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INTO THE UNKNOWN
Bag every hut
The expedition through unexplored New Zealand
One man’s quest to visit 970 huts in as many days
Cramming NZ’s diversity into one hectic week
Walking ideas from Fiordland to Northland www.wildernessmag.co.nz
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» Defending Te Araroa Trail walkers » Queentown’s Haute Route » FIVE wet weather jackets reviewed » TWO Thermos-ready soup recipes
YOUR TRIPS, YOUR PIX
What did you get up to last weekend?
Ronald Evangelista (far right) walked the Milford Track
Richard and Milly tramped to Blue Range Hut, Tararua FP
Flynn Pearson climbed Mt Princess on the St James Range
Pamela Gordon and Andy Cox rested on the way to Pouakai Hut
Ellora, Anthony and Rohan Sidwell climbed Mt Armstrong
Ben Mitchell and Adrian Crampton climbed Mt Talbot in Fiordland NP
Annereik, Cathy and Joanne walked the Waikaremoana Track.
Bryn and Eli Deuchars hiked in Tongariro NP
Pete and Ella Barnao visited Rangiwahia Hut in Ruahine FP
Kane and Kohen Fisher wrapped up on the Mt HoldsworthJumbo loop
SEND YOUR PIX
Get your photo published here and you’ll receive the Swedish ‘Light My Fire’ FireSteel 2.0 ($22) with emergency whistle and 3000°C spark that works wet lighting stoves and fires or as an emergency signal. See www.ampro.co.nz for more. Full submission criteria at wildernessmag.co.nz – search Last Weekend.
6 JULY 2015
THE SUN HAD BETTER SHINE
The latest in outdoor gear news, trends and innovation
Tissot’s T-Touch watches, first seen in the late 1990s and purpose-designed for hiking, diving, flying and yachting, have now changed into categories based on price. The T-Touch Expert Solar ($2450), shown here, has the highest specification, and price, of the range. This watch, now with solar power, has a new bezel with a compass rose, improved responsiveness to the touch screen and highlighted hands, which are especially useful at night. The T-Touch Expert Solar has functions for barometer, compass, altimeter, timer, alarm, chronograph all backed by a Swiss made quartz movement, and a choice of straps.
FROM SUMMER HIGHS TO WINTER LOWS A sleeping bag range for summer and extreme winter temperatures uses the latest technical materials and a ‘bagin-bag’ system. Macpac’s new five-bag Epic range includes the 800 ($900/1430g) and 1000 ($1020/1720g) models for extreme cold weather use, the 400 ($750/850g) and 600 ($860/1140g) models for three-season use and the 160 ($600/650g) as a lightweight summer or ‘over-bag’. All bags, except the 160, are filled with 800 loft HyperDRY water resistant goose down and have water resistant Pertex Quantum inner and shell fabrics. Comfort temperature ratings go from -19℃ (Epic 1000) to -8℃ (Epic 400), which can be increased when the 160 is used as an over-bag: for the 1000 down to -40℃. The 160 has been designed primarily to fit over the other Epic bags, but it can be used separately, when its temperature rating sits at 15℃. It has PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation. The Epic range was designed for mountaineers and trampers exposed to extreme cold and damp conditions. Members of the New Zealand Alpine Team tested the bags on various climbing trips and actively assisted Macpac’s designers in achieving bags offering high altitude warmth, while minimising weight.
WARM, VERSATILE JACKET The North Face says the waterproof, insulated Plasmatic Jacket ($500) is its warmest and most versatile synthetic insulated hard shell as well as claiming it to be at the future of lightweight alpine protection. This jacket is part of the Summit Series and is constructed with panels of HyVent Alpha and PrimalLoft Gold insulation. It has a removable, adjustable hood, a chest pocket, two zippered hand pockets and a hidden hem cinch cord. It weighs 740g, has a 762mm back length and is available in male and female styles.
LIGHT AND CHARGE BioLite is best known for its CampStove which burns wood and recharges gadgets at the same time. Now the company has a range of lighting products that also power gadgets when they’re off the grid. The NanoGrid ($189.99) includes a PowerLight torch (100m range) that doubles as lantern with
a 10m range and which stores enough energy to recharge your average smartphone three times or to run the light for 72hr. The kit also comes with SiteLight, daisy chained lights that run from the PowerLight to up to 7m away. All up, the kit weighs 314g.
The distributor, Ampro Sales, reckons the NanoGrid will appeal particularly to campers who want to light up their campsite.The PowerLight and SiteLight are also sold separately for $149.99 and $59.99 respectively.
A new compression wrap system is said to be able to help injured ankles, knees and backs mend while on the go or post-tramp. Dr Cool compression wraps can be frozen to provide both icing and compression to reduce swelling and speed recovery. Or wraps can be used for compression to support and protect those body parts prone to injury. The wraps take 20min to freeze, are reusable and machine washable. There are three sizes: small ($45) is suitable for wrapping ankles, wrists and plantar fasciitis, medium ($55) can wrap knees, elbows and calves, leaving the large ($65) for shoulders, back and thighs. www.wildernessmag.co.nz
Boulder hopping up Separation Stream towards the terminal face of Separation Glacier
A GODLEY EXPERIENCE Godley Valley, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park /
ou’ve almost certainly heard about Lake Tekapo, but did you know that, at its northern end, a braided river valley bounded by snow-capped peaks stretches north for more than 40km? Access by 4WD vehicle is possible for about 35km, leaving a short 3km walk to the 10-bunk Godley Hut. Situated beside the terminal lake of the Maud and Grey glaciers, the Maud icefall fills the hut’s northern window – a magnificent alpine vista. All this is quite accessible to families. The valley floor also gives access to a myriad of hiking and climbing possibilities, and offers the added benefit of being east of the main divide, permitting activity when the weather isn’t playing ball further west. After a couple of nights based at Red Stag
Hut (four bunks), about 30km into the valley, we boulder hopped up McKinnon Stream, then carried on over steep scree onto a very craggy ridge and snow slopes to reach the summit of Mt Sibbald. Mt what you say? A rugged peak with breathtaking views to Aoraki/Mt Cook, Sibbald, at 2811m, is taller than Mt Ruapehu. Then we pushed further north up to Godley Hut to wait out some bad weather, before doing more boulder hopping up Separation Stream to a campsite beside the babbling water. More scree, rugged rock and snow lead up to the summit of Mt Forbes. The Godley is a treasure trove for anyone who loves the outdoors – from gentle river walks and fishing to challenging alpine climbing, it’s all there to enjoy. And
regardless of what form your activity takes, the views are reward enough for making the effort to get there. - Pete Laurenson
WILD FILE Access North from Tekapo via gravel road, then a 35km 4WD up a river valley Grade Easy (climbing objectives, moderate to difficult) Time End of 4WD track to Godley Hut 2hr return; Red Stag Hut to Mt Sibbald via McKinnon Stream 15hr; Godley Hut to Mt Forbes via Separation Stream 15hr Map BX17
Geologists say this view of Whatipu Beach could be very different in 50 yearsâ€™ time
SANDS OF TIME EVERY ROCK PROVIDES CLUES TO ITS OFTEN DRAMATIC AND VIOLENT PAST. MATTHEW PIKE HEADS TO ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST GEOLOGICALLY FASCINATING SPOTS TO MEET GEOLOGY’S ANSWER TO SHERLOCK HOLMES
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
DEEP Neil Silverwood joins an expedition to explore New Zealandâ€™s unchartered canyons
Exploring new canyons is committing. A team member abseils down before pulling the rope on a cascade
PEAK TO PEAK The summit of Mt Ngauruhoe is one of my favourite photographic spots. Rising more than a kilometre above the surrounding volcanic plateau, it’s an excellent place to view neighbouring Mt Ruapehu. It’s a challenging climb in winter, but on a calm morning like this words just can’t describe the euphoria of being there. - Zhi Yuen Yap Submit your hotshots to
Camera settings: Olympus OMD EM5 with M.Zuiko 1240mm 2.8, ISO200, f/10, 1/80s
Preview of the July 2015 issue of Wilderness magazine