Time for Gold! Zander Groenewald from Otamatea High School in Northland completes his Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition around Taranaki Maunga.
“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.
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.
“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.
'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.
“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.
The story of Holly Beckham is a story of a Māori wahine toa, who is determined to find her way back to wairua by climbing the highest mountain in the world. With no alpine training, but survival of loss, abuse and addiction, she is starting from the ground up.
What makes a suitable alpine leader and how do you identify these people in your club? New Zealand clubs have a proud tradition of passing on knowledge to newer members who later themselves become leaders. FMC provides a guide to identifying and supporting not only current alpine leaders, but a framework to raise up the next generation.
A cascade of poor decisions – lack of experience, a hyperfocus on reaching their destination despite horrendous conditions and the separation of party members – results in the preventable loss of a young woman left behind on the Gillespie Pass. Examining the events leading up to this tragedy, Johnny Mulheron and Erik Bradshaw offer sound advice for trampers heading off the beaten path of the Great Walks.
"You know you have taken on a good adventure when you have butterflies in your tummy." Feeling ready to tackle another ambitious mission, Andy and his two mates attempt to fastpack the Richmond Range High Ridge in 45 hours over four days.
“Was it fun?” After a six-day non-stop adventure race through the mountains around Mt Aspiring, Alastair McDowell ponders this question and asks himself, "Why do we do this to ourselves?" He shares a thought-provoking exploration into what calls mountaineers into the wild, what the experience is truly like, and how brushes with fatality are an ever present reminder of mortality.
Would you be prepared to make the same decision if you were alone? The impact of group dynamics, including polarisation and ‘risk-shift,’ can lead to life-threatening circumstances in the backcountry. Nick Plimmer examines a real-life situation where a party of four trudges on despite poor conditions, resulting in a 100 vertical metres fall into the plunge pool of a waterfall and an extremely close call.
Through the wild and remote Matakitaki region to the well-trafficked and sociable valleys of Nelson Lakes, Alastair McDowell takes the reader on a visual journey of his fastpacking mission in photo essay form.