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February 2015 Issue
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Editor’s letter, February 2015

A tramper's peak - a celebrating reaching Mt Rolleston's Low Peak. Photo: Mark Watson

New Zealand: the land of milk and honey… and mountains. Lots of them.

This month we’ve canvassed some of the country’s best known trampers and climbers to get their pick of the 50 best mountains in New Zealand. That’s no easy feat when there are literally thousands to choose from.

You’d probably expect to see the likes of Aspiring, Tasman and Aoraki in such a list. But that would be predictable. Our mountains are ones every tramper can climb.

The one condition we had when compiling the list is that they had to be non-technical with the only concession to safety being possible use of crampons and an ice axe. For the majority of the peaks, you need nothing more than your boots and the fitness to walk or scramble to the top.

Lists are dangerous things of course. No doubt there will be cries of outrage that Mt Suchandsuch was left off. If you feel we’ve been negligent, let us know – we’d love to know what you consider to be the best tramping mountains in the country.

Scanning the list, I am quite disappointed to see how few I have climbed – just 10 and some of those I’ve done several times. I really need to get out more.

But peaks like Avalanche, Barrier Knob and Roys Peak have always been on my tramping hit list (by the way, everyone I have asked in Te Anau says Barrier Knob – at least as far as Gertrude Saddle – is the best day trip in Fiordland, which must make it one of the best in the country).

Anyway, it’s not about how many you’ve done (though I’m sure many will delight in ticking off the ones they’ve summited on the 3D map on the centre pages). As always, it’s about sharing places we’ve been and grabbing ideas for places we haven’t.