“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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
After planning their tramp over two years ago, Andy and his mates finally embark on the backcountry trip they've been waiting for – Dragons Teeth in Kahurangi National Park.
Uncle Jacko takes a deep dive into the past exploring what we learnt from the COVID-19 lockdowns and raising the question, "What do tourists really appreciate about New Zealand?" And as many trampers are well aware, the question of how much to pack is the perpetual challenge. Uncle Jacko tests out the idea of ‘going lightweight’ and discovers firsthand when lightweight crosses over into just not enough.
One of New Zealand's finest mountaineers of the modern age passes away in a fall during a descent towards Homer Saddle. In an examination into these tragic events, Johnny Mulheron and Nick Plimmer examine the safety measures taken and the coroner's recommendations, including a rare quote that he includes in his final report.
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.
What better way to celebrate a wedding anniversary than by embarking on a family tramping adventure? On this occasion, a trek over the Kelly Range/Taipo River/Harman Pass tests skilled tramper and mum, Sonia Barrish, as she navigates slips and steep climbs on a four day, 51 kilometre tramp with her partner and 15-month old.
A close call occurs on Jagged Peak with one climber undergoing a serious accident, successful helicopter rescue and lengthy recovery. Heather Rhodes joins Vaughan Snowdon and Simon Bell to attempt Jagged Peak in the Arrowsmith Range of South Canterbury, resulting in a 300m fall.
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.
Inspired by the ‘Rounds’ in the UK, British native and New Zealand ultra-runner Martin Lukes designs the first ever New Zealand ‘Round’ – a classic long-distance mountain challenge taking in all of the summits of a local area in an aesthetic loop. After spending a summer bagging peaks in the Southern Lakes, Alastair McDowell tackles Canterbury’s answer to the famous mountain challenges of Britain: the Craigieburn Round.
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.