Well to be honest, most days excite me, perhaps some more than others, but today I booked a week of mountaineering in the Southern Alps of New Zealand leaving in two weeks time, and I’m really excited about the prospect of getting out and about…
I was intending to walk the Thornsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island, in North Queensland as it has been on my list of walks to do for as long as I can remember. However, each time I have planned to walk it something else has come along to interrupt the plan. Usually something that I have had no control over.
I’ve often joked that there is an unknown force at work that prevents me from going. Perhaps it is saving me from the jaws of one of those pre-historic reptiles, the crocodile, that inhabit the region, but I digress…
I already have a trip booked to climb Mt Aspiring located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand this coming January. But January seems so far away, so I thought, why not give those hand-crafted mountaineering boots I just purchased a run for their money instead of walking the Thornsborne Trail?
Yep, I had no trouble rationalising that one in my own mind.
A quick call to our travel agent, was followed up with a call to the wonderful team at Adventure Consultants, located at Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island, to confirm I was on my way.
New Zealand is recognised around the world as a great training ground for mountaineering, and although most peaks are only around 3,000 metres in height, they are similar in ruggedness and valley to summit altitude gains as the higher peaks in the Himalayas.
The week of guiding and instruction, the Seven Summits Course, is designed for people like me who are looking to progress to high altitude climbing, to gain exposure to snow camping, improve on crampon and ice axe skills, master ladder crossings over crevasses, along with other general mountaineering skills.
In Australia, it is more difficult to gain this type of exposure.
I have elected to undertake as much tuition as I possibly can, especially in the earlier stages of my journey to Cho Oyu, and Beyond, as this will hopefully make me safer on the mountain, and give me a strong base to build from and to assist in achieving my goals.
One area I will be focussing heavily on is my decision making skills, and I’ll be getting the team at Adventure Consultants to put me to the test on this aspect…
And I still need to break the news to Janet, my partner, that there is plenty more gear I need to buy before I go.
Mind you, Janet has not been watching the bank balance, but has asked only one thing of me, and that is to be safe at all times, reminding me there is always another day.
Her words of wisdom constantly echo in my mind, “summiting is optional, getting down is mandatory.”
Who has a mountaineering story they can share?
I’d be happy too, love the south Island totally magic,stunning and beautiful.Thats where I was going this year but some how ended up in the outback,still there is magic everywhere.
Cheers Callie have fun!
Well I’ll tell you a funny thing. I was supposed to be heading out through Innamincka and on to Lawn Hill in the Gulf Savannah. Somehow we switched hahahaha! We’ve spent plenty of time in and around Innamincka!! Good luck, Baz
Congrats on your trip to the Alps! This is one place I hope to visit one day. You have to live with excitement and I agree with you on that!
So much looking forward to it!!
A good post, mate. You and I are at opposite ends of the scale; you seem to have a lot of mountain experience and, in a lot of respects, I’m just starting out. Still, it’s not all about reaching the summit; the journey on the way counts too (big life metaphor here). Have a great trip, post some photos of that fancy new footwear in operation.
No, quite to the contrary, not too much mountain experience from an alpine perspective, but I’m working on the skills. But you are right about the journey, I’m keen to test myself by pushing the boundaries to see where I can get to…and yes, Janet said the same thing, she wants to see those boots get a workout, Cheers, Baz
oh Baz you crack me up
Geez, lucky for me you Fawthrop girls are a tolerant bunch!
Not this trip, although I get back on the Friday, do Tough Mudder on the Saturday on the Central Coast, and then we’re all off to Fiji on the Sunday when TomO starts holidays…its all happening, and I’ll go from the snow to the beach!
This is so exciting for you! Will your partner and son be heading over too? Congrats!
Awww New Zealand is STUNNING, especially the South Island! I would love to do what you are going to be doing.
Despite being close to New Zealand we hadn’t visited prior to this year when I did an adventure race called the Coast to Coast (across the country). We ran over parts of the Southern Alps, and it is stunning. The Mt Aspiring region is spectacular. Can’t wait to be climbing there! Give it a go!!!