MAGAZINE
Backcountry Touring Access Guidelines

Safety  Backcountry Touring Access Guidelines

In an attempt to alleviate friction between members of the backcountry touring community and ski area operators, FMC created a set of backcountry touring access guidelines. With the support of NZAC and after consultation from 23 ski areas in Aotearoa, these collaborative guidelines articulate the following: how to behave when accessing backcountry terrain using ski field infrastructure, an intention to promote understanding of the real hazards present on ski areas and a fostering of courtesy and respect between tourers (including climbers and trampers) and ski area operators.

The Indestructible Loopies

November 2023  The Indestructible Loopies

Are loopies, by definition, indestructible and how do we create a model to better understand risk in the outdoors? Uncle Jacko poses the argument that while there are exceptions to the rule, ill-equipped trampers often seem to survive and explains the idea behind the Heine–McFarlane–McNeill risksetting model that he helped to design.

All Weather Tramp on the Heaphy

Youth Award Grant  All Weather Tramp on the Heaphy

Thunder and lightning, sunshine, rain and even hail accompanies Bella and Egor's Duke of Edinburgh Gold Qualifier, pushing Egor to persevere through his fear of thunderstorms and even declare: "I have loved my Adventurous Journey, as it has opened up many wonderful New Zealand backcountry places that we have explored." As recipients of the FMC Youth Award Grant, Bella Allen and Egor Shefer reflect on their trip of a lifetime along the Heaphy Track.

What’s in a Word? Exploring Untracked Leatherwood in the Tararua Forest Park

Fact or Fable  What’s in a Word? Exploring Untracked Leatherwood in the Tararua Forest Park

Four hours to cover one kilometre . . . ? For Megan and a hardy group from the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club (WTMC), an escape route provided by the '1996 Tararua Footprints Guide' offered refuge away from strong winds. However, an equally challenging battle ensued between tramper, scrub and river as the group navigated untracked leatherwood in the Tararua Forest Park.

A Night Out on Mt Arthur

Kahurangi Bivvy  A Night Out on Mt Arthur

Defined by its distinctive karst rock formations and sinkholes that remind trampers to guard each step, Mt Arthur lends itself to a photographer’s paradise. Documenting his trek to the peak with camera in tow, Peter Laurenson captures the maunga in all its glory.

Catastrophe on Cascade Saddle

Winter Tramping  Catastrophe on Cascade Saddle

Completion of the Great Walks may lead less experienced trampers into a false sense of security, resulting in some attempting backcountry tracks beyond their skill sets. After finishing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Abel Tasman Coastal Track, a young tourist sets off on the Cascade Saddle in Mt Aspiring National Park. Under snow cover, Cascade Saddle is a serious alpine crossing that requires outdoor competence and proper equipment. Johnny Mulheron discusses the tragic details behind this solo tramper's fatal fall in winter conditions and what lessons we can take away.

Alpine Daisy Hunting With Jane Gosden

Botany Mission  Alpine Daisy Hunting With Jane Gosden

“I grew up in National Parks around New Zealand,” is a statement not many of us can claim. But Jane Gosden can. As a keen ecologist with a special interest in alpine plants and years of working in and above the bush line, she recently published a field guide to alpine daisies in the genus Celmisia. Her curiosity and attraction to Celmisia took her on a nationwide mission, from the mountains to the sea. In her story for Wilderlife, she talks about her life and work in high, wild places and her love for everything that inhabits them – especially plants.

No Ordinary Woman

Harriet Watson  No Ordinary Woman

Harriet Watson is no ordinary woman. One might think she is a wonder woman! As a young woman suffering from endometriosis, she ran and cycled 650 km of the West Coast wilderness over eight days to raise awareness and funds to help those with the same condition. Her epic mission got captured on film, which was shown at this year's NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Accessible to All

Youth Tramping  Accessible to All

“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.

The Busy Lizard

Mt Taranaki  The Busy Lizard

'Though plenty of inexperienced day walkers happily climb Taranaki, the mountain is still one of the most deadly in New Zealand. For many, the northern summer route is their surest way to safely experience climbing Taranaki.' Seasoned mountaineer, Peter Laurenson, provides foundational advice for minimising trouble and maximising fun on Mt Taranaki this summer.

Starting From Scratch

Youth Award Grant  Starting From Scratch

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.

Stepping Into Discomfort

Youth Award Grant  Stepping Into Discomfort

'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.

Wilderlife
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