Tapuae-o-Uenuku and the Clarence

Tapuae-o-Uenuku, affectionately known to most Kiwis as ‘Tappy’, is the highest peak in New Zealand outside of the Southern Alps. It towers 2885m above sea level just North of Kaikoura. I’d floated past it on the Clarence River a couple of times and always found myself gazing longingly at the scree slopes and jagged pile of rocks towering above me. This weekend I finally stood on the summit, with my packraft!

Continue reading “Tapuae-o-Uenuku and the Clarence”

The quintessential Fiordland journey: Manapouri to Foveaux Strait by foot and packraft

On Christmas Eve we set off from the West Arm of Lake Manapouri with around a weeks’ worth of food, packrafting and tramping gear, a bunch of TOPO maps and loose plans to make it to Foveaux Strait. We had a small box of food delivered to Lake Roe Hut on the Dusky Track to pick on the way. For two weeks we linked together rivers, Fiords, lakes, some trails and a few different mountain ranges to make it to the Southern Ocean. 
Continue reading “The quintessential Fiordland journey: Manapouri to Foveaux Strait by foot and packraft”

Fiordland trip with a stranger

A 10 day wilderness trip in Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks.

While driving down the West Coast I fill Jake in on the details. “I’ve never actually met Tara but people say we’ll get along well. We’ve talked about doing a trip together in Central Asia sometime. If we enjoy this trip then at least we’ll know if a longer mission together is a smart idea.” Continue reading “Fiordland trip with a stranger”

Chasing Snow Leopards

18 days walking in far Eastern Nepal, mostly in the Kanchenjunga region, right up near the border of Nepal and Tibet. Snippets of our adventure and stories that unfolded along the way. Every trip back to Nepal is different. Different companions, routes, and circumstances blend together to create an interesting mosaic of experiences which are unique. As always, small encounters with people and immersion in the culture of the ‘mountain people’ left my heart warm and excited to return for more. Continue reading “Chasing Snow Leopards”

A slow paced journey: Walking Across Nepal

Note: this article was published in the NZOIA Quarterly publication back in 2014. Often we share the epic stories, the physical challenges and the hardships of longer expeditions. I wrote this to give an insight into the joys of slow-paced travel.

I have naturally itchy feet, always further aggravated by the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Last year as I walked out of the theatre, I vowed to succumb to the itching and set off on a longer journey.  A few weeks after completing my first NZOIA assessment I found myself embarking on an unsupported traverse of Nepal with Tom. On our third day we had covered the distance we had planned to do in one.  It didn’t seem to matter. Our destination soon became merely a distant focus, a direction to head in. Continue reading “A slow paced journey: Walking Across Nepal”