Planning your Wanaka Adventure

By Fraser McDougall

When was the last time you did something adventurous? Or to be more specific when was the last time you actually felt like you were on an adventure?

Fraser McDougall - Professional athlete, share's his tips on finding your best adventure. 

Discover

Conrad Anchor, The North Face professional mountaineer said, ‘it’s not a real adventure until you’ve run out of food’. For Conrad the only thing that could stop him climbing is starvation. But you have to remember it’s all relative. Find your adventurous bar to set for yourself. 

Talk to friends, family and local experts to discover the next adventure. Listen out at bars and cafes for names or places, then go online to NZ topo and hit those key words to see all of New Zealand tracks, huts, and mountain peaks. Match that with some online google searches and you have all the tools you need to start planning.      

Prepare

Getting the right kit is a good start, like Wanakas own merino Mons Royale base layers, a good fitting back pack, maps from DOC and a first aid kit just to cover the basics. Don’t cheap out on this stuff. Plan as much as you can beforehand and then don’t sweat the small stuff on the day.  

Plan

When planning, two words encompass the meaning of adventure better than anything else to me - ‘the mountains’. And when it comes to getting you deep into the middle of nowhere, Southern Alps Air can do it.

This is what that sets the adventure bar for me, well that and enough hiking to make that beer taste good at the end of it. I’ve spent a week on a glacier in Alaska, skied New Zealand’s highest peak, and climbed in the Bolivian mountain ranges at 6000 metres. Isolation in amazing places is the common thread here and past trip experience is the best preparation. One builds onto another.

For this adventure we flew deep into the mountains to find a lake situated high in the Southern Alps, in one of the most unique corners of New Zealand.

It’s half way through the Gillespie Pass Circuit in Mount Aspiring National Park. We landed on a little landing strip in the Siberia Valley and hiked 3-hours west towards the Main Divide to Lake Crucible.    

Purpose

We have some amazing places that are well worth the effort of discovery. So if and when you can get out there and into the mountains.  

When you connect purpose, planning, landscapes and people, you realise that a this is not just an adventure... this is living. 

Thanks to adventurer Fraser McDougall, photographer Nick Rapley, and Mons Royale 

Check out NZ Mountain Safety Council for more helpful information.