Adventure Magazine

Issue 237: Survival Issue

Issue 237: Survival Issue


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.


where actions speak louder than words

where actions speak louder than words


APR/MAY 2023

NZ $11.90 incl. GST


we ARE tramping




Gaz Zeh Yaavor

One of the slips at Muriwai after Cyclone Gabrielle left my son

and his family home red stickered.

Whether it’s a day trip with the family or a multi-day adventure deep into the wilderness, Bivouac has the best

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

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

because at Bivouac Outdoor we ARE tramping.

Adelaide Tarn

Kahurangi National Park

Photo: Mark Watson

Adventure Magazine has been creating

the ‘survival issue’ for the last ten years;

it’s a lot more than ‘everyone likes a

good train wreck story’ – it’s an issue

about willpower and determination, about

commitment and resolve. It shows the

best of people, sometimes in the worst


In January, on our way to Alaska, we

stopped over in Fiji. On arrival, our phones

lit up with texted questions, “Were we

safe? Did we leave OK? How was the

airport?” We then discovered that the

airport had flooded as we took off through

some heavy turbulence. The flooding was

widespread throughout New Zealand, and

being away and viewing it unfold was hard

to watch as people lost their homes and

their lives.

Then a week or so later came the second

blow, Cyclone Gabrielle, and with it, the

making of a perfect storm. An already

waterlogged country drowned again and

was battered by the cyclone. The country

was devastated. As we looked on from a

distance, knowing there was nothing we

could do, it made little difference to the

degree of our concern. Then, like so many

others, our family had their own survival

story unfold. Some of our family live at

Muriwai; as the water-sodden cliffs faced

howling winds and more rain poured, the

cliff turned into slips, and the rest was on

the news; loss of life, hundreds of houses

red stickered, evacuation and lives ruined.

A whole community was ravished in one

night simply by the weather.

Time will tell how that story unravels, if

Muriwai will be rebuilt. But that connection

to a survival situation has made this

Adventure issue more poignant.

This issue is dedicated to all those

who have gone through so much over

the last few months, those who have

lost loved ones and houses, income

and communities. Those who feel lost,

isolated, and confused. We want you to

know that you are not forgotten, New

Zealand as a community will help, and

normality will return.

There is an old Jewish fable that says

“Gam Zeh Yaavor” which means ‘this

too shall pass’. That all things, no matter

how difficult, ‘will pass’, which as with all

survival, is the key to success, whether

that is lost on a mountain, faced with

floods or weathering a storm – ‘it will pass’

Steve Dickinson - Editor

your Adventure starts with Us

The story - Gam Zeh Yaavor

King Solomon could not banish his grief

and sadness. No matter what he tried —

the treatments prepared by his doctors, the

guidance offered by his counsellors, he

was just unhappy, depressed, becoming

more despairing every day that passed.

Messengers were sent throughout the

kingdom with a promise of wealth and

power to anyone who could help the king.

The greatest experts, sorcerers, and

doctors came to the palace and tried their

best, but to no avail.

After a while, a wizened-up old man

dressed in ragged clothes arrived at the

palace gate. “I am a farmer,” he said, “I

study nature, every day. I have come to

help the king.”

King Solomon’s courtiers dismissed him.

“I shall wait, then.” Said the old man and he

sat down to wait till the king would see him.

The king’s condition worsened. He felt sad

and helpless, he was lost to his depression

and suffering and saw no end in sight.

Finally, when all hope was lost, the courtier

let the old man in. Without speaking a word,

the man approached the king, handed him

a simple wooden ring, and with that he left.

The king looked down at the ring, read the

etched inscription, and slipped it on his

finger. Then he smiled.

“What does it say, Your Majesty?” asked the

king’s courtiers.

“Just four words,” said the king.

“This, too, shall pass."

Supporting Aotearoa's Backcountry Heritage



23 Locations Nationwide | www.radcarhire.co.nz | 0800 73 68 23 | [email protected]


Earlier this year, Kiwi Mike Dawson joined the Antarctic Heritage Trust

NZ's Inspiring Explorers Expedition to the South Pole to celebrate

Roald Amundsen's 150th birthday. Here he explains when this photo

was taken....

Image by Lizzy

Eight year old Mick at the crater lake on Mount Ruapehu!


Last year it was Mt. Taranaki, this year it was Mt. Ruapehu for

8 year old Mick Van de Zeeuw. The weather conditions were

perfect for the climb, with sun and light winds forecasted. After

his adventures on the Northern Circuit in the snow last spring,

he was amazed with the bare landscape on the mountain in

the summer, wearing his Adventure cap. Proud and excited

to finally be there after so many adventures close by! As

the clouds came in at the top, it was the “easy” track down

jumping from rock to rock via Restful ridge towards Knoll

Ridge before coming back at the SkyWaka.

"Taken on New Year's Eve during a break on a freezing Antarctic day,

as we traveled across the Polar Plateau towards the South Pole. It was

one of the coldest days of the expedition, any exposed skin quickly

became frost nipped and at this stage, we were 45 days into our

Expedition. We were all tired but excited to celebrate the New Year in

one of the most remote places on the planet."

Full story on page 6.


Steve Dickinson

Mob: 027 577 5014

[email protected]


Lynne Dickinson

[email protected]


subscribe at www.pacificmedia-shop.co.nz


ARE, Ph (09) 979 3000








Pacific Media Ltd,

11a Swann Beach Road

Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa, New Zealand

Ph: 0275775014 / Email: [email protected]

advertising rates, demographic and stats available on request

Contributions of articles and photos are welcome and must be accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. Photographic material should be on slide,

although good quality prints may be considered. All care is taken but no responsibility accepted for submitted material. All work published may be used on

our website. Material in this publication may not be reproduced without permission. While the publishers have taken all reasonable precautions and made all

reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of material in this publication, it is a condition of purchase of this magazine that the publisher does not assume any

responsibility or liability for loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of information contained herein

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

“Northern Rocks is an indoor

bouldering facility, we foster

community, growth and

positive experiences for

people of all backgrounds,

ages and abilities.”

World Class Indoor Climbing

FREE week after first paid visit!

Fantastic community, beginners

welcome, boulder classes for all ages

and abilities, inquire now.

* Discounts for youths and own gear

Student Mondays, entry $15



Unit 17, 101-111 Diana Drive,

Wairau Valley, Auckland | 09 278 2363




Pavel Alekhin performs in California, USA.

The image is a composite and retouched in

image editing software.

Image by Denis Klero / Red Bull Content Pool




kiwi Explorers

Mike Dawson has been involved with Adventure Magazine for

many years; kayaking, exploring, skiing and coaching. Now he can

add polar-exploring to his resume after recently returning from an

expedition to South Pole!



to the



Interview with

Mike Dawson


supplied by

Mike Dawson

To celebrate 150 years since the birth of legendary polar explorer

Roald Amundsen, Antarctic Heritage Trust chose three Inspiring

Explorers to undertake a guided traverse of close to 1000km from

the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole, a route inspired by Reinhold

Messner and Arved Fuchs’ Antarctic crossing. Mike Dawson was

one of them.

Joining Mike was fellow Kiwi, Auckland firefighter Laura Andrews

and Norwegian intelligence analyst Marthe Brendefur. They were

guided by Norwegian polar guide Bengt Rotmo and led by Antarctic

Heritage Trust executive director Nigel Watson.

With temperatures ranging from -25°C to -40°C, the team faced all

types of weather and reached elevations of 2,800m skiing for up to

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

The trip was extremely strenuous; participants needed to ski,

mountaineer, endure extremely cold weather and have the mental

stamina to continue in extreme conditions when physically tried. On

his return we caught up with Mike:

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

years old and have represented New Zealand in the canoe slalom

at the London and Rio Olympic Games. My passion was always

getting out and exploring new rivers and new places around the

planet, so I ended up doing a few extreme kayaking adventures

around the world.

Heading South. The team slowly climbs while navigating

through a maze of Sastrugi upwards towards the Polar

Plateau on a bluebird day towards the end of the expedition.


Someone who knows you well how do you think that they

would describe you.? This is from Laura Andrews: Mike is this

incredible guy who’s got a contagious belief that everything is

possible. Despite being a legend himself, he builds everyone else

up around him, making them feel like Olympian’s and inspiring

them to expand themselves. He’s sarcastic, jokey and positive.

He’s incredibly humble, super switched on, and lives life well for

every moment. Mikes is incredibly capable, he has a novel worth

of crazy experiences behind him. The amazing thing is that he can

do these adventures and capture it as the same time. The aweinspiring

content inspires, educates and connects.

"Mike is this


guy who’s

got a


belief that

everything is


How did you become part of this expedition? The expedition

was put on by the Antarctic Heritage Trust — The trust is a New

Zealand-based not-for-profit that cares for the expedition base

huts and approx. 20,000 artefacts left behind by early Antarctic

explorers including Captain Robert Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton

and Sir Edmund Hillary. The reason for this expedition is to

celebrate 150 years since the birth, Roald Amundsen, who in 1911

became the first person to reach the geographic South Pole. Our

team was a joint New Zealand and Norwegian expedition with

3 kiwis and 2 Norwegians. It's the trust's sixth major Inspiring

Explorers Expedition following a crossing of South Georgia in

2015, an ascent of Mount Scott in Antarctica in 2017, a successful

crossing of the Greenland ice cap in 2018, and kayaking

expeditions on the Antarctic Peninsula in 2019 and 2020.

What training if any did you do and how much lead up time

did you have? Skiing 1000km in Antarctica wasn’t something I

knew a lot about and it was completely different from whitewater

kayaking so the preparation was a huge task. I guess the easiest

way to look at it was getting conditioned to be on your feet all

day for 50 days towing a sled and the strain this would put on

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

definitely heavy.

To do this I was towing tires as much as possible around in the

bush in New Zealand to try and replicate the drag on my muscles.

Then obviously the gym and keeping fit. It's interesting doing

something like this when you don't have a lot of experience or

know what it's going to be like in terms of the environment or the

toll on the body. It was a huge learning curve, just operating in

that environment under that fatigue day in day out. The other side

of preparation was trying to figure out the equipment, and how

you're going to stay warm and access things on your sled during

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

your gloves off so you need to learn how to do that with them on.

Even thinking about stuff as simple as what kind of food to take

because most things freeze — these are little bits you need to

figure out before you get on the ice.

Most of your successes have been sitting down how was

the challenge of a walking/standing challenge? Whitewater

kayaking is fast-paced. When you’re out on a kayak mission

you’re constantly solving the puzzle of Whitewater in front of you.

Scouting, setting safety, and then running rapids. It comes at

you all day. Skiing across Antarctica is completely different. The

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

per hour with our goal being prioritizing keeping the team healthy

and in the best condition to continue moving for 50 days on end.

There’s definitely a lot of risks operating in the polar environment,

but it’s a slow burn and can be managed much easier than the

dynamic environment of the river.

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

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


Spirits were high as the team celebrated a successful

expedition through the remote and inhospitable

regions of Antarctica.

Describe the others in the group? The expedition

was unique in the fact that we hadn’t spent a lot

of time together prior to departing. The expedition

was a joint New Zealand-Norwegian expedition,

in partnership with Ousland Explorers, and, would

be guided by Norwegian polar guide Bengt Rotmo

who has completed countless expeditions in the

colder parts of the world including crossing the

North West Passage by ski. Our team was led by

trust executive director Nigel Watson, who has

been a member of all the (8) IEE Expeditions

including Greenland crossing, South Georgia

Crossing, Mt Scott etc. Marthe Brendefur, a cyber

"Intelligence Analyst" and ex-Norwegian Armed

Forces member from Norway who skied across

the Greenland ice cap in 2019 and has traversed

the scandinavian high plateau at Finnmarksvidda

and Hardangervidda joined the team with a huge

amount of experience in the polar regions. Making

up the Kiwi contingent was 28-year-old Laura

Andrews, a firefighter at Auckland Airport, who had

completed heaps of incredible adventures around

the world.

"all were

used to being

out there on

the mission,


our polar


ranged from

almost none

to world


So the team had a mix – all were used to being out

there on the mission, however our polar experience

ranged from almost none to world leaders.

Pre the event were you scared? How many of

the other explores some of which did not return

did you read up before you left? I wouldn’t say

I was scared. There were some nerves mostly

around what it was going to be like operating in

such a cold and desolate environment day after

day. I constantly tried to find out – How was it going

to be? Would I enjoy it?

And then of course the team – most of us were

meeting for the first time in Punta Arenas to head

South. We had spoken on Zoom etc, but to be

thrown into an undertaking like this with people you

barely know in a place you no almost nothing about

was daunting and I guess a huge risk factor for the

success of the expedition.


After 50 days on a blistery cold day, the expedition team arrives at

the South Pole, with the Amundsen Scott South Pole station in the

background. The flags in the foreground mark the South Pole and the

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

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

"Best moment?

The moment

the plane left

after being

dropped on

the edge of

the Ronne Ice

shelf, and

just realizing

the magnitude

of the


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

those that had travelled to the pole before you - what part did that

history play? Having Nigel Watson on the expedition meant we were

able to draw on the endless Antarctic History.

Best moment? The moment the plane left after being dropped on the

edge of the Ronne Ice shelf, and just realizing the magnitude of the

undertaking. Once the plane left it was eerily silent and we knew we

were a long way from anywhere – this was it, the only way back was

South to the pole.

Worst moment? I’m not sure there was a specific moment. There were

some hard days when you were tired physically and mentally. The sled

in certain snow conditions would make it hard sometimes but despite

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

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

day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

What was the coldest day? The temperature ranged over the trip, but

one thing was constant and that was it never went above 0 degrees.

I’d say over the entire expedition it would have averaged around -20

degrees, without taking wind into account. Once we climbed up onto the

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

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

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

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

3 weeks into the expedition, all tired and we were understanding our

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

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

Did you learn anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?

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

there in the environment, battling the elements with just the food and

equipment you can carry, on a pretty massive undertaking. And how far

you can get by breaking it down and focusing on the task in front of you

— basically of taking it day by day, step by step.

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

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

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

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

not a race, take your time and enjoy the journey.

Arriving by plane on the edge of the Ronne Ice shelf & the Antarctic continent was

a daunting moment.




the high and the wild &

how to keep it that way

Words and photos by Derek Cheng

Place your foot on the blank rock-face.

Ease your weight onto it as you hold

your breath and squeeze your insides.

Don’t think about how far you’d fall if

your foot slips.

This is slab climbing, moving up on

a featureless part of a less-thanvertical

wall. There are no holds,

nothing to grab and pull yourself

higher. It’s all balance and footwork.

It feels impossible, or, at best, highly


Your heart hangs in your mouth as you

carefully weight your foot. This eases

the pressure on your other foot, which

may or may not upset the magical

formula that is, for the moment, keeping

you attached to the wall.

If done well, it feels like levitating,

but there’s a fine line between heartin-mouth

terror and levitation, a

line I became very familiar with in

Cochamó, Chile. The granite cliffs of

this mountain-filled valley in northern

Patagonia, sometimes called the

Yosemite of the south, are full of

discontinuous cracks and corners that

are linked via blank, steep slabs.

I had an early taste of this on one of

our first climbing days. We were on

the first pitch of a route called Surfing

For Stone, rated ‘R?’, indicating the

potential for an ugly fall due to sparse

gear protection. I had climbed through

the wet chimney at the bottom, and

was searching for somewhere to place

said protection. One moment, my foot

was smearing on the rock. The next, it

slipped and sent me tumbling down into

the chimney, my torso inverting after I

tripped on the rope behind my leg.

The rope eventually came tight,

arresting my fall several metres below.

I gathered myself, assessed the

damage. Mostly scot-free, aside from

a banged-up elbow. Up I continued,

beyond the place where I'd fallen,

and then up a hand-crack as the wall


It started to drizzle as I started up

another featureless section, my feet

clinging to the blank wall, my heart in

my mouth. Wet rock and friction are not

natural bedfellows. My foot popped,

spinning me sideways into a 10m bum-

slide that ripped up my soft-shell

pants, underwear and butt-cheek.

With a bruised body and ego, my

will to continue dissipated as the

skies opened. Down I went, tail

between my legs, leaving behind

gear to be retrieved another day.

"My foot


spinning me


into a 10m


that ripped

up my softshell



and buttcheek."

Right: The climbing on the first pitch

of Der Grantler, in Cochamó's Trinidad

valley, is steep and demanding.


It was an abrupt introduction to a

unique place that appeals to those who

love the high and the wild. Cochamó

is not your everyday holiday climbing

destination, where you clip some bolts

on a nearby cliff and then stroll to

the local for sunset beers. Here, the

only weather updates come via radio.

There’s no helicopter coming to rescue

you if something goes wrong. And

aside from occasional bread cooked at

one of the campsites, the only food is

what's carried in.

Such an isolated place might seem like

a deterrent, but there are undeniable

benefits to unplugging. No faces glued

to phones. A simplified life, a rewilding,

connecting only with what’s in

front of you and letting everything else

fall away.

Access starts at the end of a dirt road,

where horses ferry up to 60kg of

gear up a 12km trail to the campsites

near the confluence of two rivers.

These sites, where climbers set

up basecamp, are surrounded by

Above: Rachel Knott enjoys the view from The

Penthouse bivvy in Cochamó's Anfiteatro, one of

a number of valley's that are full of granite walls.

"Such an isolated

place might seem

like a deterrent,

but there are

undeniable benefits

to unplugging."

impressive cirques of granite. There’s

El Anfiteatro to the south, Trinidad

to the south east, La Junta and La

Paloma to the north, Arco Iris to the

west—each sector with several peaks,

rock-faces up to 1400m high, and

a number of established routes, as

well as innumerable ones yet to be


An abundance of classics awaits in

Anfiteatro, where climbers sleep under

an enormous boulder just above

the treeline. The rock-walls seem to

lean in and look down on you from

every direction. There’s Luchando

con Mariposas (translation: ‘Fighting

with Butterflies’), which includes

several slab pitches to test your gecko

footwork; La Aleta de Triburón (‘The

Shark’s Fin’), which has a stunning

aréte with gulp-fuls of exposure; Al

Centro y Adentro (‘To the centre, and

inside’), which follows a crack system

that eats your fingers, hands, fists and,

at times, your whole body. The crux

pitch of the latter, of course, tests your

gecko abilities on featureless rock.


"The bivvy boulder in Trinidad is in

the forest, but no less magical."

Right: Jordan Sterzinger reaches high in a crack on Al Centro y Adentro, a

classic 12-pitch climb in Cochamó's Anfiteatro.

The bivvy boulder in Trinidad is in the forest, but no

less magical. Several mountains encircle, providing

the day's adventure: a thin seam guards the top-out of

No Hay Hoyes (‘There are no todays’); a long corner

system demands all manner of grovelling on Homo

Santa (‘the Santa species’); the overhanging fistcrack

on Der Grantler (‘The Grumbler’) will leave you

breathless and weary, as will the steep and enormous

flake you have to traverse on Las Manos del Dia (‘The

Hands of the Day’).

It became a familiar routine to do battle with the climbs

throughout the day and plod back to our bivvy spot

by headtorch, fatigue seeping through every pore.

We then collapsed in a happy daze by the campfire

as someone passed around that evening’s shared

dinner; rice and lentils one night, freshly-mashed garlic

hummus with fresh, fire-baked bread the next.

As nurturing as this was, Cochamó is rapidly changing

as it becomes a household name among the

international climbing community. Ten years ago there

was no nearby township, and climbers arrived to a

handful of farms in the countryside, knocking on locals’

doors to ask to buy food and for a ride to the trailhead.

Only hundreds of people a day occupied two campsites

during the summer months. Today there are still no

cafes or power lines, but there's a small shop (selling

exorbitantly-priced bananas and satellite internet)

and five campsites, with daily visitor numbers in the


And then there’s the constant fight to stave off industrial

development. Much of the land east of the river, which

includes Anfiteatro and Trinidad, is owned by Chilean

businessman Roberto Hagemann. The company where

he owns most of the shares, Mediteráneo SA, has

tried to gain consent for a hydroelectric power-plant.

Previous attempts to install dams have been similarly

blocked, thanks to the diligent efforts of local and

international NGOs.

The good news is that, earlier this year, Cochamó

was declared a nature sanctuary, protecting an 11,000

hectare area of native forest. The designation is

thought to make the area less vulnerable to real estate

development, hydroelectric dams and uncontrolled

tourism, but with two caveats: a management plan and

governance model are yet to be developed, and the

protected area does not include Hagemann’s land—

which he is now trying to sell, for hundreds of millions of

dollars—nor a vast chunk of the climbing area.

The underlying question is this: how much development

is too much, or, put another way, how wild do we

want our wild places to remain? As soon as humans

encroach on a new place, some of that wildness is

lost. If we allow visitors, how do we interact with the

land while also preserving its beauty? How many is too

many, and if we restrict numbers, how can that be done


The balancing act between conservation and tourism

is also playing out in New Zealand, where the multibillion

dollar tourism industry is trying to gain back

what it lost in the Covid pandemic. Draft National Park

management plans could open the door to a gondola

in Franz Joseph, and a far greater number of flights

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

currently being redrafted in light of the Supreme Court’s

Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki decision, in December 2018, which

clarified the role of iwi in government conservation

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

be released later this year, while the new timeline for

Westland Tai Poutini is yet to be announced.

In the meantime, it seems like we should be exploring

the high and wild while they remain relatively free of

the masses. Cochamó is still such a place, with its skyscorching

condors high above native alerce forests,

pristine pools, rushing rivers, and walls of endless


One of my last climbs there was on a route called

Gardens of the Galaxy, a 840m climb up the La Junta

peak. The first pitch required some delicate climbing

around a wet streak. The crux pitch demanded some

forceful pulling on a thin flake, followed by some wishful

stemming up a blank corner. Steep slab protected

the higher portions of the climb, and my best gecko

impressions were not enough to prevent the odd fall.

We failed to top out, but that mattered little as the sun

set, bathing the valley in alpenglow as we descended.

The forest below was thriving with bird-song. Above,

the clouds swept over the summits as snowmelt fed the

river below. We were but tiny specks in this immense

place, the only people on the mountain. It was as if this

magical place existed for us—and us only.



an impossible


Allie Pepper is an Australian

mountaineer who believes the

biggest challenges offer the greatest

rewards. She has reached the

summits of Mount Everest and also

one of the world’s most dangerous

mountains, Annapurna 1. She

has now set what seems like an

impossible task to climb to the true

summits of all 14 of the worlds

8000m peaks without additional

oxygen, in the world's fastest time.

We caught up with her to find out

what makes her tick and what is

behind the challenge.

allie pepper,

takes on

14 of the




Images supplied by Allie Pepper

Hi Allie, tell us about yourself?

I am a 47-year-old mountaineer from the Blue

Mountains of Australia. I discovered climbing in 1999

when I signed up to an Outdoor Recreation course

at a local college. I grew up in Australia’s largest

climbing area but had never rock climbed until then.

With a low self-esteem and no clear direction in my

life at the time I found a career that I enjoyed, and I

was naturally good at.

At the start of 2000, I joined a technical

mountaineering course in New Zealand. That course

changed my life as I finally found my passion.

Later that year I finished my Outdoor Leadership

Certificate. I then worked as an assistant guide on an

expedition to Aconcagua in Argentina. It was the first

time I had the taste of high altitude mountaineering,

and I was addicted. I discovered that I was physically

strong in the thin air and had the ability to look after

others, not just myself.

My mountaineering journey took me from the

Southern Alps of New Zealand to the Andes of South

America. After 3 seasons of climbing and guiding in

the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, I decided I was ready

to climb an 8000m mountain. In 2007 I went to Cho

Oyu, in Tibet. My climbing partner suffered frostnip

on his toes during our acclimatisation phase on

the mountain. He stayed at the Base Camp while I

headed to the summit alone - which I managed to

achieve without the use of additional oxygen.

At the time I had dreams to scale all 14 of the 8000m

mountains however, I did not have the financial

means to do so. I chose Everest to climb next

because I believed if I summited Everest, it might

satisfy me enough that I would not need to climb

anymore 8000ers. It took me 3 years to save up for

that goal. In that time, I did not go to altitude or even

put on a pair of crampons. My dream was to summit

without additional oxygen however I was too slow

on the mountain from my time spent at low altitude.

I spent so long saving up for the expedition, I didn’t

want to waste my time and money. I made the summit

using bottled oxygen and did not fulfil my entire goal.

This only made me hunger more for thin air.

I have been on six expeditions to 8000m peaks since

I summited Everest in 2011. Most recently I climbed

Annapurna 1 in April. After climbing Annapurna, I

realised that high altitude is where my spirit is truly

free, and I am exactly where I am meant to be. I feel

I am at home in the mountains, and I am my true

self. I am at a time in my life where I can give full

commitment to my passion. I now have the desire

and motivation to fulfil my dream and ambition which

started in 2007 after my Cho Oyu expedition.

I aim to summit all 14 peaks without the use of

additional oxygen. I have been training physically,

mentally, and spiritually for this project for years

now. I have learned from my successes, and I have

learned from my failures. Most importantly I have

been honest with myself, and I know that I cannot

reach my full potential in my sport without giving this

a go.

Whilst on the journey to complete my project, I aim

to inspire others that they can dream big too and

they are capable of more than they know. It’s never

too late in life to follow your passion and achieve

big things. The biggest challenges offer the greatest


"I realised that

high altitude

is where my

spirit is truly

free, and I am

exactly where

I am meant to

be. I feel I am

at home in the

mountains, and

I am my true



"My project

is to scale

all 14 of the

world’s highest

peaks without

the use of



Where are you now based?

Hazelbrook NSW

What is the pull of climbing?

It is my passion.

What do you get, what do you give up with climbing?

A life fulfilled. Nothing.

Let’s talk about this statement.

“My project is to scale all 14 of the world’s highest peaks

without the use of supplemental oxygen.” to the TRUE

summits, in the world's fastest time.

Why? When? How?

My goal is to complete the summits of all 14 peaks over the next

two and half years. Whilst on the journey to complete my project,

I aim to inspire people of all ages and walks of life that they are

capable of more. It is never too late to dream big and take steps

towards our highest version of ourselves. We don’t know what our

true potential is until we break out of our comfort zone.

Have you given yourself a time frame?

By the end of May 2023

What’s the biggest challenge?

The funding of the project as well as the documentary.

What’s the biggest fear?

I have trained my mindset to be fearless. I don't think into the

future with fear, and I try to stay in the now.

Explain the difference to the dumb, the difference between

with and without oxygen.

The easiest way I can explain is to talk about the difference when

I started to use it on Annapurna last year at 7800m. I went from

being frozen to my core, taking two steps and stopping to rest

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

warm I had to take off my mitts and a layer from under my down

suit. I swapped my mitts for gloves and was able to walk at a

constant pace without stopping. Basically, three times the speed

as beforehand. I could easily make decisions and was way more

coherent than without it. I felt like I was back at Base Camp in

terms of the altitude.


" I like to focus

on the positives

so I am not

going say 'my

worst' as you

are what you




How does the ‘GoFundMe me’ page work?

I have a GoFundMe for my project costs and one for

the charity I support, The Juniper Fund.

Updated with recycled fabrics, recycled down, zoned

micro and nano baffle stitch-through construction. Our

classic hooded down jacket is lightweight, packable

and provides instant warmth when the temperature

drops in the mountains.

How would someone who knows you well

describe you?

Always positive and very motivated.

What do you think your biggest attribute is, what

is your worst?

Wanting to expand my awareness and grow in

myself. I like to focus on the positives so I am not

going say 'my worst' as you are what you speak.

If someone told you that they were thinking of

doing what you hope to do – what would you say?

Enjoy the journey! How can I help you? Can we do

this together?

Who are your sponsors helping you with this


Petzl | Himali | Backcountry Cuisine | Seven Summits

Treks | Global Rescue



Available now from Rab specialist stores throughout NZ.

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

Taupo: Trev Marine, Waikato: Trek N Travel, Equip Outdoors, Otaki: Outdoors Unlimited, Wellington: Dwights Outdoors,

Motueka: Coppins Outdoors, Nelson: PackGearGo, MD Outdoors, Kaikoura: Coastal Sports, Christchurch: Complete

Outdoors, Greymouth: Colls Sports, Hokitika: Wild Outdoorsman, Wanaka: MT Outdoors, Queenstown: Small Planet.

Online: huntingandfishing.co.nz, dwights.co.nz, outdooraction.co.nz, mtoutdoors.co.nz, smallplanetsports.com,

equipoutdoors.co.nz, gearshop.co.nz, outfittersstore.nz

Distributed by Outfitters 0800021732 www.outfitters.net.nz




to the


Words and images by Eric Skilling

Nobody wants to find themselves faced with making a

decision to abandon a multi-day hike within a few hours

of starting, but thanks to some serious dehydration

suffered by one of our group, that is exactly where we

found ourselves.

Planning for this trip began over six months ago, which

made it even harder to face the prospect of having

to turn around and go home. Generally, and I stress

generally, I find the further south you venture in New

Zealand, the more spectacular the wilderness. The

5-day Rees Dart Circuit in the south-western corner of

Otago in the South Island promised some of the best in

New Zealand alpine country.

Less than three hours into the trip and we were

gathered around a member of our party as she sat pale

and glassy-eyed, leaning heavily on one arm, clearly

distressed. It would have made a bizarre scene had

there been any witnesses, but we were alone. Six of

us gathered on a small mound amid an expanse of

grassland. Nearby the Rees River snaked its way down

the gently sloping valley. Above us the sky was a sheet

of deep blue, without a single cloud or jetstream in

sight. It was hot with only the gentlest of breezes.

Such a peaceful scene that gave no hint of the drama

taking place in our little group.


in the




Karen (not her real name) had been lagging whenever

the track wandered off the valley floor and up the

gentlest of climbs. She had mentioned feeling

lightheaded, which she blamed on the pollen-filled

air. After another short bush-bash over a small ridge,

she emerged onto the small grassy mound, muttered

“I need to sit down”, dropped her pack and crumpled

down beside it.

My first thought was Covid. Two of our party were still

suffering the longer-term effects of infection and let us

face it, it’s still at the forefront of most of our minds.

How wrong I was. I gazed down at Karen and assessed

our options – continue and risk the symptoms becoming

debilitating, maybe even forcing a clumsy evacuation.

Alternatively, and more appropriately, set up camp

where we were gathered, and if Karen recovered, we

faced eleven hours of hiking the next day.

Fortunately, we were dealing with a highly experienced

tramper. Slowly Karen became more animated, and

her eyes began to focus. She reached for her pack,

rummaged around, pulled out a packet of electrolytes

which she added to a full water bottle. She must have

downed nearly 400ml in her first drink.

Jan reflecting early morning Dart Valley


"Ironically the crisis was

partly caused by the superb

weather that greeted us

when we arrived in late


I was still dubious even as the colour

slowly returned to her face. She

wet a cloth and wiped her arms and

neck. Ten minutes later she was a

different person – a bit unsteady but

determined to continue.

She reluctantly handed me her tent

to carry, and we walked the few

hundred metres to the swing bridge

at 25-mile creek. By the time we had

all taken our turn to cross, Karen

had enjoyed another long drink and

her sense of humour had returned.

Ironically the crisis was partly

caused by the superb weather that

greeted us when we arrived in late

December. We had underestimated

the effect of the long days travel

to reach the start. It was after 3pm

before we had hefted packs onto our

backs, and it was blatantly clear we

had all become dehydrated to some

extent during the long drive.

The sun had begun to slide behind

the jagged peaks of the Forbes

range that loomed above us and a

shadow was creeping across the

valley towards us. Within an hour

we were pitching tents in an almost

perfect spot for a night’s camp on

the edge of the forest, close to fresh

water. The stark-white glacier on Mt

Earnslaw shone brightly overhead,

nearly 2,200 metres above us. It

felt pretty good to be enjoying an

evening meal together, and later

succumbing to sleep while listening

to the gentle sounds of the river


Next morning’s dawn chorus was, to

quote another member of the party,

“just glorious”.

Fearing we might underestimate the

effects of the previous day’s dramas,

we set a goal to reach Shelter Rock

hut, yesterday’s official goal, by

midday. If we failed to meet that

deadline the hut would become our

shelter for the night, and we would

cancel the side trip to Cascade

Saddle we had originally planned for

the following day.

We made Shelter Rock hut by

11am! Karen seemed to be back to

her normal self, sharing her wealth

of botanical knowledge as she is

inclined to do, pointing out various

obscure but beautiful flora along the

way. What a team.

Shortly after midday we had made

it past the source of the Rees and

were celebrating on the crest of

the saddle at 1471 metres – a

celebration made that much sweeter

knowing how close we had come to

ditching the venture.

Mt Aspiring is such an apt right

name for a National Park that offers

many great wilderness experiences

for avid and ambitious adventurers.

Tramping to the source of both the

Rees and Te Awa Whakatipu/Dart

rivers left me in awe of these huge

glacial valleys towered over by

rugged snow-topped peaks.

At times we wandered over wide

open grassy flats, creased by the

many tributaries that guide melting

snow and ice from the peaks up to

two thousand metres above us. In

other places the trail winds through

fern and moss layered beech forest,

and thanks to some great pest

control, we got to enjoy the calls of

many native birds. Close encounters

(yes, plural) with curious robin are a

certainty, and we were lucky enough

to pique the interest of a young kea

who danced to within a few feet in a

vain attempt to garner some morsel.

Each of the three main huts are

unique. Shelter Rock hut sited in

a grassy flat surrounded by subalpine

plants and steep valley walls.

Daleys Flat hut sits above the lower

reaches of the Dart River. Dart Hut

must however, rate as one the best

in New Zealand. Built alongside an

energetic Snowy Creek and filled

with the sound of water crashing

its way over some huge boulders

nearby. It also offers superb tent


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

Emerging onto Slip Flats on the way to Rees Saddle.


Eric in sight of the source of Te Awa Whakatipu.

"The melting ice is leaving behind a brutally scarred

landscape, yet to be softened by the smoothing effect

of water erosion or any significant plant life."

Dawn mist on the way to Sandy Point

Amber approaching Rees Saddle with the imposing

Mt Clarke in the distance

Approaching Dart Hut with ice shrouded peak

of a distant Mt Edward.

Group photo just before reaching Daleys Flat Hut

Allowing for an extra night at

Dart Hut allows time to take the

day trip to the source of Te Awa

Whakatipu/Dart River with a view

of the Dart Glacier. Well worth

the planning and effort. Less than

20,000 years ago this region

was part of a network of massive

glaciers that gouged out the valley

now filled by the waters of Lake

Whakatipu, continuing all that

way to where Kingston now sits.

Today, the lower regions of the

valley walls, while still impressive,

have had time to erode, and for

alpine plants and beech forests

to establish themselves, slightly

lessening their precipitous sides.

Geologically the last section of the

Dart River as you head towards

Cascade Saddle is a landscape

still in its infancy. Here you get an

insight into what this whole region

looked like thousands of years

ago before the glaciers retreated.

The melting ice is leaving behind

a brutally scarred landscape, yet

to be softened by the smoothing

effect of water erosion or any

significant plant life.

The day I ventured into the valley

was overcast with plenty of low

and damp looking cloud. I was on

my own with most of the group

enjoying an easy day at Dart hut.

The air sliding off the glacier was

cold. Vegetation at the entrance

to the valley is sparse and limited

to stunted new generation plants.

Mostly the land is nothing but bare

moraine and crystal-clear streams

of water. Valley walls along the

western side are cracked, broken

shist cliffs, capped by thick ice

sheets riddled with threatening

looking ice-cliffs. Many streams

of melting ice freefall several

hundred meters down from the

clifftop to join the river below,

their silver colour contrasting

starkly against the blacks of the

precipitous faces. At the base of

one of the larger waterfalls smaller

chunks of ice have formed a wide

triangular fan.

Closer to the glacier at the upper

reaches of the valley, large

mounds of ice lie on the valley

floor, covered in a layer of small

rocks and moraine dust from the

ice cliffs above or perhaps left

behind by the retreating glacier.

The glacier itself might be a mere

thumbnail of ice compared to

its former glories, but it remains

impressive. Get out there before it

retreats into history.

Many other highlights made

this a memorable visit - various

rock bivs give an insight into the

resilience of earlier inhabitants

who mined, hunted and gathered

in the region, and the bush is full

of stunning flowering plants to

mention just a few.

And we nearly missed out on

almost all of it.





package from

$440 per person

(twin share)

Package includes:

• Track transfers

• Coffee and cake on arrival at

On the Track Lodge

• 2 nights in comfortable chalet


• All meals (Day 1 dinner & dessert,

Day 2 breakfast, packed lunch & dinner

& dessert, Day 3 breakfast & packed

lunch). Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free

meals available)

• Use of On the Track Lodge kayaks

and all other amenities, including a


*Upgrade to stay in the newly

renovated vintage train carriages

(with private bathroom).

Discover the hidden wonders of the Nydia Track, it is not as well known or

busy as the Queen Charlotte Track but just as beautiful.

The track takes you through coastal forest (rimu, nikau and beech) with

superb views and is suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness,

boots are recommended and some of the streams are not bridged.

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

• Dine then stay at On the Track Lodge in a comfortable chalet

or train carriage accommodation.

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

• The next day complete the rest of the tramp (carrying your freshly

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

On The Track Lodge

Nydia Track, Marlborough Sounds

+643 579 8411 | [email protected]


multi day hiking

suRvival guide

Once again the silence was disturbed by the

rustling of plastic and the shuffling of feet. I

rolled over and tried to shut out the noise.

I’d been in bed for a few hours but everytime

someone entered the hut the same thing

happened; they would first try to find their

torch, then rummage through their packs

looking for their sleeping bags and toiletries

and finally they would settle, only for this

process to be repeated by the next ten people

as they slowly trickled off to bed.

Yep, we were staying in a hut, and I had

prepared myself for a disturbed night sleep,

however, I foolishly believed that people would

show some degree of hut etiquette. How

wrong I was…

We learnt a few things on our recent trip to

the Routeburn that we thought we’d share so

you too can survive (and enjoy) your overnight

hiking experience.

The hike:

Take poles: They protect your knees,

especially on the downhills, improve your

power and endurance on the uphills and

provide balance on uneven trails.

Hikers Wool: Great for those niggling sore

spots in your feet.

Preventative medicine: Be prepared with

voltaren, etc and use early if you suffer from

any ailments such as sore knees.

Pack Cover: Don't forget a cover for your

pack incase of rain.

Pack Liner: Also remember to line your pack

with a waterproof liner.

Wet weather gear: Doesn't work unless you

put it on!

tips and



Salami not Tuna: If you are taking a filling

for a wrap, consider the smell and mess.

Remember you have to carry it out after

you've eaten it.

Seal: Make sure all your food and tea bags

etc are in sealed containers or bags.

Treats: Cheese and crackers and a glass of

wine at the end of the day is worth the extra

weight. Take the bladder out of a casked wine

and carry that!


Pillow: If you have room to carry a pillow,

great, otherwise take a pillowcase to stuff your

clothes into.

Packing cells: If you pack your gear into

separate packing cells it makes it easy to sort

at the end of the day.

Prepare for bed: Do this before the end of

the day by laying out your sleeping bag and

gear before you go to bed and have your head

torch handy.

Leaving early? Pack your gear outside, not in

the sleeping hut.

Hut Life:

Cooking areas: Keep clean and clear so

others can use.

Carry a cooker: Although the Great Walks

have cookers it's always good to carry your

own so you can enjoy the great outdoors.

Take a newspaper for the DOC ranger, they

will be eternally grateful.

Walking poles help

alleviate any extra

stress on your body

At the start of the Routeburn

Having our own cookers meant

we could make the most of the

beautiful day outside








It seems as if neither a cyclone nor an

earthquake can stop her and her ambition is

limitless: In her third attempt, extreme swimmer

Nathalie Pohl has successfully managed to

cross New Zealand’s Cook Strait as the first

German woman and the fastest European

woman to do so. With an exceptional time of

06:33:00 hours, the 28-year-old reached the

finish line on Ohau Bay at 4.30 p. m. local time

(UTC+13) on 1 March.

A very hazardous channel

The passage between Ohau Bay on New

Zealand’s North Island and Arapawa Island

on its South Island is considered particularly

dangerous. Only 130 extreme swimmers

worldwide have ever successfully made the

crossing. In addition to being a busy shipping

lane, there are often sharks to contend with and

significant seismic shifts on the seabed, which

can cause dangerous currents. The Cook

Strait is also known for its rough seas. Strong

currents can add many hours to the swim. As

Nathalie Pohl has experienced twice before,

New Zealand’s forces of nature are something

to be reckoned with. She had to abort her

attempts in 2019 and 2020 after struggling

against the current for hours, sometimes even

swimming “backwards”.

Crossing was on the back burner due to

floods, cyclone and earthquake

The motivation was all the greater this year.

But the extreme swimmer had to worry

about the crossing for a long time. Extensive

rainfall caused flooding in New Zealand. Then

cyclone Gabrielle and an earthquake made

the start almost impossible. For more than

three weeks, Nathalie Pohl waited for better

weather. Meanwhile, she continued to train

in a disciplined manner, but the uncertainty

was not an easy situation, especially mentally.

"New Zealand did not make it easy for me. It

wasn't sure until the end whether I would be

able to compete at all. Staying focused over


Pohl: the

first German

woman to

cross Cook


such a long period of time was a real challenge. Even during the swim,

the conditions were far from ideal. The weather suddenly changed again.

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

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

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

thing is your mental strength. No matter how well you have prepared,

there will always be a residual risk. Mastering such a challenge with

nothing but the strength of your own body results in such an adrenaline

rush for me,” she says.

Intensive preparations are the key

Her success was preceded by months of preparations. To get ready for

the crossings, Nathalie Pohl completed extremely intensive training that

went far beyond just the swimming itself. In addition to hundreds of hours

in the water, she also engaged in special strength training and exercises

to prepare her for the cold and darkness. Her trainer Joshua Neuloh

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

were in the Atlantic, facing two-metre waves, a water temperature of 16

degrees and bad storms. There were no boats out. Even the Portuguese

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

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

minutes due to the enormous exertion. With such high waves as those

she experienced in New Zealand, even just being able to eat something

is a major challenge.

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

Nathalie has once again shown that all these deprivations and years

of training have paid off. The Cook Strait crossing marks Nathalie’s

successful completion of the sixth of seven stages on her way to attaining the

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

challenge. The seventh stage in the icy North Channel between Ireland and

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

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

as well as the first German woman and youngest swimmer, to complete this


More information available at: www.nathaliepohl.de

About the Cook Strait:

• The Cook Strait separates New Zealand’s North and South Islands

• It was named after the British captain, explorer and seafarer James


• It is 26 kilometres wide (although the distance swum is always longer

due to the currents)

• Some specific challenges for extreme swimmers include strong currents,

storms and sharks

• There are only around ten attempts to cross it every year

• The water temperature is a mere 15 to 18 degrees

• To date, 130 swimmers have completed the crossing

• It is one of the seven stages in the “Ocean’s Seven”

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

channels on five different continents. It is important that the athlete

starts and finishes on land and does not touch the support boat or wear

a neoprene wetsuit. Only 22 swimmers in the world have achieved this

feat. Nathalie Pohl would be the first German woman to do so.

" In addition to

being a busy

shipping lane, there

are often sharks

to contend with

and significant

seismic shifts

on the seabed,

which can cause


currents. "




things go

wrong in the



the -

By Matt Butler

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

a degree of trepidation. This is the story of the day when things

could have gone so wrong, but luck meant we made it home

alive. It is a moment that changed my view on rivers and made

me second guess every time I crossed one from that point


I had been a fly-fishing guide for a couple of years by the time

of the incident. Almost every day during the summer was spent

exploring valleys and traversing waterways in search of that

elusive trout. Clients paid me good money to get them to places

where they could have the experience of a lifetime, but this time

it was our lives that were on the line.

A friend reached out to me several months before a planned trip

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

tough ask when fishing our waters. But as I knew he was quite

an experienced angler, the possibility of going heli-fishing in the

New Zealand backcountry had him frothing. The key benefit

of using helicopter transport is being able to access remote

sections of a river that would usually take days to walk into. This

usually means less pressure, no people, but also no information

on the river conditions.

As a guide, weather is the highest priority when planning a trip—

not only what it will be like on the day but what it was like several

days prior. The heavens can truly open up in the Southern Alps

and, within hours, turn tranquil flowing rivers into raging torrents.

This was one of those days.

The night prior, there had been a lot of rain, and I mean a lot. I

woke up to check the flow rates on the larger metered rivers to

see that they were very high and still rising. Although the front

had moved on and the rain had stopped, I decided then and

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

was, my mate was on his way down the west coast, and with

only one day to spare, it was unlikely we could fish further afield

where the rains had less effect.

I rang him to have a frank and honest conversation, but it

was obvious he was still keen to at least try to explore in the

helicopter in case we found fishable water. After spending a few

years exploring the West Coast by both land and air, I knew

there were several "backup" water options, such as the spring

creeks that boil out of the ground and meander their way to feed

the main rivers. These almost never flood in rain and are often

used as a refuge for trout escaping the floodwaters, so I knew

that in the worst-case scenario, we could explore one of these.

As the weather was clearing, I knew flying would be no issue, so

I reluctantly agreed to meet him on the coast and see what we

could find.



"Taking a closer look at the proposed

crossing, the water appeared no deeper

than usual, and although the smooth

surface showed movement, the volume

of water was difficult to predict. "

On the drive over, it quickly became evident

that the rivers were in a bad state. Every

bridge crossed was like driving over a

river of chocolate milkshake. The rivers

weren’t overly high, but they were dirty,

usually a sign of short, but isolated, heavy

downpours. The further I drove, the more

I began to worry that this was just going to

be a scenic flight rather than a 'once-in-alifetime'

fly fishing trip.

As I started driving down the coast to

where the rivers entered the ocean, I

crossed the river that we had planned to

fish that day. I expected it to be just another

raging torrent, but to my surprise, it wasn't

at all. Although it was higher than usual for

that time of year, the water was visibly clear

and fishable. To say I was delighted is an


I carried on further south to meet my mate

at the helipad, and upon arrival, told him

of my discovery. He was excited, and

although I told him it’s still an 'unknown' of

what it’s like in the headwaters, we both

became quietly hopeful. The helicopter

roared into life, and we began to climb into

the mountains, crossing several swollen

brown river snakes along the way. I still

didn’t know what to expect, but as we came

up over the ridge, the valley opened up in

front of us to show off a crystal blue, clear

river that was truly a sight for sore eyes.

The odd thing about rivers is that they look

deceptively smaller from the air. It’s very

difficult to gauge water depth and volume,

and the clear water can make even the

biggest rivers look easily passable. We flew

low over the river, spotting a few trout as

we buzzed on by, and eventually came to

a nice flat landing spot on the grassy bank.

It was clear we had now made the decision

to fish here for the day, and the helicopter

would be leaving us alone in the valley until

our designated pickup time of 5 pm.

As the machine lifted and took off back

down the valley until it was no more than a

speck in the distance, silence enveloped us

as we stood there in an ambiance of light

drizzle and towering peaks. The overnight

rain had made the towering waterfalls

pound down the cliffs, shooting water

fountains out from the rock like a firehose.

We were content, to say the least.

After a quick moment to gear up, we

made our way over to the river. As I had

been here several times before, it was

immediately obvious that although the

water was clear, it was high and pushing

down some serious volume. It wasn’t an

immediate concern; however, as the high

flow often pushes the brown trout to the

edges, where they are easily targeted, so

we just launched into hunting down our first


It wasn’t long until we found our first fish,

cruising around a backwater in an effort to

make life easy on itself. We managed to

tempt it with a big juicy dry fly, and we were

on the board for the day. As we released

the 5 lb brown trout back to the water, a

wave of relief washed over both of us.

Whatever happened from now on, the day

was a success.

We pushed on up the river, sticking to

the side where we had landed and were

rewarded with several more fish caught in

the net. The section we were fishing began

with open grassy flats before ascending

into a tighter valley carved by a glacier.

As we made our way upstream, around

midday we encountered our first hurdle

- a high bank pool flanked by thick forest

on one side and a nice open gravel bank

on the other. Unfortunately, we found

ourselves on the side with the bush. After

a quick assessment, it became clear that

crossing was not an option unless we

backtracked a fair distance to where the

river spread out. However, we spotted

another gravelly corner above the forested

section, which meant that we only needed

to traverse a short section of bush to reach

fishable water again. We broke down the

rod, put our heads down, and pushed

through the bush, making the more difficult

but correct decision.

We eventually emerged back into the open

and resumed our search for trout. By this

point, it was only 1 pm, and we had climbed

high into the valley where the river started

to terrace between huge, slow-moving

pools and steep, powerful rapids. Standing

at the end of one of these enormous, ginclear

pools, we looked up the river and

saw a towering rock wall on our side, with

the river flowing hard against it. On the

opposite side, there were open gravel and

grassy banks stretching as far as we could

see. It was evident that if we wanted to

continue, we would have to cross.

I had crossed the tail of this pool several

times in the past, and although it was

usually around waist-deep, the crossing

was never difficult. Taking a closer look at

the proposed crossing, the water appeared

no deeper than usual, and although the

smooth surface showed movement, the

volume of water was difficult to predict.

Normally, in these situations, I would wade

in to about thigh depth to test if the crossing

was possible, but on this day, I did not.

As the water was clearly going to be

swift, my mate and I stood side by side

and crossed our arms behind each

other's backs in a brace position. In these

situations, four legs are better than two.

We were crossing at the tailout of the

pool where it would be the most shallow

and started to make our way across. As

we reached waist-deep, the power of the

water became more apparent, although our

waterproof waders gave us a false sense of


Then suddenly, everything went wrong.

We took one more step, and the river

suddenly got much deeper. In a panic to

regain control, my mate lost his footing, and

the water lifted him off the bottom. I tried

desperately to maintain my stance, but our

close brace meant that he also pulled me

off my feet. This was bad.

We instinctively let go of each other as

we began to get sucked downstream, and

our waders began to fill with water. Just

20 meters downstream from us was a

thunderous rapid that, if we entered, would

surely lead to our demise. As we were only

4-5 meters from the other side of the river,

there was no going back. So I screamed,

"Swim!" and we both frantically swung

our arms towards the shore. What felt like

an eternity must have only been a few

seconds, as we managed to grab the rocky

bank on the other side, clambering up to


Panicked, drenched, and exhausted, I

looked back at the river to get my bearings

and noticed we had been pushed far down

the river, only metres from going off the

edge of the tailout into the rapids. Realizing

we were just moments from death, we lay

back onto the grass, equally overwhelmed

and relieved.

The feeling didn't last long, though, as

we came to the realization that we were

both drenched and freezing. Supposedly

our waders had kept our legs dry, but our

torsos were wet through, and with the

drizzle still coming down, it was time to act.


" If the weather had

turned...we would have

had no choice but to

try and make use of the

resources we had."

walk to the helicopter landing site, and although we quickly

warmed up, we were far from comfortable.

We made it with about an hour to spare and took shelter among

the forest canopy, shivering and counting down the minutes.

We listened intently for any sound of a helicopter, but in such a

steep valley with gushing water, it was hard to pinpoint a noise.

Then all of a sudden, the machine burst out above us over the

trees, turned to face us, and touched down. We were safe,

alive, and would soon be warm.

As a guide, it was usually my responsibility to be prepared

for such a situation, and luckily I still had all my gear in my

pack. So I quickly dug into my backpack to find my survival kit.

We both stripped off our top layers of clothing and wrapped

ourselves in emergency mylar blankets before checking our

bags for dry clothes. Luckily, our bags had stayed mostly

above the waterline, so we both had relatively dry jackets.

We sat there to calm our nerves and slowly warm up, grateful

that we were still breathing. We weighed our options and

decided to start moving towards our designated pickup spot.

I had a lighter ready, but as the surrounding foliage was

drenched from the night's rain, it would have taken more

energy to start a fire than it was worth, so we just packed up

and got moving.

The walk was punishing. We started to realize that the water

that had made it into our waders had seeped down to our feet,

and we heard the slosh with every step. It was around a 3km

We were lucky that day, no doubt about it. If the weather had

turned and the helicopter been delayed, or if the event had

occurred earlier in the day, we would have had no choice but

to try and make use of the resources we had. From that day

on, it changed my view on what gear I carry and how I carry it.

That's why I eventually created my own brand of survival kits

and outdoor gear to help us better prepare for our adventures.

Our flagship "KEA KIT" products take all the guesswork out

of creating your own survival kit, and with version 2 launching

soon, we're looking to take this ethos to the next level.

You can see more at www.keaoutdoors.com

The things we did wrong that day were numerous but

inconspicuous. This, coupled with my familiarity with the

weather and location, allowed some complacency to creep in.

Since then, I can say that I am more cautious than ever and

only cross rivers that I am comfortable with. The key is to be

aware of your limits, know when the risk is too great, and take

care, no matter what adventure you are on. Stay safe out there!




For more information visit www.kilwell.co.nz

under thick ice


in the arctic

German wakeboarder Felix Georgii is known for his

creativity when it comes to unlocking new spots and

trick variations therefore, it came as no surprise that the

2018 X Games gold medallist chose a Swedish frozen

lake north of the Arctic Circle as the perfect location to

invite his friends, two-time World Champion Gührs and

six-time Austrian Champion Dominik Hernler.

The trio created an obstacle course by cutting out lines

in the 80cm thick ice surface and shaping the ice blocks

into a kicker, boxes and even a five-metre-wide igloo to

jump over and ride through.

Aerial view of Dominik Dernler in action - Image by Lorenz Holder/ Red Bull Content Pool


Dominik Dernler in action - Image by Lorenz Holder/ Red Bull Content Pool

"Creativity is super important for me; thus we are

working with a completely new material. With ice,

we can create obstacles that you can't do in a

regular wake park on plastic obstacles."


Despite temperatures dropping down

to minus 18 degrees Celsius - that had

seen men and equipment being frozen

over - the trio swiftly broke the ice

and demonstrated their creative trick


Georgii said: "Creativity is super important

for me; thus we are working with a

completely new material. With ice, we can

create obstacles that you can't do in a

regular wake park on plastic obstacles."

As wakeboarders normally flock to warmer

destinations to ride in board shorts, this

time the three athletes suited up in 6mm

thick wetsuits to remain warm for over

an hour in 1° degree-cold waters before

landing their trick and heading back

indoors to warm up. The 29-year-old

added: "We have to get our hands on the

best neoprene equipment there is."

Gührs, 32, explained: "After two days it got

really cold, it was minus 10 degrees and

then I started to freeze up, my jacket was

all frozen, my boots were frozen up and

I just felt like a proper ice man. I couldn't

move anymore and in the end it was

actually pretty extreme."

After learning how to stay calm while being

pulled upside down under the ice, Georgii

connected with two-time Red Bull Illume

Overall-winning photographer Lorenz

Holder to create the perfect shot.

German Holder placed his flashes facing

down on the ice surface and used the ice

body as an amplifier to shine light through

the dark waters, freezing Georgii in the

perfect moment while being pulled from

one side of the ice opening under the

surface to the exit.

Georgii enthused: "Under water it's just

black everywhere, but you can feel the ice

sliding along the board and that's a super

awesome feeling."

Throughout the 11-days build, the

crew and machinery had to withstand

temperatures of down to -32° degrees

Celsius, resulting in frozen beards,

chainsaws and pools, that were reopened

and cleared every morning. In total 518

tons of ice were lifted out of the lake from

which roughly 10 tons were used to create

the obstacles on three distinctive lines.

The 110 metre-long feature line pushed

the riders to deliver big airs and technical

slides; a natural line demanded quick feet

to jump from pool to pool and a creative

line meant the wakeboarders could slide

over a long slab of ice equipped with ice


Hernler, 31, declared: "My highlight was

definitely the riding, sliding around on ice

obstacles was something new I've never

done before."


"After learning how to stay

calm while being pulled upside

down under the ice, Georgii

connected with two-time Red

Bull Illume Overall-winning

photographer Lorenz Holder

to create the perfect shot."

Felix Georgii under the ice - Image by Lorenz Holder/ Red Bull Content Pool

time to


a new


Words by Lynne Dickinson

Images as stated


We’ve always wanted to visit Alaska.

The picture we had was painted

by years of Warren Miller movies,

reading “Into the Wild '' and

watching numerous clips of huge

cliff jumps and heliskiing in Valdez,

we had created a collage of a

wild, extreme, hostile and remote


So with travel restrictions finally

lifted we started to plan our

adventure and were surprised how

easy it was to reach Alaska, and

how accessible it was to experience

the vast range of outdoor

adventures that has made Alaska

such a sought after destination.

We had googled the ‘best things to

do’ in Alaska during winter, which

of course included skiing, moose

spotting, fat biking, snowmobiling,

snowshoeing and viewing the

Northern Lights and planned our trip


Centre Ridge - Image by Ralph Kristopher


"Fat biking was

a great way

to get around

and familiarize

ourselves with

the area and it

was fantastic

having our own

personal guide

in Dusty."

The town of Anchorage is dwarfed by the majestic Chugach Mountains in the background - Image by Lynne Dickinson

Above: Dustin and Steve

on the Tony Knowles

Coastal Trail

Left: The illusive Winter

Bull Moose - Image

compliments Visit


We had left the heat of a NZ

summer (well actually the middle

of unprecedented floods) and after

a short connecting flight arrived at

Anchorage, a city blanketed in snow.

Anchorage sits at the base of the

Chugach Mountains with Cook Inlet

at its feet. Six mountain ranges can

be seen from Anchorage, including

the Alaska Range in the north where

you’ll see the infamous Denali on

a clear day. There are another 200

recognised mountains, 60 glaciers

and 30 lakes and ponds in the

Chugach National Forest and State

Park, all within 80km of Anchorage.

We arrived in the late evening and

were met by Teri from Visit Anchorage

who drove us straight to the Lakefront

Anchorage, our accommodation for

the night. We were greeted with a

life-sized polar bear and bison in the

lobby (both stuffed) along with nearly

every other Alaskan animal hanging

on the walls (well mainly their heads!)

It was quintessential Alaska, where

the urban meets the wild.

Our first morning we were greeted

with a picturesque white city, with

deep snow everywhere. Dustin Eroh,

co-owner of Alaska Bike Adventures,

picked us up from our hotel to take us

on our fat biking adventure. Fat biking

is fairly new in New Zealand, however

in climates such as Alaska, where the

ground is covered in snow for half

the year, fat biking has been around

for a while. In fact, fat bikes were

first seen in the 1900’s but it wasn’t

until the 70’s that modern-looking fat

bikes came to life with the help of bike

frame builders from Alaska.

Dustin took us out to the start of the

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail which

winds 17 km along the coast from

downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park.

On paper, this looked like a fairly

easy ride, however with the amount of

snow we were soon breaking a sweat

despite the cold. This was our first

introduction to Anchorage and it did

not disappoint. Biking along snow filled

trails we could see numerous mountain

ranges in the distance and an ice

covered ocean moving eerily alongside

the trail.

Fat biking was a great way to get

around and familiarize ourselves with

the area and it was fantastic having

our own personal guide in Dusty.

His knowledge of the area and our

surrounds were invaluable. At one point

we left our bikes on the side of the trail

and headed onto the foreshore, which

was covered in ice bergs and snow.

We walked to the edge and watched

the change of tide move the icebergs

along right in front of us

Our next stop was Girdwood, a

45 minute drive from downtown

Anchorage for some skiing and

snowmobiling and hopefully to catch

a view of the Northern Lights. The sun

was doing its best to break out from the

clouds as we drove along Turnagain

Arm towards Girdwood. We stopped

numerous times to photograph,

however, nothing can capture the

grandeur of the scenery here and no

photo could do it justice.


Inserts top to bottom: Steve deep in fresh snow at Alyeska

Alyeska Resort under the Northern Lights and Relaxation in the Alyeska Nordic Spa - Images compliments Visit Anchorage

Girdwood is a small settlement founded

in the 1890’s to supply miners during

the Turnagain Arm gold rushes and

home of the Alyeska Resort, which was

our next stop. We were surprised at the

magnitude of both the mountain and the

resort itself. It is part of the Chugach

mountain range and is the largest ski

area in the state. With numerous places

to eat at the hotel and a shuttle running

regularly, it was a great base for our


The snow continued to fall and we

woke to almost a foot of fresh snow. Not

knowing the mountain we decided to

work our way up from the bottom. The

snow was perfect, it was super light and

made for incredible skiing. At the top

of Alyeska the runs drop into big bowls

with few trees to be seen, a little more

similar to home. The terrain is suitable

for intermediate to advance skiers and

on the north side you’ll find a host of

double blacks including the longest

double black in northern America. On a

clear day you can see the ice covered

Turnagain Arm, up to seven “hanging”

glaciers and endless peaks deep into

the Chugach Mountain range.

With unusual daylight hours in this part

of the world, the lifts don’t open until

10.30am but continue until 5.30pm so

we skied until dusk and then headed

to the Nordic Spa right next door to our

hotel. This adults only spa is nestled

into the forest as you move between

hot and cold pools and rest in saunas

and steam rooms. With no cell phones

allowed (and no kids) it created a serene

place to unwind at the end of the day.

Wrapped in the supplied bath robes we

wandered between pools and saunas

before heading back inside to their

bar for a celebratory drink (still in our

bathrobes). They also have a restaurant

and massage services available.

One of the draw cards for anyone

coming to Alaska is the thought of

seeing the Northern Lights and we

were no different. We knew that

Girdwood and Alyeska were prime

viewing locations due to their lack of

light pollution so we checked the skies

before heading to bed. Unable to see

the mountain due to the low cloud we

settled in for a good night sleep. The

following morning as we were on our way

snowmobiling our host casually asked,

“So did you see the Northern Lights last

night?” You can imagine our horror to

find out that we had missed them!

We were joined on our snowmobile tour

by two ‘good ol boys’ from Texas and

their friend from Girdwood. They had

also been touring around Alaska hoping

to see the Northern Lights and some

wildlife. Like us, they had missed the

Northern Lights the night before but had

Skiing in Alyeska on a clear day exposes incredible views - Image by Sagar Gondalia

seen moose in the carpark at Walmart

in Anchorage. Surely we would get a

glimpse of a moose out in the back of

Girdwood, but we had no such luck.

Our guide, Erica was about 5ft nothing,

had a constant smile and a flash of

purple in her hair. Despite her small

stature she was skillful at handling a

snowmobile and super experienced in

the outdoors.

We had hoped to join the glacier tour,

however the conditions did not allow it

so we joined their scenic tour that took

us through private trails in the Chugach

Mountains. After an hour or so of riding

around we stopped for some reindeer

"the northern

lights shone

bright over


resort -


we were



Glacier City Snowmobiles also run tours to the Glacier when the conditions are right - Image from Visit Anchorage

hotdogs which we ate around an outside fire

surrounded in snow. Snowmobiling is not

something you do everyday, well not if you

come from New Zealand (maybe if you live

in Alaska), plowing through the 3 foot deep

snow, surrounded by mountains and forests

was a unique experience.

Our last night at Anchorage we were

determined not to miss the Northern Lights

so we set our alarms for 1am. There is a

nightly aurora forecast that shows when the

lights will be most visible and the forecast was

looking good. However, it also needs to align

with a clear, cloudless night, and as we went

to bed the clouds were beginning to form.

Undeterred we got up at 1am and rushed to

the window but saw nothing but clouds. So

we reset the alarm for 2am, 3am, 4am, and

eventually gave up at 5am.

At 9am, slightly sleep deprived after our

northern lights effort, Matt Worden, owner and

guide of Go Hike Alaska picked us up from our

Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage,

(a real taste of home) and drove us out to

Glen Alps in Chugach State Park.

Our group of hikers consisted of four fellow

travellers, one from Florida, two from Seattle

and one from San Francisco and us from NZ.

We chatted and bonded on our way out to

the park before donning our snowshoes and

following Matt onto the snow. We were looking

forward to exploring the outdoors and keeping

our fingers crossed that we’d get to see a few

moose. Believe it or not, 1,500 moose live

within Anchorage city limits and Glen Alps was

considered one of the best viewing spots.

Walking in snowshoes takes some getting

used to but once you get in the rhythm it’s

easy going. The snow was deep and fresh so

it was a real exploratory experience. We felt

like real pioneers trudging through the snow

covered hemlocks and meadows surrounded

by sheer mountains. As we moved across the

snow, Matt pointed out where each mountain

range was, where glaciers had been and due

to the fact that we were walking on virgin snow

it was easy to see that there were no other

footprints around, which meant no moose.

Two hours snowshoeing went too quickly. At

one point one of our fellow trampers asked

if we could stop and just listen to the quiet

for a while. It was amazing how silent the

snow covered landscape was, maybe even

unsettling. There was not just ‘no noise’ but

the snow seemed to suck the air out of the

silence like a giant muffler.

Our guide, Erica stoking the fire while the

boys from Texas warm up with a hot drink

Hiking in snowshoes, a super peaceful way to experience the outdoors

Left to right" Matt Wordon leading our merry group / Dustin Eroh from Alaska Bike Adventure /

Steve and I celebrating our first adventure in Anchorage

Our short trip was almost over - Skiing, check!

Fatbiking, check! Snowmobiling, check!

Snowshoeing, check! Moose spotting, just…

Teri couldn’t believe we had not seen a moose

so on the way to the airport she took the long

route searching for what had now become

almost a mythical creature. As we were about

to give up, one ran across the road and we

caught a glimpse of its backside as it headed

into the forest beside us.

Northern Lights, maybe next time!

One aspect that we all gained from our brief

visit to Alaska, was knowing that there was

still so much for us to explore. It was as if

someone had passed a book off a shelf and

we’d only just read the first sentence. There

was a whole book of adventures waiting to

happen with so many pages still to be turned.

"There was

a whole

book of



to happen

with so

many pages

waiting to

be turned."


We flew to Vancouver via Fiji with Fiji Airways.

Excellent service and price!


Places we stayed:

Lakefront Anchorage:


Hotel Alyeska: www.alyeskaresort.com

Hotel Captain Cook: www.captaincook.com

Places we ate:

Snow City Café: www.snowcitycafe.com

Aurora Bar and Grill: www.alyeskaresort.com

Forte Alaska: www.alyeskaresort.com

Simon and Seaforts:



Teri Hendricks for organising such a wonderful

stay and being our personal tour guide


Dustin Eroh from Alaska Bike Adventures

for the introduction to Fat Biking and

Anchorage. www.akbikeadvenutres.com

Alyeska Nordic Spa, for the hydrotherapy

session, thoroughly recommend.


Erica from Glacier City Snowmobile Scenic

Mountain Tour. www.glaciercitytours.com

Matt Worden, owner/guide, Go Hike Alaska




Perfect for when you need

to travel light with one

carry on bag.

Meal or snack



Frequent flyer points

1 Carry-on bag

Find it all in one place.


Perfect for short trips

with one checked in bag.

Meal or snack



Frequent flyer points

1 Carry-on bag

1 Checked bag

Change with fees

Meal or snack


Perfect for your family getaways.



Frequent flyer points

1 Carry-on bag

2 Checked bags

Change with fees

Cancel with fees

Select standard seat

Meal or snack



Perfect for when you need

flexibility, priority and your

favourite seat.


Frequent flyer points

1 Carry-on bag

2 Checked bags


Fully refundable

Select favourite seat

Priority check-in

Priority baggage

Priority boarding

fly your way



An ode to the


Words and Images by Leon Butler

www.visualyarn.com | Insta - Leon.butler1

Christopher Reily drags himself out into the

brisk kiwi morning, puts a pan of water in the

fire and gets himself ready for the day. It’s

1862 and he’s a little late to the Otago gold

rush, but he sees what others don’t and is

confident he can find his share of the spoils.

“Today’s the day,” he proclaims aloud in a selfmotivating

yell, “today is the day all this bloody

effort pays off.”

The past few days of breaking trail into his

new-found stashes in the Dunstan area have

taken their toll, but Reily wouldn’t have it any

other way. His body hurts but every time he

strikes gold that pain is washed away in the

sluicing. There’s no better feeling than seeing

results from a good day's graft.

Reily was a visionary, a creative who was both

tough and practical. Through stubbornness

and experience, he found gold in the dirt

of Central Otago at a time when the boom

was thought to be over. He saw something

different in Dunstan and he set the tone that

started an influx of activity into the area of

others looking to get rich off the harsh Otago

terrain. He is a prime example of what can

happen when determination and imagination

combine with human endeavour.

same dirt,



Pete riding his bike in the

footsteps of Otago gold miners.


"Just like a prospector surveying the land in front of

them for dig sites, Pete looks at a chunk of inhospitable

terrain and creatively figures out how to ride it. "

The fabled route that now resembles

the Dunstan Trail, was once an

inhospitable and treacherous shortcut

to the goldfields. People were met

with treeless, brutal mountains and a

scorching hot climate, but undeterred

they forged on in the search of Reily’s


160 years later and the rugged rock

of the area is still as harsh and wild as

ever, but now there’s a different kind

of intrepid explorer trying to find their

own riches, this time, however, the

gold IS the dirt.

What those early prospectors did

was lay the foundations of how we

now interact with the mountains.

The shanty towns that sprung up

have stuck around, the work shifted

from gold to fruit and farming and

the mountains developed into a

playground for those on two wheels

looking to create their own slice of trail

riding Valhalla.

The skill of a miner was in their ability

to read the land and find minerals

in the earth through perseverance

and resilience, the modern-day biker

has adapted the same passion and

sprinkled it with a little adrenaline in

order to seek out the best trails in

the same desolate landscape. The

exploratory, goal-driven mindset is

the same, just the reward is slightly


Otago mountain biker Pete Miller and

his mates are a modern-day tribute to

those old timers. Whilst the extreme

hardships aren’t on the same level,

the willingness to push themselves

to the max for the sake of some hero

dirt harks back to the attitudes of Chis

Reily and the trails that he put in all

those years ago.

Pete knows the area like the back

of his hand after years of searching.

It would be all too easy to go ride

some perfectly sculpted berms and

jumps, and so with a group of mates

they have been exploring the Central

Otago backcountry for years, getting

their hands in the dirt and bikes on

tussock, rock slab and anything

else they can find in search of the

region’s best terrain. And they’ve

found it, away from the crowds these

dedicated riders have taken on the

Otago area as their own playground.

Just like a prospector surveying the

land in front of them for dig sites,

Pete looks at a chunk of inhospitable

terrain and creatively figures out how

to ride it. Sometimes it’s through

experience gained over the years,

or maybe it’s a gut feeling and the

‘knack’ of knowing where to go, either

way it’s not done the easy way. One

trait that will always continue, and

Pete will be the first to agree, is that

there’s no better feeling than cracking

a beer at the end of the day and

having a yarn after sweating it out

on the trail, and I’m sure Reily would

have been right there with him.

Central Otago has a unique geology

that my inner child is convinced fell

straight from Mars, and a climate that

goes from scorched desert to tropical

lushness. Its rolling flat top mountains

are mostly made up of loose schist

covered in tussock and fragrant thyme

that, conveniently, hides the smell of

sweating bikers. Look close enough

and a whole world of winding trails

snake their way into the depth of the

mountains where these hardy bikers

are riding technical trails to the subtle

tones of the setting sun over the Pisa


According to Pete, the central

goldfields make for amazingly unique

riding due to the steep rock slabs

and super technical sections that

require maximum commitment to find

and ride. He goes on to say that “it’s

building trails with his mates in places

that a lot of people wouldn't fathom a

bike can be ridden that motivates us.

Trying to find these creative sections

amongst the challenging terrain is

pure adrenaline fueled fun and is our

way to doff the cap to the history of

the region”.

Bikes are more than metal and

rubber; they are tools that connect us

to the earth and allow exploration and

fun to combine through expression.

They bring people together,

encourage escapism and will take you

to places otherwise unreachable.

To quote a storyteller from back in

the day, “Nothing is impossible when

it’s a matter of finding gold” and that

determined attitude still lives on

today through those who play in the


Hayden slaying some central Otago slab


There was a term used for miners who

were struck by gold fever and couldn’t

tear themselves away from prospecting

in the mountains. Known as Hatters, they

would spend a lifetime on the dirt road,

drifting along in search of gold. In some

way I feel that a lot of those who move to

the mountains become Hatters, always

looking for that next trail or place to explore,

unwilling to leave the all-consuming beauty

of the mountains.

They were colourful characters whose efforts

live on through their creative naming of

areas such as the ‘Knobbies’ and ‘Raggedy

Mountains’, not to mention Roaring Meg,

so named after a fiery grogshop owner

you didn’t want to get on the wrong side

of. The mtb community honours this

humorous legacy to this day with the equally

imaginative names given to bike trails in the

area….’ Angry possum’ and ‘Rockapotomus’

are a favourite of Pete’s.

So, here’s to the pioneering adventurers like

ol’ Chris Riley. These tough buggers not only

laid the physical foundations for us to enjoy

the mountains but also the mindset to push

ourselves past what’s comfortable and seek

out new challenges in the great outdoors in

pursuit of progression.

The miners have gone, but their spirit lives

on through two-wheeled explorers such as

Pete and his mates.

The scars on the landscape of Otago are now being re-cycled by local riders




black diamond Trail Pro Trek Poles $239.99

Combining the adjustment ease and

security of our redesigned FlickLock

Pro with the quick deployment and easy

collapsibility of our new SmashLock

technology, the Trail Pro offers reliable

performance on day hikes or in the


• Aluminum construction that’s lighter and

easier to use

• Updated soft-foam grip with solution


• Women’s-specific version available

Find a Stockist:


sunsaver classic 16,000 mah solar power bank $129.00

Built tough for the outdoors and with a massive

battery capacity you can keep all your devices

charged no matter where your adventure

takes you.


rescueme PLB1 $589.98

Wherever you are, at sea, on land,

the rescueME PLB1 provides the

reassurance that global emergency

services can be alerted by the press of

a button.

The rescueMe PLB1 can be operated

with a single hand in even the most

challenging situations. A simple springloaded

flap covers the activation button

preventing inadvertent use. rescueME

PLB1 works with the only officially

recognised worldwide dedicated search

and rescue satellite network (operated

by Cospas Sarsat). As this is funded by

governments there are NO CHARGES

to use this service.

Available through all leading sports and

recreation retailers and online.








The World’s

smallest PLB

steripen Adventurer Opti $299.95

The rugged, lightweight Adventurer Opti

excels in the toughest mountains and

rivers in the world, eliminating bacteria,

protozoa and viruses. Perfect for those

with no access to power for several

days at a time.


steripen classic 3 $249.95

The Classic 3 Steripen with a pre-filter

is perfect to pack when on adventures

to keep you safely hydrated. Classic 3’s

UV light kills over 99% of waterborne

microorganisms that cause illness.


KEA awa $50.00

KEA AWA is the nano-filtration water

straw that allows you to drink safely

wherever you are. Filters 99.99% of all

nasties from any water source.


KEA STASH $60.00 (GO) - $70.00 (XL)

KEA STASH is the Leak free, smell

free, trash compacting bag.Available

in 2 sizes “GO” & “XL” so you can

say goodbye to messy, bulky trash

wherever you are.


KEA lumen $100.00

KEA LUMEN is the powerful, durable &

versatile flashlight to ensure that you’re

never left in the dark.


Outdoor Research Helium Emergency Bivy $219.99

Just like how you'd put a hard shell over

your puffer jacket, this bivy was designed to

protect your sleeping bag from the elements

while trapping in warmth. Constructed with

Helium fabric (Pertex® Shield 2.5L, 100%

nylon, 30D ripstop) it uses a simple tube-like

construction and cinch closure to seal out

wetness and save on bulk. Packs down to

the size of a beer can! 264g


Kiwi Camping Boost LED Light with Power Bank $89.99

Bright LED light with power bank to illuminate

your tent and charge devices on the go.

Features 11 light modes including SOS signal,

built-in magnets and hanging hook.


30% (typ) smaller 7 year battery life

66 channel GPS

– Fast accurate positioning



for safe


The World’s Most

Compact Emergency

Position Indicating

Radio Beacon

exped Lyra III Tent $799.99

2- to 3-person 3-season tent. Lightweight

and freestanding with two doors and

vestibules. You can pitch the canopy solo

(optimist mode), or in stargazer, breeze-way

or privacy modes depending on how you

adjust the fly. Full, packaged weight 2.3kg



Chickfly Bamboo Leggings High Rise

or Low Rise (USD $119.00)

Chickfly leggings are made

with soft, strong, stretchy

and sustainable bamboo

fabric, coloured with organic

dyes. Our patented fly is held

together by tension, creating

a seamless, flattering, soft,

and easy-to-use feature in the

most comfortable and stylish

black legging that every

woman needs not only for

style but for convenience and



Kiwi Camping Weka 2 Hiker Tent $339.00

Kiwi Camping's most popular hiker tent with

double-sided entry, sturdy vestibules, and a

user-friendly design. With a fly that handles

rain and snow, the Weka 2 is perfect for

hiking adventures.



399 99 5 year warranty 406-link via


30% (typ) smaller 10 year battery life

satellite to

Emergency Services


Sea to Summit Etherlight XT Insulated Mat from $109.00

Three-season warmth in a lightweight package.

At four inches thick, Ether Light XT Air Sprung

Cells provides a plush sleeping experience.

• Lightweight and quieter than a traditional air


• Quick and easy inflation, deflation and


• Anti-microbial

• PillowLock system

• A stuff sack that doubles as a pump, a repair

kit and a spare valve insert included.

Find a Stockist:


sea to summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow $59.99

The Aeros Ultralight pillow has been refined from

three design principles to be light, compact, and


• Curved internal baffles create contours that cradle

your head

• Inflate pillow in a couple of breaths with the multifunction


• Easily secured to any Sea to Summit sleeping mat

through the Pillow Lock System

Find a Stockist:





KATHMANDU Icarus Hybrid Sleeping Bag


If you often go camping in damp

conditions, the Icarus Hybrid

Sleeping Bag may be your best

choice. It's made with a blend of

synthetic and down fill, suitable

for three seasons. The Icarus will

prevent dampness around your

feet while keeping your core body

snug. For a warmer sleeping bag,

go for the Icarus.


exped Lite -5 Down Sleeping Bag $599.99

Highly compressible bag made with lightweight

and refined inner and outer fabrics that feel

velvety soft. 540g of high-performance 800-loft

European goose down fill for warmth. Rated

minus 8°C (Lower Comfort Men, European

Standard). 990g


KATHMANDU Pegasus Hybrid Sleeping Bag


Your next camping or backpacking

trip will be more comfortable with

our latest Pegasus Hybrid Sleeping

Bag. Excellent throughout three

seasons, the Pegasus has a blend

of synthetic and down fill. It'll

prevent moisture saturation around

your feet and give your core body

warmth - plus the adjustable hood

will lock in heat when it's cold.




The technical mummy shape provides adequate

girth combined with excellent thermal efficiency.


Ultralight 10D shell & 7D liner fabric are

ultra-compressible materials for cutting-edge

packability and warmth.


Each Spark model features baffle construction

fine-tuned to the temperature rating.



Ultra-lightweight zippers in two lengths ideal

for the conditions the bag will be used in.

ULTRA-DRY Down TM 850+

Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified. Ultra-Dry

Down treatment protects the high-lofting down from

external moisture & internal condensation.

Kiwi Camping Morepork 1 Deluxe Swag $529.00

Sleep soundly under the stars with the Kiwi

Camping Morepork 1 Deluxe swag. Durable,

waterproof, and easy to set up, it's perfect for

outdoor adventurers.


Find a stockist: southernapproach.co.nz

Engineered to keep you warm at the lightest

weight and smallest compressed size.

The Spark Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag Series spans everything from an ultralight down-filled

liner, to a mid-winter fast-and-light sleeping bag. Each model uses premium materials and

no-frills design to provide cutting-edge performance.



Find the right Spark Sleeping Bag for you

GLERUPS The Boot Honey Rubber $199.00

Made from 100% high-quality wool that provides

exceptional comfort & warmth. glerups boots are

soft and cosy, allowing you to rejuvenate your

tired feet after a long day.

glerups boots provide comfort, durability, grip,

and breathability, making them an excellent

choice for your outdoor adventures.

Go with natural this season, go with glerups.


Gasmate Cast Iron Single Ring Burner $79.99

Experience powerful cooking on-thego

with Gasmate's Cast Iron One Ring

Burner. With 8,600 BTUs of cooking

power, it's perfect for camping and

heating up griddles.


Gasmate Turbo Butane Stove

& Pot Set $149.00

For quick boiling when

you need it! A super

lightweight aluminium

stove with quick boil

technology, piezo ignition

and accessories all

packaged in a handy

mesh carry bag.


Gasmate 1 Burner Country Cooker $69.99

Experience efficient outdoor cooking

with Gasmate's Single Burner Country

Cooker. Crafted from durable cast iron,

it's perfect for camping and packs a

powerful 11,800 BTU punch.


KATHMANDU Valorous Unisex 58L Pack


This versatile 58 litre Valorous

Unisex Pack is designed to

support you on multiday rambles

and city escapes. The Crossflow

AirXF+ harness suspends off

your back, so expect comfy

cushioning and cooling air flow.

The Valorous’ ergonomic hip belt

will naturally cup your hips while

you enjoy peace-of-mind from

the anti-tamper loops securing

your stuff. The J-shaped side zip

and wide U-shaped, two-way zip

let you pack and access your

gear easily. Get out there with

the Valorous and restore your

life balance.


EXPED Lightning 60 Pack $349.99

Comfortable, lightweight,

roll-top backpack for fast-andlight

multi-night adventures.

Features include a lightweight

suspension system that allows

for micro adjustments for a

custom fit, roll-top closure

for added waterproofness

and extra gear, zig-zag side

compression and an over-thetop

compression strap.1150g




The breathable recycled cotton and

hemp canvas upper is protected by

a full 360° TPU rand. Our 3F system

with nylon-coated Kevlar® cables

provides additional support and

greater stability at the heel, while

ensuring a precise fit. The dual density

eco Ortholite® footbed promotes

superior cushioning, and the Pomoca

outsole offers secure grip during light

hiking activities.

Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 305 g

(W) 256 g (pictured)



The Wildfire 2 is a lightweight, agile

and precise tech approach shoe with

a breathable recycled synthetic mesh

upper, and a 360° protective rand.

Equipped with climbing lacing for

fine adjustment in the toe-area and a

lateral net system with Kevlar® cables

for better overall performance and

sensitivity. The POMOCA® outsole

ensures good grip on rock in both dry

and wet conditions.

Fit: STANDARD / Weight: (M) 355 g (W)

305 g (pictured)


keen NEWPORT H2 $229.99

Part water sandal, part hiker. The

original hybrid sandal, 50 million

adventures and counting.


Keen NXIS EVO Waterproof boot $349.99

Meet the light & fast version of our iconic

hiker. Room-for-your-toes comfort and toe

protection, now with a running shoe feel in

waterproof, engineered knit.



What if every step could feel easier? We

took the trusted fit of our iconic Targhee

hiker and added KEEN.BELLOWS FLEX

for easier days on the trail.



We carried over the fit, durability, and

performance of our award-winning Targhee

waterproof boot and took its rugged looks

to a new dimension.



Featuring a thick suede leather upper,

SALEWA® 3F system with steel cables and

reinforced TPU rand make it exceptionally

robust and durable. The waterproof GORE-

TEX® Insulated Comfort membrane has an

integrated insulation layer. There’s a stiff

carbon-loaded nylon fibreglass insole and

dual density expanded polyurethane midsole.

The semi-auto crampon compatible Vibram®

Alpine Guide sole unit is engineered for

traction, durability and reliability on difficult


Fit: STANDARD / Weight (M) 850 g (pictured)

(W) 660 g



Introducing the next generation of our

bestselling alpine trekking boot. This hardwearing

suede leather classic with a 360°

full protective rubber rand is even lighter and

more flexible. Equipped with a waterproof,

breathable GORE-TEX® Performance

Comfort membrane, a dual density expanded

PU midsole, and the self-cleaning Vibram®

WTC 2 outsole.

Fit: WIDE / Weight (M) 600 g (W) 470 g




outdoor research SuperStrand LT Hoody $399.99

Ultralight and packable featuring VerticalX SuperStrand

insulation that is just as soft, light and lofty as 700-800 fill

power down. Ripstop nylon shell and lining for abrasion,

water and wind resistance, stows in its own pocket. Great

4-season performance.


KATHMANDU Bealey Men’s GORE-TEX Jacket $399.98

Get plenty of benefits at a great price with

our latest Bealey Men's GORE-TEX Jacket.

At home in the surrounding hills, the Bealey

is your outdoor inspired jacket that's made

from the world's most recognisable, high

performance fabric. Get the protection

against rain and wind that you deserve.


Patagonia NetPlus® Down Sweater $459.99

Patagonia's iconic Down Sweater is now

warmer, softer, more durable, and the shell

is made with 100% recycled fishing nets.

This redesigned jacket is lightweight and

windproof. The shell – NetPlus® 100% postconsumer

recycled nylon ripstop – helps

to reduce ocean plastic pollution. Plus it's

insulated with warm 100% Responsible

Down Standard certified down. Available in

M's, W's and a range of colours.


Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody $149.99

A technical fit paired with a highly protective fabric, the Black

Diamond Alpenglow Hoody offers coverage on multi-pitches,

high-alpine approaches and hot crag sessions.

• UPF 50+ sun protection

• BD.cool—mineral-based in-fibre cooling technology

• Underarm gussets for added range of motion

• Under-the-helmet hood

• Polygiene odour control treatment

Men’s & Women’s styles available.

Find a Stockist:


Black Diamond Vision Hybrid Hoody $469.99

Optimised for movement in the mountains, the Vision

Hybrid Hoody is an active insulation layer that breathes

and moves with you while keeping you warm.

• Reinforced durability in high-abrasion areas

• 60g PrimaLoft Cross Core Insulation

• Two harness-compatible zipper hand pockets

• Single pull, climbing helmet-compatible hood

• Right-hand stow pocket; Zippered chest pocket

• Single internal drop pocket

• Integrated hem elastic draft gasket

• Elastic cuffs

Men’s & Women’s styles available.

Find a Stockist:


Chase the Light this autumn in

Kathmandu’s new moleskin range.

An OG fabric that’s tougher than flannel, versatile,

comfortable and warm.

Shop in-store and online at kathmandu.co.nz

@kathmandugear #outthere


Thomson and Scott - Noughty Sparkling

Chardonnay $24.95

Noughty non-alcoholic organic

vegan gluten free sparkling

Chardonnay. 2.9g of sugar per

100ml, 14 calories per glass, less

than 150mg per litre of sulphites.



The first thing you’ll notice is that the front

label on their pouches have changed for the

better by adding Health Star Ratings and

energy, protein, fat and carbs per pouch. They

have also improved the readability of our back

labels.Back Country Cuisine is available at

leading retailers. For more information or to

find your nearest stockist visit:


Thomson and Scott - Noughty Sparkling

Rose $24.95

Noughty non-alcoholic organic

vegan gluten free sparkling Rosé.

4g of sugar per 100ml, 18 calories

per glass, less than 150mg per

litre of sulphites.


Apple & Berry Crumble $13.99

A sweet mix of freeze dried apples and

berries topped with a delicious gluten

free cookie crumb.

3 Health Stars - Gluten Free


Thomson and Scott - NOUGHTY – Rouge

(Syrah) $24.95

Noughty Rouge - less than 0.5%

ABV. 14 calories per glass, 2.5g of

sugar per 100ml, less than 150mg

per litre of sulphites, gluten free.


tasty chicken mash $9.99 - $14.99

With smoky flavoured freeze dried chicken,

cheese and vegetables.

3.5 Health Stars - Gluten Free

Available small serve (90g) or regular




Just add boiling water for perfectly cooked


3.5 Health Stars

Sizes – Family 120g




Low Prices Everyday

Low Prices Everyday


Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch

Born from Adventure: Shackleton

Blended Malt Scotch is based on

the spirit supplied to the 1907 British

Antarctic Expedition, expertly crafted

using a selection of the finest Highland

Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Available

at various Liquor Retailers .



Inspired by the innovative,

everchanging drinks scene,

we instinctively knew how a

drop of Jägermeister and a

backbeat of cold brew coffee

could transform any night. The

enviable result? A brand-new



fusion of JÄGERMEISTER’s 56

botanicals and intense cold brew




A punchy peppery vegan

twist on a Southern American

classic! Refuel after a day's

adventuring. Vegan, totally

delicious, in home compostable



Free NZ Shipping on

orders over $150 for


Members Earn Equip+

Loyalty Points

local dehy hummus $8.00

Sundried Tomato and Red

Pepper, also available in

Beetroot and Zesty Lemon.

Perfect for lunches on the trail.

Freeze dried. Vegan. Home

compostable packaging.


Free NZ Shipping on

orders over $150 for


Members Earn Equip+

Loyalty Points

shop online or instore


62 Killarney Road,

Frankton, Hamilton,

New Zealand

P: 0800 22 67 68

E: [email protected]


Like a ‘perfect storm’, we have seen a dramatic growth and

development in online stores over the past 5 years.

We are dedicating these pages to our client’s online stores; some

you will be able to buy from, some you will be able drool over. Buy,

compare, research and prepare, these online stores are a great way to

feed your adventure addiction.

Waterfront accommodation on Nydia Track, Marlborough, NZ


Meals bursting with flavour, combined with home compostable

packaging, means you really can have it all in the mountains.

Designed by ‘foodies’ for maximum plant-based deliciousness

and wrapped in earth positive, lightweight, packable pouches.


Never have a dead phone

again! Because now you can

charge straight from the Sun

with SunSaver. Perfect for

that week-long hike, day at

the beach, or back-up for any

emergency. Check us out at:


Building versatile and reliable gear so you

can adventure with purpose.


Bivouac Outdoor stock the latest in quality outdoor

clothing, footwear and equipment from the best

brands across New Zealand & the globe.


Shop for the widest range of Merrell footwear, apparel

& accessories across hiking, trail running, sandals &

casual styles. Free shipping for a limited time.


Temerature. Taste. Transport.

Hydroflask, more than just a water bottle.


Kathmandu offers a premium range of outdoor

clothing, footwear, accessories and gear for men,

women and kids.


Living Simply is an outdoor clothing and equipment

specialty store in Newmarket, Auckland. Your go-to place

for quality footwear, packs, sleeping bags, tents,

outdoor clothing and more.


Our mission is to produce

the best quality beers

possible across a range of

flavours and styles and to

have fun doing it!


Gear up in a wide selection of durable, multifunctional

outdoor clothing & gear. Free Returns. Free Shipping.



glerups shoes, slippers

and boots are known for

their exceptional comfort

and unique design.

Over the years we have

perfected the wool mix

by blending Gotland

wool with quality wool

from New Zealand


Fast nourishing freeze dried food for adventurers.


Stocking an extensive range

of global outdoor adventure

brands for your next big

adventure. See them for travel,

tramping, trekking, alpine and

lifestyle clothing and gear.


Specialists in the sale of Outdoor Camping Equipment, RV,

Tramping & Travel Gear. Camping Tents, Adventure Tents,

Packs, Sleeping Bags and more.


KEEN Footwear New Zealand delivers sustainable style and

outdoor performance for outdoor, hiking or city streets.


Supplying tents and

camping gear to Kiwis

for over 30 years, Kiwi

Camping are proud to

be recognised as one of

the most trusted outdoor

brands in New Zealand.


Marine and industrial supply story


Our very own online store where

you will find hard goods to keep you

equipped for any adventure.


With stores in Clyde and

Cromwell, Bike it Now! is

your access point to the

Central Otago Bike trials: T

> Lake Dunstan Trail

> Otago Central Rail Trail

> Roxbourgh Gorge

and more...


New Zealand’s first online

store solely dedicated to

Non Alcoholic adult drinks.


c a n a d a


There are a few things that make up the

best mountain biking in the world. Friends,

terrain & town and Whistler has all of these

in spades. In New Zealand our biking

mecca is Rotorua, in Canada it’s Whistler!

Whistler is one of the largest resorts in

North America, with some of the best liftaccessed

park riding with epic downhills

and wicked cross country trails. Plus an

abundance of lakes and parks where you

can swim, hang out on a beach and hire

kayaks or paddle boards.

With two villages that give you the choice

of Whistler’s bright lights or Creekside’s

mellow pubs and cafes. Canadian

hospitality means even if you’re there

on your own it won’t be for long. We

love staying at Creekside as it’s a bit

quieter than Whistler Village, has a nice

atmosphere, direct gondola to the top of the

bike park and is close to 2 beautiful lakes.

The terrain is huge with over 4900 vertical

feet of lift-serviced trails separated into four

main zones:

Fitzsimmons Zone

The original and the best, containing trails

of all levels, the Fitz is where biking dreams

become real. Home to Whistlers’ most

famous lines, A line, B line, Dirt Merchant,

Canadian Open DH and 5 skills centres this

zone is a must ride.

Garbanzo Zone

Known as the big brother of Fitz,

this zone is above the Fitz zone

and caters to high-level riders with

steeper technical terrain on trails

like Goats Gully, as well as long flow

trails with jump features like Blue


Creek Zone

The newest zone is accessed

directly from the Creekside Gondola

and is recommended for advanced

and expert riders. This zone can be

used to ride back down to Creekside

or access the Fitz or Garbanzo

Peak Zone

For advanced riders, requiring an

extra lift and ticket. This is a must

ride area for at least one day as

it gives you 5,000 feet of vertical

descent from the top of Whistler

Peak. The Top of the World trail

starts at 2182m and descends

736m over 6km through Whistler’s

stunning alpine environment.

Another trail you can do is Top of

the World to Khyber, Kashmir, Kush

and Big Timber which is 16km’s, with

1857m of descent from the top of

Whistler to the Creekside base! Epic!

Beyond Whistler Bike Park there

is a maze of cross-country trails to

explore. It’s best to hit up a local

bike shop for the most up-to-date

map or download Trail Forks on your

phone so you don’t get lost. Local

ratings do err on the hard side so if

you’re riding blue’s expect them to

feel like black trails. With 250km’s of

trails, it’s easy to find something for



Top of the World Trail, Whistler, BC, Canada

Experts at adventure travel since 2000

Your mountain bike travel specialists, with over

20 years experience ensures you have a fantastic

trip, crafted by people who really care.

Image by Greg Rosenke

Above: A bonus to biking in Whistler are the incredible views / Inserts: Whistler Bike Park / Whistler Rock Drop

Lost Lake Trails

Just 5 minute’s ride from Whistler this area

has some excellent trails which naturally join

up to make a loop. Try Tin Pants, Fountain of

Love, Pinocchio’s Furniture, Jelly Gum Drop

Roll, Central Scrutinizer, Grand Wazoo and

finish off at the lake for a swim.


Cascading down Sproatt Mountain, Whistlers

westside includes classic single track like

Danimal, Lord of the Squirrels and AC/DC. It

is accessed by climbing Flank Trail from Lake


Whistler North

Starting just north of the village surrounding

Green Lake this area is a mecca for tech,

gnar, rock slabs, rock rolls and drops. With

many of the trails pushing expert and above

its an area where expert riders can test their

technical skills.


An area with rogue trails built by keen

enthusiasts Whistler has adopted many of

the trails and maintains them as part of its

network. Long, fall-line, rooty single tracks

are a feature of Blackcomb. The higher you

climb the more challenging the trails, offering

some fantastic tech.


South of the village adjacent to the stunning blue,

glacier fed river and lake which gives this area its

name. This area’s easy accessibility has terrain

for all rider levels. Trails such as Farside and

See Colours & Puke, offer fast flow, berms and

easy jumps. You can then advance to AM/PM

and Duncans Trail for more advanced rock rolls,

punchy pinch climbs and bigger jumps.

Over the 40 years that I have been mountain

biking I have seen the sport evolve from a leftfield

pastime where enthusiasts hurtled down fire

breaks on basic bikes, to a sport where expensive

highly specialised bikes are used on groomed,

formed trails in dedicated bike parks!

The great thing about mountain biking is that it

can be done anywhere, with just about any bike,

all you need is a bunch of mates, good terrain

and a place to drink beer and tell lies afterwards!

Modern bikes mean you can do more! Bigger

jumps, faster down hills, easier climbs and ride

longer with a higher level of safety. The E Bike

has opened mountain biking up to more people

and also means you ride harder for longer.

So if you love mountain biking and want

to escape from cold muddy mountain bike

destinations in the New Zealand winter, check out


New Zealand owned and operated

"We live what we sell"

0800 623 872

[email protected]



v a n u a t u


Huge caverns and drop offs, abundant marine life, beautiful

bright corals, giant sea fans and world-famous wrecks all

contribute to Vanuatu’s reputation as a diving destination.

It is also one of the best places for divers to see dugongs.

The landscape beneath the water mirrors that found

above: mountainous terrain with plunging cliffs, grottoes

and overhangs, huge caves and intricate interconnecting

underwater tunnels and chasms formed by frozen lava.

Vanuatu's coral reefs offer spectacular diving options

Diving Vanuatu’s Coral Reefs

Vanuatu is an island archipelago consisting

of approximately 82 relatively small islands.

The main islands from largest to smallest

are; Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate (home

to the capital Port Vila), Erromango, Ambrym

and Tanna. The islands are volcanic in origin

and as a consequence, Vanuatu’s shoreline

is mostly rocky with fringing reefs and little

continental shelf, dropping rapidly into the

ocean depths. This gives rise to some

exciting diving on reefs and walls, as well

as some excellent snorkelling opportunities,

particularly on Tanna.

Diving Vanuatu’s Wrecks

Vanuatu became independent as recently

as 1980, being jointly administered by

France and Britain, and named the New

Hebrides prior to that. Being an allied

territory, it supported a large American

base during WWII and we have them to

thank for the wrecks of the SS President

Coolidge, the USS Tucker and Million

Dollar Point.

Where to Dive…

There are three main regions for diving in

Vanuatu; Efate, Espiritu Santo and Tanna.

Efate: Port Vila and Tranquillity Island

The island of Efate is surrounded by very

pretty fringing reef, a few wrecks and a

stunning cavern called the Cathedral,

with stand-out dive sites including Owen’s

Reef on Tranquillity Island and West Side

Story near Hideaway Island Resort.

Diving Port Vila is easy, with a range of

operators to choose from, each of which

pick up and return divers to their hotels.

Many of the best dive sites are only

minutes away. Diving is well supervised

and varied, with several wrecks,

bommies, drop-offs and caverns in the

protected waters of the bay.

Espiritu Santo

Diving Espiritu Santo is synonymous with

diving the SS President Coolidge, but it’s

not the only dive in town. Wreck diving

options also include the infamous Million

Dollar Beach and the USS Tucker, and

for coral lovers, there’s plenty of fringing

reefs, drop offs and coral gardens to



Diving Tanna is very different from

diving Port Vila or Santo, as Tanna is a

more remote volcanic island – with an

active volcano. Diving Tanna, you will

experience crystal clear water, colourful

hard coral reefs and an amazing topology

of swim throughs and blue holes.

3.30pm “SS President Coolidge – Santo”

SS President Coolidge


s a m o a


Samoa offers so much more than

the Pacific perfection of white sand

and blue seas. You'll find a world of

excitement and adventure, things to do

and places to visit, natural wonders, a

rich culture and history. Here are our

top five picks are.

Alofaaga blowholes

The island of Savai’I is larger and less

populated than the mainland and is

home stunning natural attractions. Two

ferries run between the main land and

Savai’i to three times a day. There is a

lot to explore Savai'i, but top of the list

is seeing the Alofaaga blowholes on

the southwest coast where the correct

swell delivers a massive display of

vertical fountains.

Afu Aau Waterfall

Samoa offers stunning white sand

beaches and beautiful clear water but

also some amazing natural features

like waterfalls. Don't miss the breathtaking

Afu Aau waterfall. Surrounded

by lush rainforest, this water is in a

stunning setting and easily accessible

and a great place to swim and explore.

To Sua Ocean Trench

The To Sua Ocean Trench is one

of the most well know attraction in

the whole of Samoa. Basically two

giant sinkholes connected by a lava

tube, one without water, the other

a 30m deep swimming hole. The

swimming hole is accessible by a

steep ladder - the descent can be a

little nerve-wracking, but it leads to an

unforgettable experience at this oneof-a-kind


Falealupo Rainforest Canopy

Suspended 40m above the canopy

floor and stretching 30m across, the

Falealupo Rainforest Walkway (also

known as the Canopy Walk) is a

suspension bridge leading to a tall

Banyan tree, from here can look out

over the top of the Rainforest. Within

the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve

you will find a canopy walkway. About

10-meters above the canopy floor

there is a bridge built between 2 large

trees. You can also climb to a viewing

platform in a 230-year old banyan

tree. Included in admission is entry to

nearby attractions Moso’s Footprint

and the House of Rock.

Afu Aau Waterfall

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of

Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr

Hyde, spent his final years in Samoa

and there is a museum in the country’s

capital of Apia dedicated to him. Due to

his many positive interactions with the

local community, Stevenson became

very popular and also a well-respected

figure to the local community. He passed

away on December 3, 1894 at the age

of 44. His colleagues and people that

worked for him buried him on top of

Mount Vaea (within Vailima) at a spot

overlooking the sea. You can also visit

his grave if you decide to hike up the

picturesque Mt Vaea.

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

To Sua Ocean Trench

"Samoa is

not only a


place to

visit but

has many

adventures to

be found"

Sale’aula Lava Fields

Sale’aula Lava Fields

Formed by molten lava following the

eruption of Mt Matavanu between 1905-

1911, the flow devastated five villages,

A second eruption poured yet more lava

onto the field, covering an area of over

100 square kilometres (40 square miles).

Five villages were buried, although like

most things in Samoa the lava was

slow-moving so there were few fatalities.

This is one of the island’s most popular

attractions and a unique natural wonder.

Beautiful Samoa awaits you, and we are welcoming our international aiga

with open arms! Experience Samoa’s untouched beauty, unique cultural

experiences and rich heritage. Self drive, bike or stroll through the wonders

that make this island life one to cherish just like the locals do.

Contact Ross and Frances at: [email protected] to organise a custom tour or to join a group.www.outdoorsamoa.com


n e w c a l e d o n i a

c a l e d o n i a



Less than 3 hours from Auckland lies a unique island paradise that offers

you the perfect ocean adventure experience. Nestled in the Pacific Ocean,

New Caledonia is home to the world’s largest lagoon, crystal-clear water,

and countless white, sandy beaches. But New Caledonia is so much more

than a chill holiday destination, it’s also perfect for travellers wanting an

ocean adventure.

Within a single day, you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed

lagoon, meet rare sea creatures under the surface, glide over the ocean,

and learn a thrilling new water sport. The diverse experiences on offer in

New Caledonia make this amazing archipelago and holiday destination the

ideal place to have your next ocean adventure.


If you want to navigate a larger watercraft,

sailing in New Caledonia is a must. Loved by

locals and visitors, there’s a variety of sailing

experiences to explore. From outings that

last just a few hours to voyages lasting days,

beginner and advanced sailors will be amazed

at the countless ways to discover the ocean. For

seasoned sailors, set out on a voyage around

the Isle of Pines for an incredible journey that’ll

enhance your appreciation for this corner of the

globe. Beginners can spend the day cruising

around the world’s largest lagoon on either a

catamaran, yacht, canoe, or motorboat, enjoying

the sights of colourful reef fish and marine

animals as they sail past. In New Caledonia,

you’re sure to find a sailing adventure that

matches your interest and preferred pace.


Go below the surface in New Caledonia to

discover the beauty of the country’s coral,

animals, and marine life. New Caledonia is

home to the second-largest coral reef in the

world and a UNESCO Heritage-listed lagoon

and home to a wide range of marine animals.

The lagoon is a sanctuary for sharks, whales,

and turtles and is home to the world’s thirdlargest

population of dugong - so you can tick

swimming with sea life off your ocean adventure

bucket list. Navigate the reef with a snorkel or

rent diving equipment for the ultimate thrill and

be completely mesmerised by the exceptional

biodiversity. Meet the most incredible marine life

face-to-face as you glide through coral pinnacles

sheltering tropical fish.

Beach chilling

For those after a more relaxing ocean

adventure, look no further than New Caledonia’s

endless beaches. The crystal white sand,

dazzling sunshine, and azure blue sea make

New Caledonia’s coastline among the most

peaceful on Earth. Explore the country’s

numerous hidden coves and have the beach

all to yourself to enjoy. Go on an adventure

into the mysterious west side of the island to

find the small bays of Tortues (Turtles Bay) and

Amoureux (Lovers’ Bay). In the east, the length

of the Forgotten Coast is also accessible by

boat where you can easily find small beaches

hidden away from the main roads and crowds.


Ocean Events Happening This Year

With pristine water and consistent weather conditions, New

Caledonia is a hotspot for water sports. Every year, the

destination hosts a variety of watercraft races that are sure

to get your blood pumping whether you’re a spectator or a


Airwaves Nouméa Dream Cup 14th – 18th November

Every year, the PWA (Professional Windsurfing Association)

hosts its annual finale, the Dream Cup, in Nouméa, New

Caledonia. In the Dream Cup, the world’s top windsurfers

compete over one week in the Caledonia lagoon across

different disciplines including slalom, freestyle, and speed

racing. www.pwaworldtour.com



Sail in an Outrigger

You cannot leave New Caledonia without sailing around Upi Bay

in a traditional outrigger canoe. In this once-in-a-lifetime cultural

experience, you will board a Melanesian outrigger to sail for

one and a half hours across the spectacular Upi Bay. Follow the

current to the stunning Isle of Pines, concealed between huge

coral rocks that seem to float on the turquoise lagoon. Make sure

you also keep a lookout for turtles, rays, and dolphins!


Begin your adventure with the destination’s most popular sport –

windsurfing! Boasting great conditions and spectacular scenery,

New Caledonia windsurfing is ideal for beginners and experienced

thrill-seekers alike. One of the world’s best windsurfing locations

is Anse Vata Bay in Nouméa is renowned for its consistent winds

and flat water, perfect for beginners. New Caledonia is filled with

shallow, protected waters and endless, sandy beaches, offering

you a chance to try your hand at this thrilling sport.


Défi Wind Super Stars 20th – 23rd November

The Défi Wind Super Stars event gives amateurs an

opportunity to race against the pros, with the top performers

able to proceed to the main event, the Défi Super Stars.

Participants include Olympic champions, top PWA riders

and new talents, so we guarantee the event will have your

heart racing. www.pwaworldtour.com

BlueScope Race 19th November

Organised by the Association Nouméa Glisse (ANG), the

Bluescope Race welcomes all water sports enthusiasts.

Over 2 days, between the Water Sports Centre and

Amédée Lighthouse, catamarans, dinghies, cruisers,

kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaks, and stand-up-paddle

boards race along New Caledonia’s coast for pole position.

This exhilarating race is a must-see in the New Caledonian

sporting calendar. www.ang.nc

Travellers’ one-stop shop for booking activities to explore

the lagoon is the Maison du Lagon. You can hire scuba

diving gear, rent a boat for a day, go whale watching, rent

jet-skis or excursions to the islands around Noumea. And

for more information about the destination:




n i u e

This is noughty

Thomson and Scott

Noughty Sparkling Chardonnay

non-alcoholic organic vegan

sparkling Chardonnay,

dealcoholized to retain the

rich flavour. Premium non-alcoholic

sparkling wine Certified organic,

vegan and halal. Low sugar, Low

calorie, Gluten Free

Niue could well be the adventure capital of the

Pacific Islands? Niue has all bases covered

for the adventure seeker, including some great

events for those that want a tropical holiday with

a twist. Located in the middle of Tonga, Samoa,

and the Cooks, Niue is serviced by Air New

Zealand via a short three and half hour flight from

Auckland and uses the NZ dollar.

Visitors have their choice of small private

beaches, lagoons and swimming caves where the

likelihood of someone disturbing you is almost

nil. Experiences on offer include swimming with

whales (July-September), Dolphins or there is

world class fishing and spearfishing on offer.

Massive cave systems and various walks are

found all over the Island that can be explored

with ease via well signposted tracks many with

well maintained showers and toilets. There is also

no sediment in the water because of the coral

structure of this atoll so diving and snorkeling

here is a staggering 80 metre visibility.

The night life is limited but given Niue is also

the world’s only Dark Sky Nation you can just

watch the stars and enjoy the serenity. As they

say you will arrive as a visitor and leave as a

friend in this place having met your share of the

1500 residents that live there by the end of your


Niue Tourism and Wildside Travel are partnering

again to bring you ‘Ride the Rock Week’ and

‘Rockman – Adventure Races’. These are a

social, fun week of organised events with plenty

of leisure time as well to experience everything

else Niue has to offer.

Ride the Rock Week (June 2023 and 2024)

will see pedal powered visitors compete for some

great prizes and lots of laughs. After settling into

your accommodation, you will have a welcome

‘Island style’ BBQ dinner and get briefed for the

week. A guided island tour will help you know

what to expect and followed by a race around

the island roads (60kms), another across the

island bushtracks and a Rogaine / Treasure Hunt

race all blended with plenty of leisure time to

experience other activities and the culture at your

own pace.

Rockman Adventure Races

(November 2023 and 2024)

Following a similar format to Ride the Rock

week this will have a variety of swim, bike, run

combo events including a Round the Island ride,

Orienteering Bush run, a Bike Rogaine-style race,

an Ocean Swim and a swim-bike-Run adventure

race. There is even an afternoon social nine-hole

golf & bowls competition for a bit of variety. For

both events modern mtb bikes are available for

hire or bring your own.

If travelling with a group or events isn’t your thing

then just head to Niue for an adventure break

ideal for the active relaxer or you can of course

just sit back and soak in the sun!




New Zealand’s first online store solely dedicated to

Non -Alcoholic adult drinks. No matter your reason...we’ve got you covered:

Beers - Wines - Spirits - RTD’s - Ciders - All delivered to your door.



Arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend. No crime,

no traffic and no queues. Relax or explore. Swim,

fish and dive in the clearest waters in the pacific.

The world’s only Dark Sky Nation welcomes you

to the way life used to be; the way life should be.


Plateau Lodge

A l p i n e R e s o r t

Escape to the Wilderness

Terrace Restaurant & Bar Open daily

Tongariro Alpine Crossing Shuttles from the door

Backpacker to Superior Family Accommodation

Alpine Hiking Gear Hire on-site

Skotel Alpine Resort | SkotelAlpineResort

Ngauruhoe Place | Whakapapa Village, SH 48

www.skotel.co.nz | [email protected]

+64 7 892 3719 | 0800 756 835

Close access to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Whakapapa ski field

and numerous cycle trails

www.plateaulodge.co.nz | Tongariro National Park

17 Carroll Street, National Park Village


Ph: 07 892 2993

Hike and Bike in The Tongariro

Skibiz @ The Alpine Centre, National Park


Hiking Poles



Sleeping Bags

Whirlpool Suites | Double Spa Rooms | Queen & King Size Beds |

2 x Conference Rooms | Breakfast Restaurant | Free Wireless

Broadband | Air-Con/Heat Pumps in all Units | Gym

All your hiking


available for hire!

ebikes now available

For local Mountains to Sea trails |

Fishers Track | Marton Sash & Door and more…

bookings and availability ph: 07 892 2717

www.thealpinecentre.co.nz for online bookings

Feed your adventure!



Totally delicious

Order online: www.localdehy.co.nz





Arrive as a visitor and leave as a friend. No crime,

no traffic and no queues. Relax or explore. Swim,

fish and dive in the clearest waters in the pacific.

The world’s only Dark Sky Nation welcomes you

to the way life used to be; the way life should be.

Contact: [email protected] | 027 436 9025

Keep powered on any adventure


Filled with 14 individually wrapped products (worth $219) we’ve hand

selected from small New Zealand businesses. This lets her open one new

gift every day, from the 1st to 14th of May (or open them all at once)


“Escape ordinary”

Caring luxury | Local flavour | One of a kind

Mountain bike clean up area and a secure mountain bike storage area available

1191 Pukaki Street, Rotorua

p: +64 7 348 4079 | w: regentrotorua.co.nz

A digital currency

designed for everyday



S.A Shuttles are a specialists when it comes to Auckland Airport shuttle

services. We pick-up passengers from the Airport and deliver to; hotels,

motels, CBD and the suburbs (door to door). This service is available to

meet every flight arriving into Auckland Airport.

• BOOKED shuttle services to meet flight

• On demand shuttle services for group bookings

• Direct shuttle for individual needs

• Corporate Transfers for Business Client

Available to download on

We also do tours around the North Island | www.southaucklandshuttles.com | [email protected] | 0800 300 033 (Toll free)






Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!