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01 Author interviews Alastair McDowell
CLIMBING THE 24 HIGHEST HILLS
Alastair McDowell talks about his recent quest a quest to climb New Zealand’s 24 highest mountains above 3000 metres in a continuous 31-day push. In late 2021, he and a friend set off up the Copland Valley in stormy weather. This was a transalpine journey, from West Coast jungle to remote alpine summits, traversing some of the most dramatic landscapes in New Zealand. Within the month they climbed their final mountain, Tititea Mt Aspiring, succeeding in their record-breaking attempt, done under their own steam, on foot and on bike.
02 Author interviews Kevin Ackerley
EAST CAPE to WEST CAPE
During 1994-1995 the Ackerley brothers undertook an epic traverse from East Cape to West Cape.They were 'afraid of work' after graduating university. So they concocted an audacious trip from Mt Hikurangi to Mt Tutuko, including a cave descent down NZ's deepest vertical shaft. The lads then kayaked from Milford Sound down the Fiordland coastline to reach remote West Cape.
Their epic journey lasted 133 days, all under their own steam.
Sir Graeme Dingle wrote that it ‘was undoubtedly one of the greatest wilderness journeys ever done in New Zealand.'
03 Author interviews Rex Hendry
CAPE TO BLUFF & BEYOND
Rex Hendry remembers his epic traverse from North Cape to Doughboy Bay, Rakiura, during 1983-4. The 29-year old outdoor instructor set off alone along the main divide of the North and South Islands of New Zealand, experiencing atrocious weather in the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges, and serious fatigue by the time he reached Fiordland. His remarkable journey lasted 168 days, on foot and by kayak, culminating in a remote tramp over Rakiura Stewart Island to Doughboy Bay.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ray Salisbury began a lifelong passion for photography and tramping in the early 1970s. He was introduced to camping, hiking and kayaking by the Boys’ Brigade. In 1977 he walked the Heaphy Track in Northwest Nelson with his father. Later, he qualified with a degree in graphic design and photography at AUT in Auckland.
[ See more about Tableland history here. ]
Check out Ray's excellent courses at here Hot Pixels.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS
A 23-year-old woman paddles around the South Island, in winter.
Two young mountaineers defy belief by climbing the 24 highest mountains in New Zealand — in a single month.
A long-distance runner fulfils her childhood dream by running the length of the country in 42 days.
A multi-sport legend strives to keep ahead of his competitors while racing from Cape to Bluff.
A middle-aged journalist pioneers a new 3000-km trail.
A teenage dropout decides to walk around New Zealand’s coastline for 600 days, alone.
A handful of outdoor instructors set high benchmarks: the first Southern Alps traverse, the first kayak circumnavigation, the first continuous tramp from North Cape to Rakiura.
In EPIC, the author has selected a handful of ground-breaking journeys that cross the length and breadth of New Zealand and span five decades. Each chapter captures the drama and tension of an expedition. Some of the stories are heart-warming; some are jaw-dropping; all are intimate and engaging.
Illustrated with historical images and detailed colour maps, this anthology will appeal to both the outdoor adventurer and the armchair variety. It is a vital contribution to New Zealand’s outdoor literature and preserves critical history that will continue to inspire future generations. These tales are the stuff of Kiwi folklore and deserve to be celebrated.
TVNZ website: Interview with author by Naomi Arnold
Radio NZ audio: Interview with author by Kathryn Ryan
SENZ audio: Interview with author by Mark Stafford
NZ Booklovers: Questions answered by author
Wilderness Magazine: Ray's article on the Ackerley brothers
Wilderness Magazine: Ray's article on Dingle's traverse
04 Author interviews Sir Graeme Dingle
FIRST SOUTHERN ALPS TRAVERSE
In the winter of 1971, Graeme Dingle and Jill Tremain attempted the first traverse of the South Island’s mountain spine, the Southern Alps. For most of the 100 days, the two friends suffered terrible weather. Though imperfect and disjointed, their pioneering journey showed other New Zealanders what was possible, setting a high benchmark. Graeme Dingle’s account of their traverse, Two Against the Alps, has inspired dozens of Kiwis to embark on similar expeditions over the past five decades.
05 Author interviews Geoff Chapple
TRIALLING THE TE ARAROA TRAIL
Geoff Chapple reveals his own journey walking the length of his country, trailblazing. Geoff is the founder of the Te Araroa Trail which runs approx. 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff at the bottom of New Zealand. By 2023, about 4000 thru-hikers were walking the TA every year.
This EPIC book was possible through the generous funding from the following organisations:
Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC): Mountain & Forest Trust
This umbrella NGO represents NZ's tramping clubs and wider outdoor community, lobbying for access and keeping the government honest.
New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC): DOW HALL Publication Fund
Lighthouse Creative, Nelson: Videos, pagination, book and map design.