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!
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”
This short story is dedicated to all of my barefoot-loving kiwi friends!
It was a wet, dreary day. We’d been boulder-hopping our way up a river, with lethally slippery algae-covered rocks. We were in the Aiyagomahala valley, near the Arrigetch peaks in the Gates of the Arctic National Park, way up North in Alaska. Continue reading “Legend of the barefoot kiwi climber “
This is the story of how a pin-prick wound on my knuckle quickly festered, turning into a nasty skin infection that resulted in evacuation from a really remote part of the Brooks Range in Arctic Alaska. I’m sharing this in case it’s of interest to anyone. Continue reading “Evacuation from Gates of the Arctic”
Mind-blowing wild, remote area with tall granite peaks towering above us. Mostly obscured or at least partially obscured by mist. We were dropped off by float plane on a small lake by the Alatna River in the sunshine. Since then we’ve had cold rain, wind and snow! We crossed into the Aiyagomahala Valley and then went up to the head of the valley to cross a small glacier. We made it over the Continental divide at Independence Pass. A couple of exposed scramble moves. Endless fields of large boulders to negotiate. Camped in the upper Kobuk Valley last night. At midday today we left camp to go over Deception pass, shortly after leaving it started to snow and it didn’t stop. By the time we reached the top of the pass it was settling on the ground & visibility was poor. We hunkered in a small cave and scouted to find a way off the pass. Unsuccessful in these conditions, the rock is lethally slippery and the consequences are too high. So we legged it back to last night’s camp, set up our tent and tarp shivering like crazy…and got some hot soup in us! Currently waiting to see what the weather dictates, hoping we can get over pass with dry rock. Otherwise it’s time to reassess our route and/or start rationing our food. Winter is definitely starting to come to the Brooks Range! What a spectacular place. Dulkara out.
Four kiwi women are currently preparing for a month-long traverse of the Southern Alps, from Arthur’s Pass to Mount Cook. The team is comprised of Dulkara Martig, Ingrid Booiman, Tara Mulvany and Anna Loomes. They are all aged between 27 and 29 and have spent the majority of the last 10 years working within the outdoor industry.
I was sitting in my office in central Christchurch on a Friday afternoon when an email from Christian popped up in my inbox. The subject: temptation awaits. I didn’t open it immediately, instead choosing to let curiosity grow. I got up and walked to the photocopy machine, then made myself a cup of tea. I had just finished a 30 day contract in the Kahurangi National Park and was three days into a nine week stint working in an office. Or so I thought.
Continue reading “Temptation Awaits”
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”
When a stranger asks you if you want a cup of tea you never know what it may lead to. Here’s a little story from a small town in Alaska to remind you why slowing down and keeping a flexible schedule always leads to the coolest travel experiences. Continue reading “Drinking tea in Bird Creek”