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When you’re based in the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, you don’t have to look far to appreciate how much excitement sits on our doorstep. Looking around the room right now, I can see hikers, mountain bikers, road cyclists, sea kayakers, white water kayakers, paddle boarders, rock climbers, skiers and snowboarders…. just to name a few! So it’s fair to say, there’s never a shortage of Monday morning adventure stories here at Active HQ.
It’s the end of the ski season down here, so everyone’s making the most of the final days of spring skiing… while the mountain bikers, climbers and hikers are flooding into town. This week I came to work, looking forward to sharing my weekend’s worth of adventures with my work buddies. It was a solid 2 days of climbing Mt Rosa on my mountain bike, and fly fishing down at my local spot (sorry fellow fishermen, I can’t disclose that location, it’s a winner!).
It wasn’t long before I ate a nice slice of humble pie, as I bumped into Fiona at the coffee machine. She’s one of our New Zealand and Himalayas travel gurus here at Active, and she’d spent the weekend competing in one of New Zealand’s biggest women’s rogaine events in Wanaka (just an hour’s drive over the hill from Queenstown).
If you’re not familiar with it, rogaining’s a sport of long distance cross-country navigation. Competitors are given a map of their surrounding area before the race starts – this can be the night before, or only an hour before… so you never know how long you’ll have to prepare. The race is made up of teams of 2-5 people, who decide which check points to visit in order to maximise their score, in a given time frame. So it’s a match of mental and physical endurance, navigation and tactic.
Fe and her team (Lady Torpedo Wolf Pack) pushed their bodies to the limits in some of the most stunning high country New Zealand has to offer. With front row seats to the snow-capped mountains of Mount Aspiring National Park, and the stunning blue waters of Lake Wanaka, they completed the 12km leg of white water rafting, the 33km mountain bike ride, 12km run, topped off with another 21km mountain bike ride to the finish.
The physical battle was met with a game of psychology, bluffing away challenging teams when they had discovered a check point, then navigating your way to the next point. It was a stunning spring day and Wanaka turned the heat on, so every navigational decision they made was going to affect their hydration and food supplies… and luckily they were spot on. I guess the years of guiding through Fiordland National Park have given Fe an incredible internal compass, as she’d accurately navigate her way through the most rugged and challenging countryside on a daily basis.
Broken and triumphant, her team came in 35th out of 232 teams that were competing… and I could see the fire in her eye when she said she’s shooting for a top 10 finish next year!
So go ahead and put yourself by the coffee machine… tell us what you got up to this weekend, we’d love to hear from you!