Time for Gold! Zander Groenewald from Otamatea High School in Northland completes his Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition around Taranaki Maunga.
“For a group of neuro-diverse students, the biggest challenge can be getting the opportunity to take part in outdoor adventures.” After five years in the making, nine neuro-diverse students from Wellington East Girls’ College head off for their biggest adventure yet – a six-day ski and snowshoeing trip to the Cardrona Valley. Unit Leader, Leonie King, shines light on the students’ barriers to entry and the preparation required to complete their Gold DOE's Hillary Award.
No ride, no problem. FMC Youth Award Grant recipient, Tara Isaacs, organises her own DOE Gold Qualifier from the ground up. Starting without a team, a shadower or a ride, she compiles a crew and all the components necessary to cross off one of her 'bucket list tramps' – the Abel Tasman Coastal Walk.
“What may seem to be a safe situation is only one mis-step away from catastrophe.” In an alpine environment, even one small error can lead to a life or death situation. A false sense of security coupled with an unfortunate event results in a tragic outcome for one mountaineer on Mount Ruapehu.
'No growth occurs when comfortable' becomes the guiding mantra for five Youth Award Grant recipients. Flexibility and persistence prove essential during their DOE Gold Qualifying Journey, as they respond to ill trampers and an emergency helicopter rescue along the Pinnacles.
For their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Qualifying Journey, Emiliana and her team opt for an alternative mode of backcountry travel – kayaking. Dubbed the Kayak Kapers, this team of twenty-four students (over half of whom had never kayaked) bravely took up their paddles and developed new skills during a multi-day exploration of the Marlborough Sounds.
“By the end of the weekend, we were like a well-oiled machine.” As recipients of the 2022 FMC Training Grant, members of the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club shift from uncertainty to competency during their wilderness first aid weekend training.
Over the April school holidays, six students set off to complete their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Adventurous Journey in Tongariro National Park. Demonstrating excellent planning for their tramp, the group successfully navigates all the challenges thrown their way and completes a trip of a lifetime.
"All too often we can apply the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to exploring the outdoors, but in an emergency, that is of little help." After assessing their outdated first aid skills, the Otago Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club puts their FMC Training Grant to good use – an intensive first aid course where they learn everything from CPR to managing real-life scenarios with hands-on practice.
What do the Indus and Keve rivers have in common? Mike Dawson, former New Zealand Olympian in whitewater slalom and expedition kayaker, reveals his all-time favourite rivers, the biggest threats to river access and how whitewater kayaking is like solving a puzzle.
"There is just a whole lotta love in kayaking here in New Zealand, for the rivers and each other." Shannon Mast was unanimously voted as Paddler of the Year 2022, at Whitewater New Zealand’s AGM. In this interview, Justin Venable dives into what makes Shannon passionate about whitewater kayaking and New Zealand rivers.
"Journey – a long and often difficult process of personal change and development." For these four FMC Youth Award Grant recipients, they draw upon their strengths and honestly address their shortcomings to come together as a team to support one another, as well as look after fellow trampers on the Tongariro Crossing Northern Circuit.
Examining their Gold qualifying tramp through the lens of Te Whare Tapa Whā (the four dimensions of wellbeing), Alicia and Sophie reflect on the significant challenges they faced on the Rees-Dart Track and what strategies helped encourage them to continue.
Freezing temperatures bring unexpected challenges to a group of Duke of Edinburgh Silver qualifiers on the Ruahines. But through it all, they embrace the magic of a winter wonderland tramp surrounded by snow and icicles and demonstrate what is to be a good hut steward.
A second attempt and an alternative route pays off for these four Duke of Edinburgh qualifiers. After a flooded track and health problems forces the group to turn back on their first try, they persevere and successfully complete their next tramp with lots of fun and skill building along the way.
Based in Fiordland working as a stoat trapper, Tom #1 and his mate Tom #2 embark on a week-long backcountry exploration into the Glaisnock Wilderness Area.
In 1934, two Canterbury University Tramping Club members were the subjects of an intense search after not reaching their destination. Shaun Barnett compiles their stories found in multiple newspapers from the period, in which the men recount their harrowing ordeal.
The Motu River lies in the ancestral lands of the East Coast Ancestor, Apanui Ringamutu. Blair 'Jah Lion' Trotman, with consultation from local hāpu representative Louis Rāpihana, shares the rich history of the Motu Awa and how its current kaitiaki (guardians) continue to care for the river today.
It all started in the nineties with a group of paddlers keen to meet annually and paddle whitewater. Now an official tradition after twenty years, this tight-knit group continues to gather every Christmas to pass on their knowledge and love of kayaking to the next generation.
After a close call occurs during a club outing, the North Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club (NOTMC) recognises the need to offer winter skills training for its newer members. With support from a FMC Training Grant, they organise a backcountry training weekend with a well-respected mountaineering and ski touring guide.
What does it mean to be a West Coast adventurer? For Rata Lovell Smith, a Wahine Toa who runs the Tai Poutini Polytechnic Outdoor Education Program, the West Coast adventurer is as unique and powerful as the landscape itself. In this river spotlight, she highlights Falls Creek – a West Coast kayaker's dream and 'a sacred chasm of water and rock.'
With packrafting on the rise, PRANZ recognises their responsibility to establish a culture of safety and training around this popular sport. With support from the FMC Training Grant, they have developed and are now road testing a curriculum for packraft instruction.