Spring explore in Scotland

Getting to walk around the highlands was something I had been really looking forward to.

I love the mentality and attitude that the Scottish people hold towards the outdoors, and the law they have passed, allowing free access to public and private lands.

Skiing a sunset couloir was an amazing experience. We walked in for a couple hours, got our short decent, then trekked back to the car. I was lucky enough to share it with my little sister and dad on his tellies, the first time he had skied in the highlands in 30 years.

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 You can see most of our line (Alladins couloir) - middle right.

You can see most of our line (Alladins couloir) - middle right.

 View from in Corrie an t-Sneachda. Here's the couloir coming around to the left of the large round buttress in the centre.

View from in Corrie an t-Sneachda. Here's the couloir coming around to the left of the large round buttress in the centre.

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Stewart Island

We loaded up the boats and paddled into Patterson's inlet, and half way up Freshwater River. 

Stashing the kayaks, we tramped across to the West side of the Island. 

We set up at an old abandonded homestead down at the bottom of Masons Bay, for the week, hunting, diving and fishing.

The days were super long (20hrs), due to being that far south at the time of year.

We struck the weather incredibly well for Stewart Island, and had no schedule apart from the tides.

On the way back we combined the walk and paddle and pulled up for an amazing last night on a little deserted island on the east side.

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 The days usually consisted of an early morning Deer hunt, followed by a kiwi stalk. We'd then head to the beach, read our books, before jumping in the water to grab lunch and dinner (paua and crays). Finishing up with a bonfire till the sun set around 10pm.

The days usually consisted of an early morning Deer hunt, followed by a kiwi stalk. We'd then head to the beach, read our books, before jumping in the water to grab lunch and dinner (paua and crays). Finishing up with a bonfire till the sun set around 10pm.

Conservation work, pt 2.

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7 days living and working off the Department of Conservation vessel 'Southern Winds' we took down the rugged Fiordland coast.

 I have many favorite things about working on the pest eradication program down here, one of them is that everytime you step off the boat, you are probably the first human to get to experience that particular spot.

I have many favorite things about working on the pest eradication program down here, one of them is that everytime you step off the boat, you are probably the first human to get to experience that particular spot.

 When you experience some of the vicious weather, it's easy to see why this is the wildest and most untamed part of NZ.   Not to mention the difficult access due to steep glaciated valleys and dense rainforest.

When you experience some of the vicious weather, it's easy to see why this is the wildest and most untamed part of NZ. 

Not to mention the difficult access due to steep glaciated valleys and dense rainforest.

 The sun shone on our last day(:

The sun shone on our last day(:

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 Up to 15m of rain annually.

Up to 15m of rain annually.

 Untamed = untouched.

Untamed = untouched.

 It's one of those places that despite the vast distances you cover, you won't see another soul, apart from the flourishing marine life of course.

It's one of those places that despite the vast distances you cover, you won't see another soul, apart from the flourishing marine life of course.

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Bike to Ski

After finishing a morning class on UC Campus, I made dash for the backcountry hut the family was posted up at for a few days. 

Biking in the valley, I crossed the river enough times to not feel my toes by the time I started the trek up to the snow line.

Reaching the snow on dark, I switched on my head torch and begun the skin up to the cosy hut.

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Mt Olympus coaching weekend

On the opening weekend of our home club-field we decided to put on a free coaching weekend for 25 kids. We had some awesome conditions and had so much fun skiing with the younger crew.

 The three of the other boys who were coaching, and Wiremu.

The three of the other boys who were coaching, and Wiremu.

 The Mt Olympus access road. 

The Mt Olympus access road. 

 Lake Coleridge.

Lake Coleridge.

 Twilight powder skiing.

Twilight powder skiing.

 The sphinx

The sphinx

 Jamesa making the most of Sunday afternoon before returning to a week of lectures.

Jamesa making the most of Sunday afternoon before returning to a week of lectures.

 It was an amazing experience for us to try and pass on some of our knowledge, and getting to see mirror images of us 5-10 years ago, sparked some cool energy.

It was an amazing experience for us to try and pass on some of our knowledge, and getting to see mirror images of us 5-10 years ago, sparked some cool energy.

Hawaii's North Shore

Between jumping hemisphere, and seasons, we decided to have a pit stop on the Hawaiian island of Ohau.

 Naturally, we fell in love with the golden beaches and amazing water, not to mention the surf.

Naturally, we fell in love with the golden beaches and amazing water, not to mention the surf.

 Everyone had happy and stoked vibes, plus they would put all their excess fruit from their gardens into little stands.

Everyone had happy and stoked vibes, plus they would put all their excess fruit from their gardens into little stands.

 It's hard to beat North Shore sunsets.

It's hard to beat North Shore sunsets.

 One for the books!

One for the books!

Fiordland Conservation trip

I've been lucky enough to have done a few trips into Fiordland National Park this year, and it's safe to say that; every time I go back, I am completely blown away.

 This particular trip was with the Department of Conservation.  It was concentrating on pest control, eradication and bird counts on the super impressive islands and coastlines in Fiordland National Park.

This particular trip was with the Department of Conservation.

It was concentrating on pest control, eradication and bird counts on the super impressive islands and coastlines in Fiordland National Park.

 Sunset on Secretary Island.  The Island is essentially a mountain range (8140 Hectares) that has been cut off from the mainland by deep Fiords. The peaks tower straight out of the sea to jaw dropping elevations. 

Sunset on Secretary Island.

The Island is essentially a mountain range (8140 Hectares) that has been cut off from the mainland by deep Fiords. The peaks tower straight out of the sea to jaw dropping elevations. 

 Sunrise from the highest point of the remote Secretary Island, 1200m high.

Sunrise from the highest point of the remote Secretary Island, 1200m high.

 This is the boat we were living on for the week.

This is the boat we were living on for the week.

 Everywhere you look, the landscape is wild, raw, and completely untouched.

Everywhere you look, the landscape is wild, raw, and completely untouched.

I feel so lucky to have gotten to go on this adventure, it was the trip of a lifetime for me. I got to go places where very few people have set foot before and experience a different kind of trip by being at sea for a week.

Tasman Glacier

A week in the Wilderness.

 Approach to Hochester Dome.

Approach to Hochester Dome.

 Tasman Saddle Hut in all it's Glory.

Tasman Saddle Hut in all it's Glory.

 3 day storm

3 day storm

 Happy and content

Happy and content

 Digging quality steps is a super important safety procedure as the Hut sits on a 300m cliff.

Digging quality steps is a super important safety procedure as the Hut sits on a 300m cliff.

 Climbing back up to Starvation Saddle after a quick explore on the Mannering Glacier.

Climbing back up to Starvation Saddle after a quick explore on the Mannering Glacier.

Mount Aspiring.

A last minute strike mission into the Southern Alps to climb and ski the iconic peak.

It was a multi day saga, but we struck it hot and got home at 4am on Monday morning, chalking it up as a huge success of a weekend. 

Here's a quick little taste..

 The sunset we got on our way out over the col.

The sunset we got on our way out over the col.

 Biking in the glaciated valley with the big packs

Biking in the glaciated valley with the big packs

 The long trek up the forest and high country.

The long trek up the forest and high country.

 Crevasse walls make for good booters. 

Crevasse walls make for good booters. 

 Poking around the summit.

Poking around the summit.

 A little section on the NW ridge.

A little section on the NW ridge.

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Brewster Hut mission.

The conditions haven't been ideal for skiing lately so we decided to use a small weather window and get into the Southern Alps.

 Travelling light.

Travelling light.

 The grunt straight up.

The grunt straight up.

 The stunning NZ beech forest around you makes it hard to keep your eyes in front of you and concentrate on the climb.

The stunning NZ beech forest around you makes it hard to keep your eyes in front of you and concentrate on the climb.

 Out of the bush line and into the beautiful high country.

Out of the bush line and into the beautiful high country.

 No fall zones along the edgy ridges.

No fall zones along the edgy ridges.

  No light pollution from towns and cities up here.

No light pollution from towns and cities up here.

A trip into Mt Cook National Park

 Mount Sefton catching the early morning light.

Mount Sefton catching the early morning light.

I was lucky enough to get asked on the annual Mt Aspiring College mountaineering and climbing trip as an third instructor.

Cook National Park is special because it holds New Zealands highest mountain (Aoraki/Mount Cook) which sits at 3724m in the heart of the Southern Alps.

 Quite possibly the coolest picnic table on the planet.

Quite possibly the coolest picnic table on the planet.

The track climbs straight up from the valley floor near Mt Cook Village, one popular stop on the grunt up is; the Sealy Tarns, which are a little group of key hole lakes, and right next to them is the epic picnic table above.

 The backdrops speak for themselves...

The backdrops speak for themselves...

We headed up to the infamous Mueller Hut; one of New Zealands many spectacular alpine huts.

 Loo with a view.

Loo with a view.

Mueller sits on a really cool plateau with a breathtaking surrounding amphitheater.

 Ice falls and avalanches off Sefton are a common occurrence right from the deck of the hut.

Ice falls and avalanches off Sefton are a common occurrence right from the deck of the hut.

The crashes and booms the ice falls make are echoed right around you. If you can quickly catch one before the sound waves hit you then you are in for a treat.

It was crampons and ice axes from the bottom of the track after the storms.

 Looking down the Hooker valley. Note the significant wall of lateral moraine from where the Mueller Glacier used to be!

Looking down the Hooker valley. Note the significant wall of lateral moraine from where the Mueller Glacier used to be!

The next day we wanted to get some time on the rock...

 The next day we headed for the rock and had an absolutely rad climbing session.

The next day we headed for the rock and had an absolutely rad climbing session.

Due to the dry weather and south facing rock walls the possiblities were endless. We were climbing in T shirts with snow all around us.

 Danger Dave in his element.

Danger Dave in his element.

We had just packed up the vans and started heading home as the weather came in. It ended up being a super successful trip, and we were peaking to tick off what we were able to do in the window we had!

My 18th birthday

 This was the view I was greeted with as I summited the first hill.

This was the view I was greeted with as I summited the first hill.

I woke early, ground up a wild mixture of fruits and vegetables and took my classic smoothie to-go.

I grabbed the kit and headed out for an early morning fly fish (I can't tell you the spot exactly ;) I had an amazing morning out in the river surrounded by some of Wanaka's best scenery. 

It was super special for me to go for a ski tour right out the backyard, and could only do so because of two early storms that left low snow cover, and a chance for me to ski for the first time ever on my birthday.

 Looking across the range towards Cardona.

Looking across the range towards Cardona.

 I was super stoked to get one of the amazing Queenstown sunsets from high up on the hill.

I was super stoked to get one of the amazing Queenstown sunsets from high up on the hill.

 Mind skiing lines across the valley.

Mind skiing lines across the valley.

To get a ski tour in the sunset on the low lying hills was something that'll stick with me, I'm sure!