Wardens: friends or foe?

Wild Comment

Some hut wardens really turn on the welcome while others make you wish you were anyplace but there We heard about the warden before we met her, from a man...

To tent or not to tent

Wild Comment

When dealing with mongrel bush country, be like a good Boy Scout: prepared We were looking for a hut to tramp into over Queen’s Birthday weekend and came across Duckville...

River hopping in the Ureweras

Wild Trips

Midway Hut, Te Urewera National Park UPDATE: Midway Hut burnt down in March 2016 We spend Friday night in Rotorua unnecessarily fortifying ourselves with Indian food and good wine before...

It's time to meet the muppets

Wild Comment

On the trail, stupid is as stupid does, writes Hazel Phillips He was drinking Drambuie, the 40 per cent alcohol liqueur produced in Scotland and used in drinks with colourful...

Don't leave your manners behind

Wild Comment

Just because you’ve tramped into the wop-wops doesn’t mean you have to leave your manners behind The first time I heard it, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d interpreted the sound...

Some like it hot

Wild Comment

Sauna-like temperatures are perfect in the middle of winter, but lighting fires in summer? Surely that’s overkill I usually avoid tramping in the summer, or just on the fringe of...

So, where are you from?

Wild Comment

Auckland tramper Hazel Phillips finds it’s often best to dance around the question of where you’re from and offer a little white lie from time to time We tramped into...

Mission Impossible

Wild Trips

Lower Matakuhia Hut via Upper Matakuhia Hut, Waipunga Forest They said it couldn’t be done, and when someone tells you it can’t be done, you know you want to try....

A slice of Otago high country

Wild Trips

Fern Burn Hut, Motatapu Station, Otago The 30km Motatapu Track runs from Arrowtown to Wanaka and forms part of the Te Araroa Trail. An overnight trip from Wanaka to the...

Smashing stereotypes

Features

It’s 2016 so why so why are women who tramp and climb still being treated as less capable than men? I’m a keen skier. Each year, I buy a season...

Bucket list at all costs

Wild Comment

Winter conditions make Angelus Hut a difficult proposition – but that doesn’t deter the unwary or ill-equipped Angelus Hut has long been on my hut bucket list. A friend told...

Do your knees a favour

Wild Comment

Should you buy a pair of walking poles? Hazel Phillips has some thoughts on that  Hi, I’m Hazel and I use walking poles.  I’ve said that confession-style, because it is...

All by myself

Features, Solo tramping

If your tramping companions aren’t up to the kind of trips you want to do, then you might have to start going solo. Hazel Phillips knows that predicament all too well...

The slippery slope

Features, Skills

Sick of the lethal hazards found on Ponsonby Road, Hazel Phillips attends an alpine skills course to help her better manage the steep stuff, whilst also finding a new use...

Nightmare at Architect Creek Hut

Wild Comment

Hazel Phillips ponders various tramping nightmare scenarios and then stumbles on a real life example. Have you ever had a tramping nightmare? Not a bad dream, but when everything has...

Searching for snackvana

Nutrition, Wild Cuisine

Hazel Phillips explores a range of tramping snacks that aren’t your usual fare and reaches a higher plane of culinary delights. A one thousand calorie snack. It’s either something that would...

When experience isn't enough

Wild Comment

I’m writing this five days after a climber slipped and fell into Crater Lake on Mt Ruapehu. Magesh Jagadeesan, a 32-year-old climber who was well-equipped, experienced, and much-loved by many...

The naked truth

Wild Comment

After being caught mid-stream in nothing but her birthday suit, Hazel Phillips ponders the various types of nudity found in the backcountry Close to Hope Kiwi Lodge on the Harper...

An ultra like no other

Wild People

American Anthony Marra is riding, surfing, climbing and skiing his way down the country, all in the name of a prominent US climber. One day last winter, a man was...

Finding Lake Madness

Features, Climate change

Things I learned recently about Ruapehu: A plane crashed on the Mangatoetoenui Glacier in 1952, and took 31 years to reappear, 600m from its crash site; the aforementioned Mangatoetoenui Glacier...

Vasque St Elias

Broken in

Used by: Blister-free features and trips writer Hazel PhillipsUsed for: 18 monthsCost: $399 The marketing spiel promises ‘out of the box comfort’ and I can’t argue – the St Elias GTX’s...

Cirque softshell pants

Broken in

Outdoor Research Cirque softshell pants $229.90Used by: Snow addict features and trips writer Hazel PhillipsUsed for: Four years We joke in our ski club that these pants are part of...

Review: Kovea Titanium

Broken in

Kovea Titanium $99.90Weight: 88gUsed by: Features and trips writer Hazel ‘Masterchef’ PhillipsUsed for: Eight years Eight years ago, I shopped around for a lightweight stove and found the Camp 3...

Review: Salewa Alpinist Step-In Crampons

Broken in

Salewa Alpinist Step-In Crampons Specs: $259.90, 885gUsed by: Ski-touring features and trips writer Hazel PhillipsUsed for: One year After snapping not one but two strap-on crampons in one season, I...

Review: Lowa Women’s Lavena II

Broken in

Lowa Women’s Lavena II Details: $679, 1340gUsed by: Features and trips writer Hazel PhillipsUsed for: Three years Having thoroughly wrecked a pair of Lowa Mauria boots over several years, I...