A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world.
A tramper called for help twice inside 24 hours on Humphrey’s Peak, the highest of the San Fransisco Peaks in Arizona, US.
At 3850m the mountain’s no doddle, especially in the winter, and 28-year-old Phillip Vasto found this out the hard way when he got lost in the snow. He’d not started hiking until 2.30pm, called for help at around 7pm, and was brought back to safety on a snowcat.
Rather than give up, Vasto had another go the following day, starting this time at 9am. He gave up in strong winds shortly before 4pm, then started to feel dizzy and numb after a fall.
The hapless adventurer then called for help again when he realised his phone was almost out of battery. Read more here.
Adventurer’s ship discovered after more than a century
Imagine finding something as iconic as Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship. Then imagine discovering it’s one of the best-preserved wooden shipwrecks you’ve seen, with its name ‘Endurance’ clearly visible across the stern.
That’s what scientists have managed to achieve as they searched 3km-deep waters in the Southern Ocean’s Weddell Sea.
For 107 years Endurance has sat on the sea bed since it was crushed by ice in 1915, forcing Shackleton and his crew to flee.
Many believed it would never be seen again, but for marine archaeologist Mensun Bound, finding the vessel was even better than he dreamed it would be: “Without any exaggeration this is the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen – by far,” he told BBC News.
“It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation.”
The lake on an island in a lake on an island
Sometimes it’s nice to revel in how others admire your country, and there’s a lovely piece here by the BBC about Arethusa Pool – the lake on Mou Waho Island in Lake Wanaka.
It talks not only about the aesthetic beauty of the pool, that sits 150 metres above Lake Wanaka, but also about Mou Waho being a predator-free island.
The rat, mouse, possum, stoat and wilding pine eradication began in 1988 and the island was finally declared pest-free seven years later.
Among other success stories, conservationists were able to introduce the buff weka to the island after a 100-year absence from the South Island.
Should ecocide be declared a crime by the International Criminal Court?
Worldwide campaigners Stop Ecocide certainly think so, and its New Zealand branch is pushing for it to happen now.
They told RNZ that adding ecocide as a core crime would prevent the very worst ecological practices and help our fight against climate change.
Forest & Bird’s chief executive Kevin Hague said that there have been cases in New Zealand that could be regarded as ecocide. “Certainly there are cases…if one thinks of what has occurred up on the Buller coal plateau – the line call decision to allow mining at Denniston; the Mount Augustus decision that allowed essentially the functional extinction of the giant carnivorous land snail.”
More than 20 countries around the world have said they support Stop Ecocide’s campaign, but New Zealand isn’t yet on that list.
Anyone for high tea?
Well you won’t get higher than the group of climbers who have just been declared Guinness World Record holders.
The team, led by American mountaineer Andrew Hughes, lugged the supplies – which included mugs, plates, cookies… and, of course, tea – up to Everest’s Camp 2, a mere 6496 metres above sea level. They then enjoyed the world’s highest tea party.
On the way up they crossed the notorious Khumbu Icefall and endured a huge snow storm on the planned day of the party. Read more on CNN.