaceful way to experience the outdoors<br />

Left to right" Matt Wordon leading our merry group / Dustin Eroh from Alaska Bike <strong>Adventure</strong> /<br />

Steve and I celebrating our first adventure in Anchorage<br />

Our short trip was almost over - Skiing, check!<br />

Fatbiking, check! Snowmobiling, check!<br />

Snowshoeing, check! Moose spotting, just…<br />

Teri couldn’t believe we had not seen a moose<br />

so on the way to the airport she took the long<br />

route searching for what had now become<br />

almost a mythical creature. As we were about<br />

to give up, one ran across the road and we<br />

caught a glimpse of its backside as it headed<br />

into the forest beside us.<br />

Northern Lights, maybe next time!<br />

One aspect that we all gained from our brief<br />

visit to Alaska, was knowing that there was<br />

still so much for us to explore. It was as if<br />

someone had passed a book off a shelf and<br />

we’d only just read the first sentence. There<br />

was a whole book of adventures waiting to<br />

happen with so many pages still to be turned.<br />

"There was<br />

a whole<br />

book of<br />

adventures<br />

waiting<br />

to happen<br />

with so<br />

many pages<br />

waiting to<br />

be turned."<br />


We flew to Vancouver via Fiji with Fiji Airways.<br />

Excellent service and price!<br />

www.fijiairways.com<br />

Places we stayed:<br />

Lakefront Anchorage:<br />

www.millenniumhotels.com<br />

Hotel Alyeska: www.alyeskaresort.com<br />

Hotel Captain Cook: www.captaincook.com<br />

Places we ate:<br />

Snow City Café: www.snowcitycafe.com<br />

Aurora Bar and Grill: www.alyeskaresort.com<br />

Forte Alaska: www.alyeskaresort.com<br />

Simon and Seaforts:<br />

www.simonandseaforts.com<br />


Teri Hendricks for organising such a wonderful<br />

stay and being our personal tour guide<br />

throughout.<br />

Dustin Eroh from Alaska Bike <strong>Adventure</strong>s<br />

for the introduction to Fat Biking and<br />

Anchorage. www.akbikeadvenutres.com<br />

Alyeska Nordic Spa, for the hydrotherapy<br />

session, thoroughly recommend.<br />

www.anordicspa.com<br />

Erica from Glacier City Snowmobile Scenic<br />

Mountain Tour. www.glaciercitytours.com<br />

Matt Worden, owner/guide, Go Hike Alaska<br />

www.gohikealaska.com<br />


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An ode to the<br />

prospectors<br />

Words and Images by Leon Butler<br />

www.visualyarn.com | Insta - Leon.butler1<br />

Christopher Reily drags himself out into the<br />

brisk kiwi morning, puts a pan of water in the<br />

fire and gets himself ready for the day. It’s<br />

1862 and he’s a little late to the Otago gold<br />

rush, but he sees what others don’t and is<br />

confident he can find his share of the spoils.<br />

“Today’s the day,” he proclaims aloud in a selfmotivating<br />

yell, “today is the day all this bloody<br />

effort pays off.”<br />

The past few days of breaking trail into his<br />

new-found stashes in the Dunstan area have<br />

taken their toll, but Reily wouldn’t have it any<br />

other way. His body hurts but every time he<br />

strikes gold that pain is washed away in the<br />

sluicing. There’s no better feeling than seeing<br />

results from a good day's graft.<br />

Reily was a visionary, a creative who was both<br />

tough and practical. Through stubbornness<br />

and experience, he found gold in the dirt<br />

of Central Otago at a time when the boom<br />

was thought to be over. He saw something<br />

different in Dunstan and he set the tone that<br />

started an influx of activity into the area of<br />

others looking to get rich off the harsh Otago<br />

terrain. He is a prime example of what can<br />

happen when determination and imagination<br />

combine with human endeavour.<br />

same dirt,<br />

different<br />

reward<br />

Pete riding his bike in the<br />

footsteps of Otago gold miners.<br />


"Just like a prospector surveying the land in front of<br />

them for dig sites, Pete looks at a chunk of inhospitable<br />

terrain and creatively figures out how to ride it. "<br />

The fabled route that now resembles<br />

the Dunstan Trail, was once an<br />

inhospitable and treacherous shortcut<br />

to the goldfields. People were met<br />

with treeless, brutal mountains and a<br />

scorching hot climate, but undeterred<br />

they forged on in the search of Reily’s<br />

riches.<br />

160 years later and the rugged rock<br />

of the area is still as harsh and wild as<br />

ever, but now there’s a different kind<br />

of intrepid explorer trying to find their<br />

own riches, this time, however, the<br />

gold IS the dirt.<br />

What those early prospectors did<br />

was lay the foundations of how we<br />

now interact with the mountains.<br />

The shanty towns that sprung up<br />

have stuck around, the work shifted<br />

from gold to fruit and farming and<br />

the mountains developed into a<br />

playground for those on two wheels<br />

looking to create their own slice of trail<br />

riding Valhalla.<br />

The skill of a miner was in their ability<br />

to read the land and find minerals<br />

in the earth through perseverance<br />

and resilience, the modern-day biker<br />

has adapted the same passion and<br />

sprinkled it with a little adrenaline in<br />

order to seek out the best trails in<br />

the same desolate landscape. The<br />

exploratory, goal-driven mindset is<br />

the same, just the reward is slightly<br />

different.<br />

Otago mountain biker Pete Miller and<br />

his mates are a modern-day tribute to<br />

those old timers. Whilst the extreme<br />

hardships aren’t on the same level,<br />

the willingness to push themselves<br />

to the max for the sake of some hero<br />

dirt harks back to the attitudes of Chis<br />

Reily and the trails that he put in all<br />

those years ago.<br />

Pete knows the area like the back<br />

of his hand after years of searching.<br />

It would be all too easy to go ride<br />

some perfectly sculpted berms and<br />

jumps, and so with a group of mates<br />

they have been exploring the Central<br />

Otago backcountry for years, getting<br />

their hands in the dirt and bikes on<br />

tussock, rock slab and anything<br />

else they can find in search of the<br />

region’s best terrain. And they’ve<br />

found it, away from the crowds these<br />

dedicated riders have taken on the<br />

Otago area as their own playground.<br />

Just like a prospector surveying the<br />

land in front of them for dig sites,<br />

Pete looks at a chunk of inhospitable<br />

terrain and creatively figures out how<br />

to ride it. Sometimes it’s through<br />

experience gained over the years,<br />

or maybe it’s a gut feeling and the<br />

‘knack’ of knowing where to go, either<br />

way it’s not done the easy way. One<br />

trait that will always continue, and<br />

Pete will be the first to agree, is that<br />

there’s no better feeling than cracking<br />

a beer at the end of the day and<br />

having a yarn after sweating it out<br />

on the trail, and I’m sure Reily would<br />

have been right there with him.<br />

Central Otago has a unique geology<br />

that my inner child is convinced fell<br />

straight from Mars, and a climate that<br />

goes from scorched desert to tropical<br />

lushness. Its rolling flat top mountains<br />

are mostly made up of loose schist<br />

covered in tussock and fragrant thyme<br />

that, conveniently, hides the smell of<br />

sweating bikers. Look close enough<br />

and a whole world of winding trails<br />

snake their way into the depth of the<br />

mountains where these hardy bikers<br />

are riding technical trails to the subtle<br />

tones of the setting sun over the Pisa<br />

range.<br />

According to Pete, the central<br />

goldfields make for amazingly unique<br />

riding due to the steep rock slabs<br />

and super technical sections that<br />

require maximum commitment to find<br />

and ride. He goes on to say that “it’s<br />

building trails with his mates in places<br />

that a lot of people wouldn't fathom a<br />

bike can be ridden that motivates us.<br />

Trying to find these creative sections<br />

amongst the challenging terrain is<br />

pure adrenaline fueled fun and is our<br />

way to doff the cap to the history of<br />

the region”.<br />

Bikes are more than metal and<br />

rubber; they are tools that connect us<br />

to the earth and allow exploration and<br />

fun to combine through expression.<br />

They bring people together,<br />

encourage escapism and will take you<br />

to places otherwise unreachable.<br />

To quote a storyteller from back in<br />

the day, “Nothing is impossible when<br />

it’s a matter of finding gold” and that<br />

determined attitude still lives on<br />

today through those who play in the<br />

mountains.<br />

Hayden slaying some central Otago slab<br />


There was a term used for miners who<br />

were struck by gold fever and couldn’t<br />

tear themselves away from prospecting<br />

in the mountains. Known as Hatters, they<br />

would spend a lifetime on the dirt road,<br />

drifting along in search of gold. In some<br />

way I feel that a lot of those who move to<br />

the mountains become Hatters, always<br />

looking for that next trail or place to explore,<br />

unwilling to leave the all-consuming beauty<br />

of the mountains.<br />

They were colourful characters whose efforts<br />

live on through their creative naming of<br />

areas such as the ‘Knobbies’ and ‘Raggedy<br />

Mountains’, not to mention Roaring Meg,<br />

so named after a fiery grogshop owner<br />

you didn’t want to get on the wrong side<br />

of. The mtb community honours this<br />

humorous legacy to this day with the equally<br />

imaginative names given to bike trails in the<br />

area….’ Angry possum’ and ‘Rockapotomus’<br />

are a favourite of Pete’s.<br />

So, here’s to the pioneering adventurers like<br />

ol’ Chris Riley. These tough buggers not only<br />

laid the physical foundations for us to enjoy<br />

the mountains but also the mindset to push<br />

ourselves past what’s comfortable and seek<br />

out new challenges in the great outdoors in<br />

pursuit of progression.<br />

The miners have gone, but their spirit lives<br />

on through two-wheeled explorers such as<br />

Pete and his mates.<br />

The scars on the landscape of Otago are now being re-cycled by local riders<br />




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is perfect to pack when on adventures<br />

to keep you safely hydrated. Classic 3’s<br />

UV light kills over 99% of waterborne<br />

microorganisms that cause illness.<br />


KEA awa $50.00<br />

KEA AWA is the nano-filtration water<br />

straw that allows you to drink safely<br />

wherever you are. Filters 99.99% of all<br />

nasties from any water source.<br />


KEA STASH $60.00 (GO) - $70.00 (XL)<br />

KEA STASH is the Leak free, smell<br />

free, trash compacting bag.Available<br />

in 2 sizes “GO” & “XL” so you can<br />

say goodbye to messy, bulky trash<br />

wherever you are.<br />


KEA lumen $100.00<br />

KEA LUMEN is the powerful, durable &<br />

versatile flashlight to ensure that you’re<br />

never left in the dark.<br />


Outdoor Research Helium Emergency Bivy $219.99<br />

Just like how you'd put a hard shell over<br />

your puffer jacket, this bivy was designed to<br />

protect your sleeping bag from the elements<br />

while trapping in warmth. Constructed with<br />

Helium fabric (Pertex® Shield 2.5L, 100%<br />

nylon, 30D ripstop) it uses a simple tube-like<br />

construction and cinch closure to seal out<br />

wetness and save on bulk. Packs down to<br />

the size of a beer can! 264g<br />


Kiwi Camping Boost LED Light with Power Bank $89.99<br />

Bright LED light with power bank to illuminate<br />

your tent and charge devices on the go.<br />

Features 11 light modes including SOS signal,<br />

built-in magnets and hanging hook.<br />


30% (typ) smaller 7 year battery life<br />

66 channel GPS<br />

– Fast accurate positioning<br />

EPIRB1<br />

Essential<br />

for safe<br />

boating<br />

The World’s Most<br />

Compact Emergency<br />

Position Indicating<br />

Radio Beacon<br />

exped Lyra III Tent $799.99<br />

2- to 3-person 3-season tent. Lightweight<br />

and freestanding with two doors and<br />

vestibules. You can pitch the canopy solo<br />

(optimist mode), or in stargazer, breeze-way<br />

or privacy modes depending on how you<br />

adjust the fly. Full, packaged weight 2.3kg<br />



Chickfly Bamboo Leggings High Rise<br />

or Low Rise (USD $119.00)<br />

Chickfly leggings are made<br />

with soft, strong, stretchy<br />

and sustainable bamboo<br />

fabric, coloured with organic<br />

dyes. Our patented fly is held<br />

together by tension, creating<br />

a seamless, flattering, soft,<br />

and easy-to-use feature in the<br />

most comfortable and stylish<br />

black legging that every<br />

woman needs not only for<br />

style but for convenience and<br />

functionality.<br />


Kiwi Camping Weka 2 Hiker Tent $339.00<br />

Kiwi Camping's most popular hiker tent with<br />

double-sided entry, sturdy vestibules, and a<br />

user-friendly design. With a fly that handles<br />

rain and snow, the Weka 2 is perfect for<br />

hiking adventures.<br />


$<br />

399 99 5 year warranty 406-link via<br />

LAB0684<br />

30% (typ) smaller 10 year battery life<br />

satellite to<br />

Emergency Services<br />


Sea to Summit Etherlight XT Insulated Mat from $109.00<br />

Three-season warmth in a lightweight package.<br />

At four inches thick, Ether Light XT Air Sprung<br />

Cells provides a plush sleeping experience.<br />

• Lightweight and quieter than a traditional air<br />

pad.<br />

• Quick and easy inflation, deflation and<br />

adjustment<br />

• Anti-microbial<br />

• PillowLock system<br />

• A stuff sack that doubles as a pump, a repair<br />

kit and a spare valve insert included.<br />

Find a Stockist:<br />


sea to summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow $59.99<br />

The Aeros Ultralight pillow has been refined from<br />

three design principles to be light, compact, and<br />

comfortable.<br />

• Curved internal baffles create contours that cradle<br />

your head<br />

• Inflate pillow in a couple of breaths with the multifunction<br />

valve<br />

• Easily secured to any Sea to Summit sleeping mat<br />

through the Pillow Lock System<br />

Find a Stockist:<br />




ZIP<br />

KATHMANDU Icarus Hybrid Sleeping Bag<br />

$449.98<br />

If you often go camping in damp<br />

conditions, the Icarus Hybrid<br />

Sleeping Bag may be your best<br />

choice. It's made with a blend of<br />

synthetic and down fill, suitable<br />

for three seasons. The Icarus will<br />

prevent dampness around your<br />

feet while keeping your core body<br />

snug. For a warmer sleeping bag,<br />

go for the Icarus.<br />


exped Lite -5 Down Sleeping Bag $599.99<br />

Highly compressible bag made with lightweight<br />

and refined inner and outer fabrics that feel<br />

velvety soft. 540g of high-performance 800-loft<br />

European goose down fill for warmth. Rated<br />

minus 8°C (Lower Comfort Men, European<br />

Standard). 990g<br />


KATHMANDU Pegasus Hybrid Sleeping Bag<br />

$399.98<br />

Your next camping or backpacking<br />

trip will be more comfortable with<br />

our latest Pegasus Hybrid Sleeping<br />

Bag. Excellent throughout three<br />

seasons, the Pegasus has a blend<br />

of synthetic and down fill. It'll<br />

prevent moisture saturation around<br />

your feet and give your core body<br />

warmth - plus the adjustable hood<br />

will lock in heat when it's cold.<br />




The technical mummy shape provides adequate<br />

girth combined with excellent thermal efficiency.<br />


Ultralight 10D shell & 7D liner fabric are<br />

ultra-compressible materials for cutting-edge<br />

packability and warmth.<br />


Each Spark model features baffle construction<br />

fine-tuned to the temperature rating.<br />

ZIP<br />


Ultra-lightweight zippers in two lengths ideal<br />

for the conditions the bag will be used in.<br />

ULTRA-DRY Down TM 850+<br />

Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified. Ultra-Dry<br />

Down treatment protects the high-lofting down from<br />

external moisture & internal condensation.<br />

Kiwi Camping Morepork 1 Deluxe Swag $529.00<br />

Sleep soundly under the stars with the Kiwi<br />

Camping Morepork 1 Deluxe swag. Durable,<br />

waterproof, and easy to set up, it's perfect for<br />

outdoor adventurers.<br />


Find a stockist: southernapproach.co.nz<br />

Engineered to keep you warm at the lightest<br />

weight and smallest compressed size.<br />

The Spark Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag Series spans everything from an ultralight down-filled<br />

liner, to a mid-winter fast-and-light sleeping bag. Each model uses premium materials and<br />

no-frills design to provide cutting-edge performance.<br />


southernapproachnz<br />

Find the right Spark Sleeping Bag for you

GLERUPS The Boot Honey Rubber $199.00<br />

Made from 100% high-quality wool that provides<br />

exceptional comfort & warmth. glerups boots are<br />

soft and cosy, allowing you to rejuvenate your<br />

tired feet after a long day.<br />

glerups boots provide comfort, durability, grip,<br />

and breathability, making them an excellent<br />

choice for your outdoor adventures.<br />

Go with natural this season, go with glerups.<br />


Gasmate Cast Iron Single Ring Burner $79.99<br />

Experience powerful cooking on-thego<br />

with Gasmate's Cast Iron One Ring<br />

Burner. With 8,600 BTUs of cooking<br />

power, it's perfect for camping and<br />

heating up griddles.<br />


Gasmate Turbo Butane Stove<br />

& Pot Set $149.00<br />

For quick boiling when<br />

you need it! A super<br />

lightweight aluminium<br />

stove with quick boil<br />

technology, piezo ignition<br />

and accessories all<br />

packaged in a handy<br />

mesh carry bag.<br />


Gasmate 1 Burner Country Cooker $69.99<br />

Experience efficient outdoor cooking<br />

with Gasmate's Single Burner Country<br />

Cooker. Crafted from durable cast iron,<br />

it's perfect for camping and packs a<br />

powerful 11,800 BTU punch.<br />


KATHMANDU Valorous Unisex 58L Pack<br />

$449.98<br />

This versatile 58 litre Valorous<br />

Unisex Pack is designed to<br />

support you on multiday rambles<br />

and city escapes. The Crossflow<br />

AirXF+ harness suspends off<br />

your back, so expect comfy<br />

cushioning and cooling air flow.<br />

The Valorous’ ergonomic hip belt<br />

will naturally cup your hips while<br />

you enjoy peace-of-mind from<br />

the anti-tamper loops securing<br />

your stuff. The J-shaped side zip<br />

and wide U-shaped, two-way zip<br />

let you pack and access your<br />

gear easily. Get out there with<br />

the Valorous and restore your<br />

life balance.<br />


EXPED Lightning 60 Pack $349.99<br />

Comfortable, lightweight,<br />

roll-top backpack for fast-andlight<br />

multi-night adventures.<br />

Features include a lightweight<br />

suspension system that allows<br />

for micro adjustments for a<br />

custom fit, roll-top closure<br />

for added waterproofness<br />

and extra gear, zig-zag side<br />

compression and an over-thetop<br />

compression strap.1150g<br />




The breathable recycled cotton and<br />

hemp canvas upper is protected by<br />

a full 360° TPU rand. Our 3F system<br />

with nylon-coated Kevlar® cables<br />

provides additional support and<br />

greater stability at the heel, while<br />

ensuring a precise fit. The dual density<br />

eco Ortholite® footbed promotes<br />

superior cushioning, and the Pomoca<br />

outsole offers secure grip during light<br />

hiking activities.<br />

Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 305 g<br />

(W) 256 g (pictured)<br />


SALEWA WILDFIRE 2 $329.90<br />

The Wildfire 2 is a lightweight, agile<br />

and precise tech approach shoe with<br />

a breathable recycled synthetic mesh<br />

upper, and a 360° protective rand.<br />

Equipped with climbing lacing for<br />

fine adjustment in the toe-area and a<br />

lateral net system with Kevlar® cables<br />

for better overall performance and<br />

sensitivity. The POMOCA® outsole<br />

ensures good grip on rock in both dry<br />

and wet conditions.<br />

Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 355 g (W)<br />

305 g (pictured)<br />


keen NEWPORT H2 $229.99<br />

Part water sandal, part hiker. The<br />

original hybrid sandal, 50 million<br />

adventures and counting.<br />


Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof boot $349.99<br />

Meet the light & fast version of our iconic<br />

hiker. Room-for-your-toes comfort and toe<br />

protection, now with a running shoe feel in<br />

waterproof, engineered knit.<br />



What if every step could feel easier? We<br />

took the trusted fit of our iconic Targhee<br />

hiker and added KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX<br />

for easier days on the trail.<br />



We carried over the fit, durability, and<br />

performance of our award-winning Targhee<br />

waterproof boot and took its rugged looks<br />

to a new dimension.<br />



Featuring a thick suede leather upper,<br />

SALEWA® 3F system with steel cables and<br />

reinforced TPU rand make it exceptionally<br />

robust and durable. The waterproof GORE-<br />

TEX® Insulated Comfort membrane has an<br />

integrated insulation layer. There’s a stiff<br />

carbon-loaded nylon fibreglass insole and<br />

dual density expanded polyurethane midsole.<br />

The semi-auto crampon compatible Vibram®<br />

Alpine Guide sole unit is engineered for<br />

traction, durability and reliability on difficult<br />

terrain.<br />

Fit: STANDARD / Weight (M) 850 g (pictured)<br />

(W) 660 g<br />



Introducing the next generation of our<br />

bestselling alpine trekking boot. This hardwearing<br />

suede leather classic with a 360°<br />

full protective rubber rand is even lighter and<br />

more flexible. Equipped with a waterproof,<br />

breathable GORE-TEX® Performance<br />

Comfort membrane, a dual density expanded<br />

PU midsole, and the self-cleaning Vibram®<br />

WTC 2 outsole.<br />

Fit: WIDE / Weight (M) 600 g (W) 470 g<br />

(pictured)<br />



outdoor research SuperStrand LT Hoody $399.99<br />

Ultralight and packable featuring VerticalX SuperStrand<br />

insulation that is just as soft, light and lofty as 700-800 fill<br />

power down. Ripstop nylon shell and lining for abrasion,<br />

water and wind resistance, stows in its own pocket. Great<br />

4-season performance.<br />


KATHMANDU Bealey Men’s GORE-TEX Jacket $399.98<br />

Get plenty of benefits at a great price with<br />

our latest Bealey Men's GORE-TEX Jacket.<br />

At home in the surrounding hills, the Bealey<br />

is your outdoor inspired jacket that's made<br />

from the world's most recognisable, high<br />

performance fabric. Get the protection<br />

against rain and wind that you deserve.<br />


Patagonia NetPlus® Down Sweater $459.99<br />

Patagonia's iconic Down Sweater is now<br />

warmer, softer, more durable, and the shell<br />

is made with 100% recycled fishing nets.<br />

This redesigned jacket is lightweight and<br />

windproof. The shell – NetPlus® 100% postconsumer<br />

recycled nylon ripstop – helps<br />

to reduce ocean plastic pollution. Plus it's<br />

insulated with warm 100% Responsible<br />

Down Standard certified down. Available in<br />

M's, W's and a range of colours.<br />


Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody $149.99<br />

A technical fit paired with a highly protective fabric, the Black<br />

Diamond Alpenglow Hoody offers coverage on multi-pitches,<br />

high-alpine approaches and hot crag sessions.<br />

• UPF 50+ sun protection<br />

• BD.cool—mineral-based in-fibre cooling technology<br />

• Underarm gussets for added range of motion<br />

• Under-the-helmet hood<br />

• Polygiene odour control treatment<br />

Men’s & Women’s styles available.<br />

Find a Stockist:<br />


Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody $469.99<br />

Optimised for movement in the mountains, the Vision<br />

Hybrid Hoody is an active insulation layer that breathes<br />

and moves with you while keeping you warm.<br />

• Reinforced durability in high-abrasion areas<br />

• 60g PrimaLoft Cross Core Insulation<br />

• Two harness-compatible zipper hand pockets<br />

• Single pull, climbing helmet-compatible hood<br />

• Right-hand stow pocket; Zippered chest pocket<br />

• Single internal drop pocket<br />

• Integrated hem elastic draft gasket<br />

• Elastic cuffs<br />

Men’s & Women’s styles available.<br />

Find a Stockist:<br />


Chase the Light this autumn in<br />

Kathmandu’s new moleskin range.<br />

An OG fabric that’s tougher than flannel, versatile,<br />

comfortable and warm.<br />

Shop in-store and online at kathmandu.co.nz<br />

@kathmandugear #outthere<br />


Thomson and Scott - Noughty Sparkling<br />

Chardonnay $24.95<br />

Noughty non-alcoholic organic<br />

vegan gluten free sparkling<br />

Chardonnay. 2.9g of sugar per<br />

100ml, 14 calories per glass, less<br />

than 150mg per litre of sulphites.<br />



The first thing you’ll notice is that the front<br />

label on their pouches have changed for the<br />

better by adding Health Star Ratings and<br />

energy, protein, fat and carbs per pouch. They<br />

have also improved the readability of our back<br />

labels.Back Country Cuisine is available at<br />

leading retailers. For more information or to<br />

find your nearest stockist visit:<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Thomson and Scott - Noughty Sparkling<br />

Rose $24.95<br />

Noughty non-alcoholic organic<br />

vegan gluten free sparkling Rosé.<br />

4g of sugar per 100ml, 18 calories<br />

per glass, less than 150mg per<br />

litre of sulphites.<br />


Apple & Berry Crumble $13.99<br />

A sweet mix of freeze dried apples and<br />

berries topped with a delicious gluten<br />

free cookie crumb.<br />

3 Health Stars - Gluten Free<br />


Thomson and Scott - NOUGHTY – Rouge<br />

(Syrah) $24.95<br />

Noughty Rouge - less than 0.5%<br />

ABV. 14 calories per glass, 2.5g of<br />

sugar per 100ml, less than 150mg<br />

per litre of sulphites, gluten free.<br />


tasty chicken mash $9.99 - $14.99<br />

With smoky flavoured freeze dried chicken,<br />

cheese and vegetables.<br />

3.5 Health Stars - Gluten Free<br />

Available small serve (90g) or regular<br />

(175g)<br />


INSTANT PASTA $4.99<br />

Just add boiling water for perfectly cooked<br />

pasta.<br />

3.5 Health Stars<br />

Sizes – Family 120g<br />


equip<br />

yourself!<br />

Low Prices Everyday<br />

Low Prices Everyday<br />

backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch<br />

Born from <strong>Adventure</strong>: Shackleton<br />

Blended Malt Scotch is based on<br />

the spirit supplied to the 1907 British<br />

Antarctic Expedition, expertly crafted<br />

using a selection of the finest Highland<br />

Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Available<br />

at various Liquor Retailers .<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 56<br />

botanicals and intense cold brew<br />

coffee.<br />



A punchy peppery vegan<br />

twist on a Southern American<br />

classic! Refuel after a day's<br />

adventuring. Vegan, totally<br />

delicious, in home compostable<br />

packaging.<br />


Free NZ Shipping on<br />

orders over $150 for<br />

members<br />

Members Earn Equip+<br />

Loyalty Points<br />

local dehy hummus $8.00<br />

Sundried Tomato and Red<br />

Pepper, also available in<br />

Beetroot and Zesty Lemon.<br />

Perfect for lunches on the trail.<br />

Freeze dried. Vegan. Home<br />

compostable packaging.<br />


Free NZ Shipping on<br />

orders over $150 for<br />

members<br />

Members Earn Equip+<br />

Loyalty Points<br />

shop online or instore<br />

equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

62 Killarney Road,<br />

Frankton, Hamilton,<br />

New Zealand<br />

P: 0800 22 67 68<br />

E: sales@equipoutdoors.co.nz


Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and<br />

development in online stores over the past 5 years.<br />

We are dedicating these pages to our client’s online stores; some<br />

you will be able to buy from, some you will be able drool over. Buy,<br />

compare, research and prepare, these online stores are a great way to<br />

feed your adventure addiction.<br />

Waterfront accommodation on Nydia Track, Marlborough, NZ<br />

www.onthetracklodge.nz<br />

Meals bursting with flavour, combined with home compostable<br />

packaging, means you really can have it all in the mountains.<br />

Designed by ‘foodies’ for maximum plant-based deliciousness<br />

and wrapped in earth positive, lightweight, packable pouches.<br />

www.localdehy.co.nz<br />

Never have a dead phone<br />

again! Because now you can<br />

charge straight from the Sun<br />

with SunSaver. Perfect for<br />

that week-long hike, day at<br />

the beach, or back-up for any<br />

emergency. Check us out at:<br />

www.sunsaver.co.nz<br />

Building versatile and reliable gear so you<br />

can adventure with purpose.<br />

www.keaoutdoors.com<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 />

Temerature. Taste. Transport.<br />

Hydroflask, more than just a water bottle.<br />

www.hydroflask.co.nz<br />

Kathmandu offers a premium range of outdoor<br />

clothing, footwear, accessories and gear for men,<br />

women and kids.<br />

www.kathmandu.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,<br />

outdoor clothing and more.<br />

www.livingsimply.co.nz<br />

Our mission is to produce<br />

the best quality beers<br />

possible across a range of<br />

flavours and styles and to<br />

have fun doing it!<br />

www.dcbrewing.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 />

www.glerups.co.nz<br />

glerups shoes, slippers<br />

and boots are known for<br />

their exceptional comfort<br />

and unique design.<br />

Over the years we have<br />

perfected the wool mix<br />

by blending Gotland<br />

wool with quality wool<br />

from New Zealand<br />

farmers.<br />

Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.<br />

www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz<br />

Stocking an extensive range<br />

of global outdoor adventure<br />

brands for your next big<br />

adventure. See them for travel,<br />

tramping, trekking, alpine and<br />

lifestyle clothing and gear.<br />

www.outfittersstore.nz<br />

Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,<br />

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, <strong>Adventure</strong> Tents,<br />

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.<br />

www.equipoutdoors.co.nz<br />

KEEN Footwear New Zealand delivers sustainable style and<br />

outdoor performance for outdoor, hiking or city streets.<br />

www.keenfootwear.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 />

Marine and industrial supply story<br />

www.lusty-blundell.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 />

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 />

New Zealand’s first online<br />

store solely dedicated to<br />

Non Alcoholic adult drinks.<br />


c a n a d a<br />


There are a few things that make up the<br />

best mountain biking in the world. Friends,<br />

terrain & town and Whistler has all of these<br />

in spades. In New Zealand our biking<br />

mecca is Rotorua, in Canada it’s Whistler!<br />

Whistler is one of the largest resorts in<br />

North America, with some of the best liftaccessed<br />

park riding with epic downhills<br />

and wicked cross country trails. Plus an<br />

abundance of lakes and parks where you<br />

can swim, hang out on a beach and hire<br />

kayaks or paddle boards.<br />

With two villages that give you the choice<br />

of Whistler’s bright lights or Creekside’s<br />

mellow pubs and cafes. Canadian<br />

hospitality means even if you’re there<br />

on your own it won’t be for long. We<br />

love staying at Creekside as it’s a bit<br />

quieter than Whistler Village, has a nice<br />

atmosphere, direct gondola to the top of the<br />

bike park and is close to 2 beautiful lakes.<br />

The terrain is huge with over 4900 vertical<br />

feet of lift-serviced trails separated into four<br />

main zones:<br />

Fitzsimmons Zone<br />

The original and the best, containing trails<br />

of all levels, the Fitz is where biking dreams<br />

become real. Home to Whistlers’ most<br />

famous lines, A line, B line, Dirt Merchant,<br />

Canadian Open DH and 5 skills centres this<br />

zone is a must ride.<br />

Garbanzo Zone<br />

Known as the big brother of Fitz,<br />

this zone is above the Fitz zone<br />

and caters to high-level riders with<br />

steeper technical terrain on trails<br />

like Goats Gully, as well as long flow<br />

trails with jump features like Blue<br />

Velvet.<br />

Creek Zone<br />

The newest zone is accessed<br />

directly from the Creekside Gondola<br />

and is recommended for advanced<br />

and expert riders. This zone can be<br />

used to ride back down to Creekside<br />

or access the Fitz or Garbanzo<br />

Peak Zone<br />

For advanced riders, requiring an<br />

extra lift and ticket. This is a must<br />

ride area for at least one day as<br />

it gives you 5,000 feet of vertical<br />

descent from the top of Whistler<br />

Peak. The Top of the World trail<br />

starts at 2182m and descends<br />

736m over 6km through Whistler’s<br />

stunning alpine environment.<br />

Another trail you can do is Top of<br />

the World to Khyber, Kashmir, Kush<br />

and Big Timber which is 16km’s, with<br />

1857m of descent from the top of<br />

Whistler to the Creekside base! Epic!<br />

Beyond Whistler Bike Park there<br />

is a maze of cross-country trails to<br />

explore. It’s best to hit up a local<br />

bike shop for the most up-to-date<br />

map or download Trail Forks on your<br />

phone so you don’t get lost. Local<br />

ratings do err on the hard side so if<br />

you’re riding blue’s expect them to<br />

feel like black trails. With 250km’s of<br />

trails, it’s easy to find something for<br />

everyone.<br />


Top of the World Trail, Whistler, BC, Canada

Experts at adventure travel since 2000<br />

Your mountain bike travel specialists, with over<br />

20 years experience ensures you have a fantastic<br />

trip, crafted by people who really care.<br />

Image by Greg Rosenke<br />

Above: A bonus to biking in Whistler are the incredible views / Inserts: Whistler Bike Park / Whistler Rock Drop<br />

Lost Lake Trails<br />

Just 5 minute’s ride from Whistler this area<br />

has some excellent trails which naturally join<br />

up to make a loop. Try Tin Pants, Fountain of<br />

Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Jelly Gum Drop<br />

Roll, Central Scrutinizer, Grand Wazoo and<br />

finish off at the lake for a swim.<br />

Westside<br />

Cascading down Sproatt Mountain, Whistlers<br />

westside includes classic single track like<br />

Danimal, Lord of the Squirrels and AC/DC. It<br />

is accessed by climbing Flank Trail from Lake<br />

Alta.<br />

Whistler North<br />

Starting just north of the village surrounding<br />

Green Lake this area is a mecca for tech,<br />

gnar, rock slabs, rock rolls and drops. With<br />

many of the trails pushing expert and above<br />

its an area where expert riders can test their<br />

technical skills.<br />

Blackcomb<br />

An area with rogue trails built by keen<br />

enthusiasts Whistler has adopted many of<br />

the trails and maintains them as part of its<br />

network. Long, fall-line, rooty single tracks<br />

are a feature of Blackcomb. The higher you<br />

climb the more challenging the trails, offering<br />

some fantastic tech.<br />

Cheakamus<br />

South of the village adjacent to the stunning blue,<br />

glacier fed river and lake which gives this area its<br />

name. This area’s easy accessibility has terrain<br />

for all rider levels. Trails such as Farside and<br />

See Colours & Puke, offer fast flow, berms and<br />

easy jumps. You can then advance to AM/PM<br />

and Duncans Trail for more advanced rock rolls,<br />

punchy pinch climbs and bigger jumps.<br />

Over the 40 years that I have been mountain<br />

biking I have seen the sport evolve from a leftfield<br />

pastime where enthusiasts hurtled down fire<br />

breaks on basic bikes, to a sport where expensive<br />

highly specialised bikes are used on groomed,<br />

formed trails in dedicated bike parks!<br />

The great thing about mountain biking is that it<br />

can be done anywhere, with just about any bike,<br />

all you need is a bunch of mates, good terrain<br />

and a place to drink beer and tell lies afterwards!<br />

Modern bikes mean you can do more! Bigger<br />

jumps, faster down hills, easier climbs and ride<br />

longer with a higher level of safety. The E Bike<br />

has opened mountain biking up to more people<br />

and also means you ride harder for longer.<br />

So if you love mountain biking and want<br />

to escape from cold muddy mountain bike<br />

destinations in the New Zealand winter, check out<br />

Whistler!<br />

New Zealand owned and operated<br />

"We live what we sell"<br />

0800 623 872<br />

info@madabouttravel.co.nz<br />

madabouttravel.co.nz<br />


v a n u a t u<br />


Huge caverns and drop offs, abundant marine life, beautiful<br />

bright corals, giant sea fans and world-famous wrecks all<br />

contribute to Vanuatu’s reputation as a diving destination.<br />

It is also one of the best places for divers to see dugongs.<br />

The landscape beneath the water mirrors that found<br />

above: mountainous terrain with plunging cliffs, grottoes<br />

and overhangs, huge caves and intricate interconnecting<br />

underwater tunnels and chasms formed by frozen lava.<br />

Vanuatu's coral reefs offer spectacular diving options<br />

Diving Vanuatu’s Coral Reefs<br />

Vanuatu is an island archipelago consisting<br />

of approximately 82 relatively small islands.<br />

The main islands from largest to smallest<br />

are; Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate (home<br />

to the capital Port Vila), Erromango, Ambrym<br />

and Tanna. The islands are volcanic in origin<br />

and as a consequence, Vanuatu’s shoreline<br />

is mostly rocky with fringing reefs and little<br />

continental shelf, dropping rapidly into the<br />

ocean depths. This gives rise to some<br />

exciting diving on reefs and walls, as well<br />

as some excellent snorkelling opportunities,<br />

particularly on Tanna.<br />

Diving Vanuatu’s Wrecks<br />

Vanuatu became independent as recently<br />

as 1980, being jointly administered by<br />

France and Britain, and named the New<br />

Hebrides prior to that. Being an allied<br />

territory, it supported a large American<br />

base during WWII and we have them to<br />

thank for the wrecks of the SS President<br />

Coolidge, the USS Tucker and Million<br />

Dollar Point.<br />

Where to Dive…<br />

There are three main regions for diving in<br />

Vanuatu; Efate, Espiritu Santo and Tanna.<br />

Efate: Port Vila and Tranquillity Island<br />

The island of Efate is surrounded by very<br />

pretty fringing reef, a few wrecks and a<br />

stunning cavern called the Cathedral,<br />

with stand-out dive sites including Owen’s<br />

Reef on Tranquillity Island and West Side<br />

Story near Hideaway Island Resort.<br />

Diving Port Vila is easy, with a range of<br />

operators to choose from, each of which<br />

pick up and return divers to their hotels.<br />

Many of the best dive sites are only<br />

minutes away. Diving is well supervised<br />

and varied, with several wrecks,<br />

bommies, drop-offs and caverns in the<br />

protected waters of the bay.<br />

Espiritu Santo<br />

Diving Espiritu Santo is synonymous with<br />

diving the SS President Coolidge, but it’s<br />

not the only dive in town. Wreck diving<br />

options also include the infamous Million<br />

Dollar Beach and the USS Tucker, and<br />

for coral lovers, there’s plenty of fringing<br />

reefs, drop offs and coral gardens to<br />

explore.<br />

Tanna<br />

Diving Tanna is very different from<br />

diving Port Vila or Santo, as Tanna is a<br />

more remote volcanic island – with an<br />

active volcano. Diving Tanna, you will<br />

experience crystal clear water, colourful<br />

hard coral reefs and an amazing topology<br />

of swim throughs and blue holes.<br />

3.30pm “SS President Coolidge – Santo”<br />

SS President Coolidge<br />


s a m o a<br />


Samoa offers so much more than<br />

the Pacific perfection of white sand<br />

and blue seas. You'll find a world of<br />

excitement and adventure, things to do<br />

and places to visit, natural wonders, a<br />

rich culture and history. Here are our<br />

top five picks are.<br />

Alofaaga blowholes<br />

The island of Savai’I is larger and less<br />

populated than the mainland and is<br />

home stunning natural attractions. Two<br />

ferries run between the main land and<br />

Savai’i to three times a day. There is a<br />

lot to explore Savai'i, but top of the list<br />

is seeing the Alofaaga blowholes on<br />

the southwest coast where the correct<br />

swell delivers a massive display of<br />

vertical fountains.<br />

Afu Aau Waterfall<br />

Samoa offers stunning white sand<br />

beaches and beautiful clear water but<br />

also some amazing natural features<br />

like waterfalls. Don't miss the breathtaking<br />

Afu Aau waterfall. Surrounded<br />

by lush rainforest, this water is in a<br />

stunning setting and easily accessible<br />

and a great place to swim and explore.<br />

To Sua Ocean Trench<br />

The To Sua Ocean Trench is one<br />

of the most well know attraction in<br />

the whole of Samoa. Basically two<br />

giant sinkholes connected by a lava<br />

tube, one without water, the other<br />

a 30m deep swimming hole. The<br />

swimming hole is accessible by a<br />

steep ladder - the descent can be a<br />

little nerve-wracking, but it leads to an<br />

unforgettable experience at this oneof-a-kind<br />

spot<br />

Falealupo Rainforest Canopy<br />

Suspended 40m above the canopy<br />

floor and stretching 30m across, the<br />

Falealupo Rainforest Walkway (also<br />

known as the Canopy Walk) is a<br />

suspension bridge leading to a tall<br />

Banyan tree, from here can look out<br />

over the top of the Rainforest. Within<br />

the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve<br />

you will find a canopy walkway. About<br />

10-meters above the canopy floor<br />

there is a bridge built between 2 large<br />

trees. You can also climb to a viewing<br />

platform in a 230-year old banyan<br />

tree. Included in admission is entry to<br />

nearby attractions Moso’s Footprint<br />

and the House of Rock.<br />

Afu Aau Waterfall<br />

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum<br />

Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of<br />

Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr<br />

Hyde, spent his final years in Samoa<br />

and there is a museum in the country’s<br />

capital of Apia dedicated to him. Due to<br />

his many positive interactions with the<br />

local community, Stevenson became<br />

very popular and also a well-respected<br />

figure to the local community. He passed<br />

away on December 3, 1894 at the age<br />

of 44. His colleagues and people that<br />

worked for him buried him on top of<br />

Mount Vaea (within Vailima) at a spot<br />

overlooking the sea. You can also visit<br />

his grave if you decide to hike up the<br />

picturesque Mt Vaea.<br />

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum<br />

To Sua Ocean Trench<br />

"Samoa is<br />

not only a<br />

beautiful<br />

place to<br />

visit but<br />

has many<br />

adventures to<br />

be found"<br />

Sale’aula Lava Fields<br />

Sale’aula Lava Fields<br />

Formed by molten lava following the<br />

eruption of Mt Matavanu between 1905-<br />

1911, the flow devastated five villages,<br />

A second eruption poured yet more lava<br />

onto the field, covering an area of over<br />

100 square kilometres (40 square miles).<br />

Five villages were buried, although like<br />

most things in Samoa the lava was<br />

slow-moving so there were few fatalities.<br />

This is one of the island’s most popular<br />

attractions and a unique natural wonder.<br />

Beautiful Samoa awaits you, and we are welcoming our international aiga<br />

with open arms! Experience Samoa’s untouched beauty, unique cultural<br />

experiences and rich heritage. Self drive, bike or stroll through the wonders<br />

that make this island life one to cherish just like the locals do.<br />

Contact Ross and Frances at: office@outdoor.co.nz to organise a custom tour or to join a group.www.outdoorsamoa.com<br />


n e w c a l e d o n i a<br />

c a l e d o n i a<br />



Less than 3 hours from Auckland lies a unique island paradise that offers<br />

you the perfect ocean adventure experience. Nestled in the Pacific Ocean,<br />

New Caledonia is home to the world’s largest lagoon, crystal-clear water,<br />

and countless white, sandy beaches. But New Caledonia is so much more<br />

than a chill holiday destination, it’s also perfect for travellers wanting an<br />

ocean adventure.<br />

Within a single day, you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed<br />

lagoon, meet rare sea creatures under the surface, glide over the ocean,<br />

and learn a thrilling new water sport. The diverse experiences on offer in<br />

New Caledonia make this amazing archipelago and holiday destination the<br />

ideal place to have your next ocean adventure.<br />

Sailing<br />

If you want to navigate a larger watercraft,<br />

sailing in New Caledonia is a must. Loved by<br />

locals and visitors, there’s a variety of sailing<br />

experiences to explore. From outings that<br />

last just a few hours to voyages lasting days,<br />

beginner and advanced sailors will be amazed<br />

at the countless ways to discover the ocean. For<br />

seasoned sailors, set out on a voyage around<br />

the Isle of Pines for an incredible journey that’ll<br />

enhance your appreciation for this corner of the<br />

globe. Beginners can spend the day cruising<br />

around the world’s largest lagoon on either a<br />

catamaran, yacht, canoe, or motorboat, enjoying<br />

the sights of colourful reef fish and marine<br />

animals as they sail past. In New Caledonia,<br />

you’re sure to find a sailing adventure that<br />

matches your interest and preferred pace.<br />

Snorkelling/diving<br />

Go below the surface in New Caledonia to<br />

discover the beauty of the country’s coral,<br />

animals, and marine life. New Caledonia is<br />

home to the second-largest coral reef in the<br />

world and a UNESCO Heritage-listed lagoon<br />

and home to a wide range of marine animals.<br />

The lagoon is a sanctuary for sharks, whales,<br />

and turtles and is home to the world’s thirdlargest<br />

population of dugong - so you can tick<br />

swimming with sea life off your ocean adventure<br />

bucket list. Navigate the reef with a snorkel or<br />

rent diving equipment for the ultimate thrill and<br />

be completely mesmerised by the exceptional<br />

biodiversity. Meet the most incredible marine life<br />

face-to-face as you glide through coral pinnacles<br />

sheltering tropical fish.<br />

Beach chilling<br />

For those after a more relaxing ocean<br />

adventure, look no further than New Caledonia’s<br />

endless beaches. The crystal white sand,<br />

dazzling sunshine, and azure blue sea make<br />

New Caledonia’s coastline among the most<br />

peaceful on Earth. Explore the country’s<br />

numerous hidden coves and have the beach<br />

all to yourself to enjoy. Go on an adventure<br />

into the mysterious west side of the island to<br />

find the small bays of Tortues (Turtles Bay) and<br />

Amoureux (Lovers’ Bay). In the east, the length<br />

of the Forgotten Coast is also accessible by<br />

boat where you can easily find small beaches<br />

hidden away from the main roads and crowds.<br />


Ocean Events Happening This Year<br />

With pristine water and consistent weather conditions, New<br />

Caledonia is a hotspot for water sports. Every year, the<br />

destination hosts a variety of watercraft races that are sure<br />

to get your blood pumping whether you’re a spectator or a<br />

participant.<br />

Airwaves Nouméa Dream Cup 14th – 18th November<br />

Every year, the PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association)<br />

hosts its annual finale, the Dream Cup, in Nouméa, New<br />

Caledonia. In the Dream Cup, the world’s top windsurfers<br />

compete over one week in the Caledonia lagoon across<br />

different disciplines including slalom, freestyle, and speed<br />

racing. www.pwaworldtour.com<br />


adventure<br />

Sail in an Outrigger<br />

You cannot leave New Caledonia without sailing around Upi Bay<br />

in a traditional outrigger canoe. In this once-in-a-lifetime cultural<br />

experience, you will board a Melanesian outrigger to sail for<br />

one and a half hours across the spectacular Upi Bay. Follow the<br />

current to the stunning Isle of Pines, concealed between huge<br />

coral rocks that seem to float on the turquoise lagoon. Make sure<br />

you also keep a lookout for turtles, rays, and dolphins!<br />

Windsurfing<br />

Begin your adventure with the destination’s most popular sport –<br />

windsurfing! Boasting great conditions and spectacular scenery,<br />

New Caledonia windsurfing is ideal for beginners and experienced<br />

thrill-seekers alike. One of the world’s best windsurfing locations<br />

is Anse Vata Bay in Nouméa is renowned for its consistent winds<br />

and flat water, perfect for beginners. New Caledonia is filled with<br />

shallow, protected waters and endless, sandy beaches, offering<br />

you a chance to try your hand at this thrilling sport.<br />


Défi Wind Super Stars 20th – 23rd November<br />

The Défi Wind Super Stars event gives amateurs an<br />

opportunity to race against the pros, with the top performers<br />

able to proceed to the main event, the Défi Super Stars.<br />

Participants include Olympic champions, top PWA riders<br />

and new talents, so we guarantee the event will have your<br />

heart racing. www.pwaworldtour.com<br />

BlueScope Race 19th November<br />

Organised by the Association Nouméa Glisse (ANG), the<br />

Bluescope Race welcomes all water sports enthusiasts.<br />

Over 2 days, between the Water Sports Centre and<br />

Amédée Lighthouse, catamarans, dinghies, cruisers,<br />

kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaks, and stand-up-paddle<br />

boards race along New Caledonia’s coast for pole position.<br />

This exhilarating race is a must-see in the New Caledonian<br />

sporting calendar. www.ang.nc<br />

Travellers’ one-stop shop for booking activities to explore<br />

the lagoon is the Maison du Lagon. You can hire scuba<br />

diving gear, rent a boat for a day, go whale watching, rent<br />

jet-skis or excursions to the islands around Noumea. And<br />

for more information about the destination:<br />

www.newcaledonia.travel<br />


NIUE:<br />

n i u e<br />

This is noughty<br />

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dealcoholized to retain the<br />

rich flavour. Premium non-alcoholic<br />

sparkling wine Certified organic,<br />

vegan and halal. Low sugar, Low<br />

calorie, Gluten Free<br />

Niue could well be the adventure capital of the<br />

Pacific Islands? Niue has all bases covered<br />

for the adventure seeker, including some great<br />

events for those that want a tropical holiday with<br />

a twist. Located in the middle of Tonga, Samoa,<br />

and the Cooks, Niue is serviced by Air New<br />

Zealand via a short three and half hour flight from<br />

Auckland and uses the NZ dollar.<br />

Visitors have their choice of small private<br />

beaches, lagoons and swimming caves where the<br />

likelihood of someone disturbing you is almost<br />

nil. Experiences on offer include swimming with<br />

whales (July-September), Dolphins or there is<br />

world class fishing and spearfishing on offer.<br />

Massive cave systems and various walks are<br />

found all over the Island that can be explored<br />

with ease via well signposted tracks many with<br />

well maintained showers and toilets. There is also<br />

no sediment in the water because of the coral<br />

structure of this atoll so diving and snorkeling<br />

here is a staggering 80 metre visibility.<br />

The night life is limited but given Niue is also<br />

the world’s only Dark Sky Nation you can just<br />

watch the stars and enjoy the serenity. As they<br />

say you will arrive as a visitor and leave as a<br />

friend in this place having met your share of the<br />

1500 residents that live there by the end of your<br />

holiday.<br />

Niue Tourism and Wildside Travel are partnering<br />

again to bring you ‘Ride the Rock Week’ and<br />

‘Rockman – <strong>Adventure</strong> Races’. These are a<br />

social, fun week of organised events with plenty<br />

of leisure time as well to experience everything<br />

else Niue has to offer.<br />

Ride the Rock Week (June 2023 and 2024)<br />

will see pedal powered visitors compete for some<br />

great prizes and lots of laughs. After settling into<br />

your accommodation, you will have a welcome<br />

‘Island style’ BBQ dinner and get briefed for the<br />

week. A guided island tour will help you know<br />

what to expect and followed by a race around<br />

the island roads (60kms), another across the<br />

island bushtracks and a Rogaine / Treasure Hunt<br />

race all blended with plenty of leisure time to<br />

experience other activities and the culture at your<br />

own pace.<br />

Rockman <strong>Adventure</strong> Races<br />

(November 2023 and 2024)<br />

Following a similar format to Ride the Rock<br />

week this will have a variety of swim, bike, run<br />

combo events including a Round the Island ride,<br />

Orienteering Bush run, a Bike Rogaine-style race,<br />

an Ocean Swim and a swim-bike-Run adventure<br />

race. There is even an afternoon social nine-hole<br />

golf & bowls competition for a bit of variety. For<br />

both events modern mtb bikes are available for<br />

hire or bring your own.<br />

If travelling with a group or events isn’t your thing<br />

then just head to Niue for an adventure break<br />

ideal for the active relaxer or you can of course<br />

just sit back and soak in the sun!<br />

www.niueisland.com<br />

www.airnewzealand.co.nz<br />

www.wildsidetravel.nz<br />

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RUN10023<br />

Arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend. No crime,<br />

no traffic and no queues. Relax or explore. Swim,<br />

fish and dive in the clearest waters in the pacific.<br />

The world’s only Dark Sky Nation welcomes you<br />

to the way life used to be; the way life should be.<br />


Plateau Lodge<br />

A l p i n e R e s o r t<br />

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Terrace Restaurant & Bar Open daily<br />

Tongariro Alpine Crossing Shuttles from the door<br />

Backpacker to Superior Family Accommodation<br />

Alpine Hiking Gear Hire on-site<br />

Skotel Alpine Resort | SkotelAlpineResort<br />

Ngauruhoe Place | Whakapapa Village, SH 48<br />

www.skotel.co.nz | info@skotel.co.nz<br />

+64 7 892 3719 | 0800 756 835<br />

Close access to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Whakapapa ski field<br />

and numerous cycle trails<br />

www.plateaulodge.co.nz | Tongariro National Park<br />

17 Carroll Street, National Park Village<br />

Ruapehu<br />

Ph: 07 892 2993<br />

Hike and Bike in The Tongariro<br />

Skibiz @ The Alpine Centre, National Park<br />

Boots<br />

Hiking Poles<br />

Packs<br />

Rainwear<br />

Sleeping Bags<br />

Whirlpool Suites | Double Spa Rooms | Queen & King Size Beds |<br />

2 x Conference Rooms | Breakfast Restaurant | Free Wireless<br />

Broadband | Air-Con/Heat Pumps in all Units | Gym<br />

All your hiking<br />

essentials<br />

available for hire!<br />

ebikes now available<br />

For local Mountains to Sea trails |<br />

Fishers Track | Marton Sash & Door and more…<br />

bookings and availability ph: 07 892 2717<br />

www.thealpinecentre.co.nz for online bookings

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RUN10023<br />

Arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend. No crime,<br />

no traffic and no queues. Relax or explore. Swim,<br />

fish and dive in the clearest waters in the pacific.<br />

The world’s only Dark Sky Nation welcomes you<br />

to the way life used to be; the way life should be.<br />

Contact: info@wildsidetravel.nz | 027 436 9025<br />

Keep powered on any adventure<br />

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Filled with 14 individually wrapped products (worth $219) we’ve hand<br />

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gift every day, from the 1st to 14th of May (or open them all at once)<br />


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Caring luxury | Local flavour | One of a kind<br />

Mountain bike clean up area and a secure mountain bike storage area available<br />

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p: +64 7 348 4079 | w: regentrotorua.co.nz<br />

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S.A Shuttles are a specialists when it comes to Auckland Airport shuttle<br />

services. We pick-up passengers from the Airport and deliver to; hotels,<br />

motels, CBD and the suburbs (door to door). This service is available to<br />

meet every flight arriving into Auckland Airport.<br />

• BOOKED shuttle services to meet flight<br />

• On demand shuttle services for group bookings<br />

• Direct shuttle for individual needs<br />

• Corporate Transfers for Business Client<br />

Available to download on<br />

We also do tours around the North Island | www.southaucklandshuttles.com | bookings@sashuttles.com | 0800 300 033 (Toll free)






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