Horseback approach









FATMAP difficulty grade



The concept was ambitious enough.

When Derek finished welding the ski carrying racks for one of the pack horses, that's when we felt the momentum building.

From then on, we fed off nervous energy, bit by bit.

Until we found ourselves being dragged out of our warm beds by an unnatural desire that led us into the darkness, fresh snow, and a cutting wind that froze all our feet and fingers.

After a horse powered blender combined our expedition food, we salvaged what we could, conscious of the daylight hours slipping away.

Setting off was a relief, eventually the valleys exhaled the low lying clouds and the first rays of sun were felt on the far side of a cold creek the horses had no problem with charging across.

A quick stop was all we could afford for food as the horses drove on into the expanse ahead.

The 'mounds of misery' was were we set the destination for camp and the end of phase one.

Weary and humbled, we reached our campsite as the sun was setting.

With the lake frozen, we had work to do before enjoying a hot meal and our down sleeping bags.

This approach took us weeks to prepare everything, and over 12 hours to execute on the day.

It was a beautiful experience in the Canterbury high country, however there is no phone service, no roads or access, and no support within 150km.

You need to be completely self sufficient, have your equipment, food, horses and crew dialled.

It is also not possible without permission from the land owners.