Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I've decided to set up a blogger account so I can publish some of my trips on the net. The first one is my 54 day monster journey through Fiordland with Janet McNab in 1996. With this blog I hope to be able to post jpeg files of the map and route with accompanying photos and commentaries.
The Fiordland trip was the first attempt by a pair of women to traverse the province. There had been a handful of successful soloers e.g. Mike Abbott and a chap who signed himself Stephen A Footslogger. Mike apparently was having some peculiar entertaining radio contact with the Southland Field Radio Service.

He also had problems with getting his food wet and had to dry his stores out including hummous.

How this trip came about was Janet conceived the idea to traverse the South Island of New Zealand when she was living in the UK and approached several people, none of whom was keen. When she asked me, I thought we could probably do it and it would be worthwhile trying. A couple I know had done something similar with a North/South traverse of the S.I. including using kayaks on some of the glacial lakes and riverse.g. Lake Hauroko and Manapouri, and the Waiau.

To cut a long story short, we did traverse successfully to the Glaisnock Wilderness area but unfortunately Janet developed cellulitis with an abc ess tracking towards her bone. We radioed the Dept of Conservation and got permission for a medevac. Janet was absolutely gutted and had a skin graft. I waited for a bit and then did a further traverse nearly to Mt Cook firstly with an English lass I'd never met (Sarah Green), then a chap from our tramping club that I'd never tramped with before (Owen Pearson). I got on with all three which gives me some reassurance that I'm not such a dreadful person to know when I do have my doubts!

I'll probably not scan and post pics of my trip with the two others as people have often been to these places. My traverse with Janet was a pretty unique experience though as we went for 32 days of seeing no one, no huts and no tracks. The only human artifacts we saw were a low wall constructed to anchor or shelter a tent, a chain that must have fallen from a helicopter as it was in a place where I'm sure no one has gone ever, a cairn which was good to see and a dinky little table made from branches with a hole in it to house a plastic basin.