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March 2022 Issue
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I’m doing it to make hiking a year-round activity

Kateřina Nováková is using Walk1200km to force her to keep walking through winter.

Kateřina Nováková is using the Walk1200km challenge to motivate her into gaining winter skills so she can tramp all year round. By Kerry Moor

Due to the seasonal nature of her work in the Marlborough wine industry, Kateřina Nováková spends much of the summer months tramping. Last year, she walked the South Island leg of Te Araroa Trail and this year she started the Walk1200km challenge with a series of multi-day tramps around the South Island. 

She says the challenge is helping her learn new skills so that walking and tramping are part of her life year-round. 

“It’s easy to do the kilometres when you are walking Te Araroa or having a summer adventure, but the challenge for me will be to make the time in my ordinary routine,” says Nováková. “I want to work on that because it is so easy to get lazy and find excuses about why I can make time another day. We all know the great benefits from walking, and I want to have them all year long, not just when I do a big hike.” 

Over the last few months, Nováková has tramped around 300km. She’s done the Five Passes route and a circuit in Kahurangi National Park from Anatoki Forks through Adelaide Tarn and to Boulder Lake. 

The challenge is to keep it going this winter. “I’m keen to get some alpine experience and to take a basic snow skills course to help me get into new terrain and help me through the winter season,” she says.

Nováková’s go-to is a walk up Mt Vernon in the Wither Hills where there is a magnificent view of Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku. It’s a place where she dreams of what the next 900km of Walk1200 will bring her. 

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