Where's the team now?
Aims of the expedition
To complete a full traverse of the South Island of New Zealand, from Farewell Spit in the north to Foveaux Strait by foot, canoe and bike.
Our intended route will follow the dominant mountain ranges, and travel along the ‘spine’ of the Southern Alps, the main divide, from Nelson Lakes National Park to the Hollyford River.
Along the way, as time and conditions allow, we will be attempting some of the more dominant peaks on the island. Particular priorities include remote peaks such as Mts Whitcombe, Elie De Beaumont, Fettes and Destiny and Climax peaks as well as some of New Zealand’s most famous peaks such as Aoraki/Mt Cook and Tititea/Mt Aspiring.
We intend to canoe across Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, and to finish our journey by packrafting out of Long Sound to Puysegur Point, in the remote southwestern extremity of the island.
As much as possible, our expedition will aim to be a model of sustainable recreation. We intend to conduct all food drops ourselves, without helicopter drops, and we will aim to minimize waste production from food.
Preparation and training regime
Over the coming months leading up to the start of our expedition, we will all be extremely busy preparing for the expedition while working full-time.
On top of regular tramping trips, our training regime will involve long hill runs and a general strength and endurance training modified from Training for the New Alpinism: a manual for the climber as athlete, by Steve House and Scott Johnstone.
We will have a dozen food drops along the course of our journey. While some of the food drop locations can be driven to- St Arnauds, Lewis Pass, Arthurs Pass, Mt Cook, Makarora, Raspberry Flats, Gunn’s Camp and Te Anau- many will require us to do gear drop trips before setting out. On top of food drops, bikes and canoes will have to be relocated several times over the course of the trip.
We are still working out many of the costs for the expedition. A preliminary estimate of the budget, which includes all costs from food, gear purchase and hire, wear and tear, is around $10 000 NZD. The most significant unknown costs are kayak purchase and/or hire and gear attrition.
We will carry a satellite phone and a personal locator beacon with us at all times throughout our expedition. The sat phone will be our means of communication with the outside world. We will make regular scheduled calls and messages to obtain accurate weather forecasts and receive updates on conditions and hazards.
A party of 4 people is an ideal group size for minimizing risk exposure in emergency situations, such as an injury to one member of the party, as it ensures that no one will have to travel alone to get help etc. Some party members have carried out extensive PHEC outdoor first aid training, and are prepared to offer care for other party members for relatively long periods of time until further help arrives. We will have a full emergency first aid kit on hand.
We have deliberately overestimated the time we expect the journey to take, both overall and between food-drops, so that we are unlikely to be rushed at any stage of the journey, even when poor weather forces us to stop for an extended period of time. In addition, we have researched multiple alternative routes along the entire length of the journey, so that we can make adjustments to our plans in response to weather, time and snow conditions.