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June 2019 Issue
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Mark Sedon, IFMGA mountain guide

Mark Sedon is an IFMGA mountain guide living in Hawea. When he’s not guiding or organising the New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival, he can be found kite-skiing on the Pisa Range. “When I go kiting, I hope to be out for an hour or two and travel 30-50km,” he says. “But I need to be prepared to be out for most of the night if the wind stops, or goes ballistic – or I break something.

“Travelling at 35-40km/hr across the mountain tops feels surreal and impossible, but you can travel a long way very quickly. While crossing Antarctica last year, we sometimes did over 200km in a day using kites and towing sledges that weighed over 180kg.

“On the Pisa Range, I always take the following gear.”

Food
I carry an emergency muesli bar and 500ml of water in a Nalgene bottle.

Clothing
I wear The North Face ski pants with a pair of soft shell pants underneath. I’ll wear a t-shirt with a wind jacket and if it’s cold I’ll put my ski jacket on, but you’re often really warm kite-skiing because you work so hard. I also have a down jacket and wool beanie.

Pack
I use The North Face Snowmad 34 with a back zip entry so it’s easy to grab what you need quickly. It holds my snow shovel and I can mount my Lumix camera on the waist strap. It’s easy to access while kiting and snaps good photos.

Handy things
Earphones for listening to music, a small sling and a carabiner so I can attach my kite to my skis to stop and have a rest, or relaunch after a ‘kite-mare’ or tangle. Smith ski goggles just in case I lose my sunglasses or the weather gets really bad. Spare Ozone Hyperlink 6m foil kite. Petzl headlamp, lip balm and sunblock.

Navigation and safety
I carry a Black Diamond snow shovel which is good for building an emergency shelter, or shovelling snow onto a kite to hold it down in the wind. I take a personal locator beacon and my iPhone for backup. I also use my phone for navigation.

Ski gear
I wear a helmet and sunglasses and ski on Völkl BMT 109 touring skis and Scarpa Maestrale touring boots. If the wind dies and I have to walk home, I attach Black Diamond Ascension Climbing Skins. My Petzl Aspir climbing harness attaches the kite to me. I also have a pair of Black Diamond Dirt Bag ski gloves.

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