A Travellerspoint blog

Mount Cook, NZ

Day 5 - April 22

Summit one claimed, no casualties.

Lead by an elfish kiwi with more experience climbing than I have breathing, I foolishly crept up a vertical wall of ice wielding an axe in either hand. Astonished, I reached the crest unscathed. Another day of life awaits, at least the view is nice at the top of everything.

Tomorrow will be another day of drills wherein are encouraged to step far too close to the edge of icy crevasses of the glacier below. On the ice field living on the edge seems more terrifying than exhilarating.

Much Advil awaits.

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Posted by evancampbell 17:15 Comments (1)

Wanaka, NZ

Day 4 - April 21

rain 8 °C
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Gear check at 8am passes without issue, apart from the realization my training partner is a 220lb Aussie. Pulling this solid ex-cop out of a crevice may pose a challenge.

Two guides, two trainees, and countless sharp and fierce snow capped peaks rising in and out of the fog.

Our target: Cloud Piercer - Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand.

Darkly grim low cloud clings to the peaks, our heli pilot thinks the ascent to base camp today is too risky. Good call. Tomorrow.

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Posted by evancampbell 23:22 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Otago, NZ

Day 3 - Apr 20

rain 12 °C
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Clouds and mist, and looming snow-covered mountains on all sides. A dangerous recipe for most, though the local pilot notes no concern.

Another tour of one sees my coach wend through the switchbacks from one lakeside town to another. My driver's experienced hands calmly account for the lack of braking and squeeling tires.

Wanaka, the last stop of note before the mountains and national parks dominate the landscape.

Posted by evancampbell 20:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged sheep new_zealand big_mountains no_people Comments (0)

Auckland, NZ

Day 2 - April 19

sunny 21 °C
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The landing was dark.

After flying 14,000kms my pilot had landed ahead of schedule and delivered me to Auckland at 4:30am.

As the Kiwi's slept, Google Fit stated that by breakfast my daily requirement was complete - University of Auckland campus off Waterloo Quadrant, the Bartomart warehouse district, the Viaduct, Queen highstreet, and the gentrifying K'Street. Done. Four more hours until early hotel check-in.

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Three hour city tour. Winter tourism leaves me chaffeurred by my maori guide Paul on a 20 passenger bus. Parnell, Ponsonby, the Wintergarden and War Memorial, Mount Eden, One Tree Hill Farm (last owned by former mayor and "father of Auckland", John Campbell), finally to Remuera for a glimpse of Auckland's most expensive (NZ$39MM) home.

Following admittance to my hotel, a grand tour of public houses is well overdue, limited only by an early flight to Queenstown.

Posted by evancampbell 20:49 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new_zealand red_eye sore_feet sauvignon_blanc Comments (0)

Vancouver

Day 1 - April 18

sunny
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A brief stopover in Vancouver, and a final farewell to Canada until the fall. Both my birthday and the country's will be celebrated from the other side of the world this year.

No Red Bull in the YVR International Terminal - Coke's exclusive contract may deal a fatal blow to my time zone acclimation plans.

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Posted by evancampbell 20:45 Archived in Canada Tagged canada long_flight coke_laughs_last Comments (0)

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