Well I was excited a few weeks ago when I booked a mountaineering and climbing trip to the Southern Alps in New Zealand south island…
Now I’m bloody excited, you know, like when you can barely control yourself, excited like when you still thought Santa came down the chimney!
After an early morning paddle down at Narrabeen Lakes this morning, which I almost had to myself along with a few pelicans, I headed home for a final gear check and pack as I depart this coming Friday.
Whilst in New Zealand I’ll be climbing under the instruction of Dean Staples who is Adventure Consultants Chief Guide for New Zealand.
Dean is a highly skilled IFMA Guide and has guided many expeditions around the world for the company. These include three ascents of Cho Oyu, two times to Ama Dablam, and the Vinson Massif.
He’s also travelled to the Antarctic Peninsular.
If that all sounds very impressive, get this, this year Dean summited Mount Everest for the eighth time, yes that’s right eight times.
My current goal is to summit Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth largest mountain peak, which measures in at 8,201 metres (26,906 feet). But there is plenty of preparation and training to be done before I head off on that expedition, hopefully in 2014.
Under Dean’s guidance I’m hoping to learn some very valuable skills during my week in New Zealand, or N-Zed, as us Aussies affectionately call it…
We will spend the week in either Westland National Park, Mt Cook National Park, or Aspiring National Park, depending on where conditions are best suited. And as it is still very cold we will be staying in mountain huts rather than camping on the glaciers.
We will fly into the glaciers by helicopter or ski plane and at this stage we are planning to fly out at the end of the week, but that will depend on the weather and aircraft availability at the time, otherwise it will be a hike out.
Our focus over the week will be on crampon and ice axe skills, and crevasse rescues, with a few other mountain skills thrown in for good measure. So there should be a fair amount of ice-climbing.
This is designed to prepare mountaineers for climbing the “seven summits” the highest peaks on each of the world’s continents.
I’m also going back to N-Zed in January for a summit attempt on Mt Aspiring.
What makes this a real challenge for me is that I grew up in tropical Northern Australia, my playground was the Australian outback, and the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
I was almost thirty years of age before I even set foot on snow, and I’ve never snow skied in my life.
And as I confessed in an earlier musing, I can’t even tie my shoe-laces! But I can tie quite a few mountaineering knots, lucky that!
And what of Everest you ask?
Well let’s see if I can get to the top of Cho Oyu first…but Janet, my partner, has penciled it in the diary already, saying she knows me too well.
For me, I will be very happy to get to a position of where I could reasonably contemplate having a go for it…
And thanks for the vote of confidence Janet…I’m taking it as tacit approval for the funding of that trip if it ever eventuates…
If you’re inclined, I’ll be updating Facebook when I can, check out The Landy there, just click ‘like’…
Landy…as always I enjoy your posts. I spent four days in the Sierra’s at 9k in my canoe. Started a fire just for the hell of it with a flint & steel. ( I had 500 matches? ) Impressed the wife & we talked some about your blog. I told her about the truck you have pictured, telling her that I want one!
Anyway…it’s good to be back and I look forward to updates.
I hope you enjoyed your time there. I must write something on The Landy… And thanks, nice to know someone enjoys my musings, ramblings!
You are braver than me I must say! Good luck and don’t get frost bite! I bet Janet worries about you on your adventures. Have fun!!
Frost bite is one of my fears! Janet said get the best boots you can! Yes, she does worry, at times, but takes comfort that I am an immaculate planner and risk manager. Learn as much as you can, understand the risks, deal with what you can, and decide whether the remaining risks are acceptable. It is an approach that has worked so far…fingers crossed!!
GNW is great! Just click like on wordpress…
This sort of adventuring is so out of my scope but I am looking forward to the updates! Good luck with it all!
Adventure comes in many forms in many different places… We’ve got the Great North Walk on our doorstep, always a great adventure!!
We have done bits and bobs of the GNW and you are totally right, it’s always great.
Just went looking for The Landy on FB and had no joy? Unless you are a location at the ‘Gong? Ha!