I’ve been back from New Zealand for just over a month now and if you’ve been following my stories, you know that I’ve been road tripping around UT, CO, and AZ with my family in our newly self converted van, Ivan. This time has been unreal and the perfect way of life for me and my family. Life cost less, more freedom, exploring new places, family comfort while traveling for months on a the road, lots of time together and all while we do our work and make money (photography, writing, video)
It isn’t for everyone but it is doable for anyone that wants.
This has been a dream that I’ve been chasing for 6 years.
We are now currently back in WA, gearing up for our next trip. Our plan is to drive the coast from WA to Baja California to find the best Tacos and Sea Food the area has to offer 🤤. With this worthy mission ahead of us if you’ve got suggestions for anything let us know and if our paths cross, we’d be happy to meet up. Cheers! And thank you for your continued support:
99 521113 hours ago
Day 8/8 the last day of our crossing of the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
After waking up that morning, crawling the final 2km across the rock cover glacier, running and dodging for our lives down a chute with constant rock fall and finally reaching the shore of Tasman Lake where we inflated our @alpacka_raft and launch out to “safety” below an 80ft tall wall of ice, we saw the people outside of our group since starting this adventure. It was a motorboat full of tourist that had come out to see the glacier face as it fell into the lake. At first they were a long ways away but as the wind from an approaching storm blew us closer to them and further from the glacier they approached.
Tour Guide:”Hey Guy! As it is my job working on this lake, I feel responsible those on the lake and I want you to know that it is extremely dangerous to be so near the face of the glacier” his eye scan us and our skis attached to the @alpacka_raft .
Me: “ Buddy I agree but after starting death in the eyes for 72 hours those ice cliffs were the least of our concerns, we are just happy to be getting out of here.
Tour guide: where did you guys come from anyways?
@pebbleshoo: “ The Fox Glacier carpark”
Tour Guide: “from where?!?”
@pebbleshoo: “The Fox Glacier carpark”
Tour Guide:” And how did you get here?”
@thekiwiapproach : “over Graham Pass”
The tour guide looks up towards the pass for a bit, turns on hit boat motor and left.
After that we were blown by the wind and carried by the waves to the opposite shore, the end were we decided to enjoy a short float down the river before pulling out and finishing our trip where @thewildindiangirl was waiting for us with the car.
There is still so much to share but I am excited to announce that @chrisbrinleejr is working of a video from our trip and I’ll be sure to let you know once it is done. Thank you for your support and following along. #expandedperspectives#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer
56 90513 days ago
Day 7/8 Crossing the southern Alps of New Zealand
Sometimes the most difficult parts of a expedition are the times that are impossible to describe sufficiently and photograph. This was one of those days.
Our goal for the trip was to reach Tasman Lake (shown in the first photo) from our camp.
The lake was only a distance of 10 km and with the long days we were certain that we would make it. We skied down a short distance from our camp on the glacier until we reach the rock covered glacier below. This is when things Slooooowwwweeeddd waaaayyy dooown. With our packed loaded down with 70+lbs of gear and food we began making our way to the lake. The glacier was completely cover with loose boulders and rocks that made us focus on every foot placement for hours on hours so that we wouldn’t take a wrong step and fall or break our legs in the rocks. Kilometer after kilometer we went up and over, around and between mounts of rocks and the Lake never seemed to get closer. Night came and we were still a ways off so we bundled up as the temperature dropped and continued on, looking for at very least a flat spot to lay down and sleep for the night. After 14 hours moving and crawling only 8 kilometers we found a spot in the side of the glacier to lay down and rest. This day was physically and mentally exhausting and we were happy to was over with.
As for gear that we used on the trip, we used almost exclusively @eddiebauer clothing as they were big supporters of the expedition and I want to give them a big shout out for making excellent clothing that keep us safe. For those of you what are curious, out of all the gear that I used, I’d say that the Sandstone softshell ended up being my most used piece as it was the perfect warm for climbing/skiing and hiking in but also blocked all the winter, breathable, and repelled the little bit of moister that we had.
40 68086:46 PM Nov 6, 2018
Crossing the New Zealand Alps.
If you’ve ever been to New Zealand, beyond the Great Walks (very popular hikes) route descriptions become very vague and the routes themselves are... adventurous, to say the least. One this particular day when we crossed to over the pass to the other side of the mountains, we had a route description and it sounded pretty straight forward. There was an icefall on the other side and the route description told if a rocky rim to bypass it on the left side. Well we went up and over and couldn’t find the rocky rib. We search around for a good long time with out 70lbs pack on, full of climbing gear, camping gear, food, packrafts, and warm clothing. The going was difficult and exposed to all kinds of unseen dangers. At one point my buddy @thekiwiapproach fell half way into a crevasses, of which I had to pull him out, at another point @chrisbrinleejr got in a sticky situation skiing down a very steep Icy slope, made difficult by the heavy packs. Long story short after a lot of uncertainty in touchy terrain, we finally found a way down, reaching the glacier below, which we skied down a ways in the dark before setting up camp. Things like this, little information and many unknowns, are what makes up a true adventure, which obviously can lead to sticky situations.
In today’s world do you seek out and appreciate all the information out there describing places and routes, decreasing the unknowns but as a result making it safer and easier to go places? Or do you seek to escape the known places and find those that are still very wild and full of adventure, where few have gone before?
69 80664:58 PM Oct 29, 2018
Day 5: Crossing the New Zealand Alps
I find it funny going thru and looking at my pictures, how tame everything looks. It’s impossible to photograph many of the dangers because they are hidden. Day 5 that really got under my skin and into my head of just how fast a beautiful sunny day can change to misfortune which I think affected me greatly for the rest of the trip.
It was a short day. Our goal was to ski traverse from the Pioneer Hut to the Centennial Hut, a distance of just 5 km, to set us up for an early start the next day up and over the pass to the other side of the mountains. We got a late start to the day because we were waiting for a Heli to take @thewildindiangirl down mountain, who was visiting. In between the two huts was a small saddle we had to get over and on the way up, I felt and heard two separate and distinct “whumps!”. For those that are Avalanched trained, as we all were, this is the term that we used to describe the sound that a weak snow layer makes when it fails and an avalanche is likely or about to happen. I’m not going to go into our discussion and decision making but we made it up and over the pass and over to the Hut without future incident to enjoy a beautiful sunset later that evening.
After this incident my mind could never escape all the many hidden/possible life threatening things that could happen (avalanches, crevasses, ice fall, rock fall) which was hard for me mentally and it also started me thinking a lot about my family and the risk I am willing to take and how to find a balance between my love for adventure/mountains and my family/life. A book could be written but hopefully this little post can give a sense of the day and the mental challenges that I faced throughout the rest of the trip. #expandingperspectives#liveyouradventure@eddiebauer
88 96275:42 PM Oct 25, 2018
Crossing the New Zealand Alps:
Day 3- The forecasted storm hit. For the next 24 hours the wind ragged and the snow fell. We hunkered down and enjoyed this beautiful Alpine Hut all to ourselves. Watched movies and ate a lot of food. The photo was taken that night once most the storm had pasted from the toilet (the wind was still ragging as shown.
Day 4: we woke up to a beautiful sunny sky and about 6-8 inches of fresh powered snow. Due to conditions we chose to go out for a ski tour on easy safe terrain and check out conditions. We went up to a high pass and looked off the other side of the mountains and down to the Tasman Glacier, where we hoped to be in a few days. The pass we toured up to was impossible for us to descend off the other side but yelled Steller views. After enjoying it, we skied back down our route to the Hut. With conditions the way they were post storm we decided that all mountain routes we hoped to climb were out and too dangerous so we decided to check the weather and start making our push the next day to get over the mountains (which would take us the next 4 days to complete. This was a good day full of joy and happiness. The days that followed were.... interesting. More to come. Stay tuned. 👍
85 92126:22 PM Oct 22, 2018
A true adventure is full of unknowns. This is something that I am drawn to and I embrace the unknown. Sometimes I purposely do little to no research about places so that I can be filled with the joy of the unknowns... even though they can make the trip more difficult. This is something that I enjoy. Do you find yourself doing the same?
Pictured- Day 2 of 8 Crossing the Southern Alps:
After a day of having some difficulty finding a way of the glacier and onto a “trail”, we (@pebbleshoo@chrisbrinleejr and I) ended up spending the night sleeping on a Tusk Grass Island in the middle of steep polished glacial slab. When the sun came up the next day (pictured) we found the “trail” that lead to our intended destination for the night before, the Chancellor Hut. We arrived at 12:00 pm and had a ways to go to still to reach the Pioneer Hut that night where @thewildindiangirl and @ryaann_c were waiting for us (they went in by Heli). There was a storm forecast for later that day and instead of risking getting caught in a whiteout on the glacier and needing to wait out the 24 hour storm, we opted to call in a Helicopter to transport us up the mountain. After some tense hours not knowing if the weather would clear enough for the Heli to come, it cleared enough, the Heli came and minutes later we were in a whole new world of Tower peaks, Ice and snow. With the remaining hours we had before the storm, we set out to scope out conditions on a mountains we hoped to climb, Mount Douglas (last photo) we had a nice day out but the storm was rolling in so we went back to the Hut and waited for the storm to pass which lasted for the next 24 hours. To be continued....
74 81634:36 PM Oct 18, 2018
Adventure is something that we all seek but there is a line that we all have for ourselves that we hope to not cross. This line represents our risk tolerance. Once crossed and the risk exceeds our limits, adventure takes on a whole new face.
I recently returned from a trip in New Zealand with @chrisbrinleejr@pebbleshoo and @ryaann_c where we crossed the southern Alps with hopes of climbing a few major peaks along the way, cross glaciers, ski off the other side of the alps and use packrafts to exit the mountains to the finish line... well this adventure seemed to have crossed that line in my mind and I’m stoked to get to share it with you over the next bunch of post and short film that we are working on (release date pending but soon)
Photos: Taken on day 1. We had hoped to be at a Alpine Hut but instead we were stuck trying to figure out how to get of the glacier where find a “trail”. We ended up routing finding in the dark and making bed in some Tusk Grass to wait for the next light of day to find our way.
170 122004:12 PM Oct 15, 2018
Last time I was in New Zealand, I was with my family and we found this perfect spot to camp looking into the mountains.
Tomorrow, we (@chrisbrinleejr@pebbleshoo and myself) plan to start a 12 day expedition up into the mountains pictured to hopefully climb a few ice routes, cross over them and descend a glacier on skis to a river to exit on packraft back to civilian. The weather looks to be a challenge and I’m not sure how much we will be permitted by the mountains to do but one things for sure, We’ll have a story to tell when we get back.
We will be safe and Be back in 12 days, if all goes to plan. 👍
For those wondering what my wife and daughter are doing while I’m gone, they are with family in Utah and will be visit Cancun, MX while I’m gone as compensation. Haha if you’d rather follow some beach adventures instead of mountains ones you can follow them at @rebornbyadventure@moonmountainlife
119 107039:21 AM Sep 21, 2018
It’s fun seeing these places but I personally enjoy sharing it with others more. Thank you everyone for your support and im stoked to continue sharing the places I go with you all thru this little app. What do you like most about instagram? What do you dislike the most?
Our family has started our road trip in our newly converted sprinter van named Ivan the White. Our first destination isn’t far from home but I must see for my daughter Zoey. It’s the first time she had seen the mountain and she loved it. While hiking she would turn her head to look at the mountain and point at it. Although she can’t talk yet I know that she really enjoys places like this and she just seems happier and more peaceful. So stoked to be setting out on this journey with my family. From here I’m not sure where we will go next. Currently considering Idaho or Wyoming but we shall see.