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Heaphy Bridge is a write-off

Photo: Roger Wong, Creative Commons

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world.

The iconic Heaphy Bridge is damaged beyond repair, say structural engineers who have examined it after the flood damage.

The 147-metre-long structure, located on the Heaphy Track, was damaged during heavy rain that fell last month. Gunner Bridge – also on the Heaphy Track – was also damaged, but luckily this can be repaired.

A four-person team flew in to the area to assess how much damage the rainfall had caused. DOC doesn’t yet know how much it’ll cost or how long it’ll take to make the track passable again (there’s also a slip at Mackay Hill), but currently the section between Heaphy Hut and James Mackay Hut is closed. Read more at RNZ.

A triple traverse of the Tararuas

Michael Stuart has just achieved something miraculous. He’s completed a triple traverse of the Tararua Range… without stopping!

With no more than a few brief breaks he walked and ran continually for more than 87 hours, completing 240km.

The traverse is known as the S-K and there are three routes you can take – along the main range, through valleys or via a mixture of the two.

So eager was Michael to “get it bloody done”, he started sprinting the final stretch towards the finish line. Read more on Stuff

The black climbers hoping to make history on Everest

A team of 11 climbers are planning to more than double the number of black mountaineers who have made it to the top of Everest.

Of the thousands of people to have achieved the feat over the years, only 10 have been black, and the team, called Full Circle Everest, want to promote racial equality and show young black people that the great outdoors is for everyone.

“There’s a few things that I hope that young kids get out of it,” said team member Eddie Taylor. “One, that anything’s possible. Two, that they can pick a goal and they can achieve it. And three, that these outdoor spaces are meant for them.” Read more here

Will a new Waikato cycleway become a Great Walk?

The Trust in charge of building it certainly hopes so. The Te Awa River Ride is nearly complete, with one stretch still to be built after the sixth stage is finished this month.

When done, it’ll connect Ngāruawāhia, north of Hamilton, with Karāpiro, east of Cambridge, and it’s hoped to bring tens of thousands more people to Waikato each year.

Hamilton City mayor Paula Southgate said: “We needed another incentive for people to come stay and play here, and we also know that New Zealanders love outdoor recreation as part of their holidays and so do overseas visitors. They come to cycle, they come to walk, and they come to enjoy the natural environment so to me this is a win-win.” Read more at Stuff

Would you bring your cat on a walk?

Kyle Kana’iaupuni Robertson does. The 31-year-old lives in Yorkshire, in the north of England, and carries his 13-month-old Russian-Blue tabby Pōhaku on his walking and cycling trips.

Pōhaku – or Pō – sits on his shoulders or walks on a lead and Kyle’s planning to take him camping when the British weather gets a bit warmer.

“He’s not like a well-trained dog, instead he’s more of a companion – with a bit of his own mind,” explains Kyle. “But the goal is once there’s a bit of warmer weather to spend a few nights in the peak district with him. That would open up some new doors in terms of adventure!

“I started out by putting a harness on him for a minute, then five minutes, and feeding him treats at the same time, so he doesn’t associate it with a bad thing.

“I recently unclipped him from the lead, and he just follows alongside me, and sometimes he’ll run in front.” Read more here