(Currently based in Masterton, right on the doorstep of the Eastern Tararuas... Holdsworth/Jumbo beckoning from the window as I write. ) Not any more. Stuck in Australia for a while.

I grew up in Auckland and my first tramps at 12/13 years old were in the Coromandels and Tongariro National Park. Things have changed a lot since then. At 13 two of us spent all the May school holidays at TNP and shared a hut with two other hunters on just one night!! Otherwise we had the place to ourselves... a remarkable privilege in hindsight.

Moved onto an active few years with AUTC; between the age of 18 and 24 I spent 2 of those years in the Southern Alps. Two whole months (in two successive summers) working for a friend as his geology field assistant in Dusky Sound was one highlight, a winter trip from Milford Huts to Makarora was another. Achieved a lot on a very small budget and gear that was hopelessly deficient.

  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed The First Time, no not that, Tramping. 6 October 20176 October.
    Interesting reading the contributions above. Makes me feel nostalgic for days gone by that will never return. In so many
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Mountain man mourned 11 May 201711 May.
    Thanks for posting this wayno. I didn't know Eric well, but I recognise the face and I'm sure we crossed ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Powell hut to be replaced 6 May 20176 May.
    @wayno Too true! It's often said that once you get good at the Tarry's everywhere else is more fun. :-)
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Coast to Coast: Christchurch (Waikuku) to Hokitika 15 April 201715 April.
    Just back from a long winter working in the Canadian Arctic. While it was an exotic and interesting adventure, I ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Te Araroa : Upgrades planned, charges considered 29 March 201729 March.
    For the many thousands who've done the PCT at least once, the TA is a very attractive next challenge. And ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Two dead in the Tararuas 4 December 20164 December 2016.
    I've followed this sad and tragic thread with much interest. Well done everyone on making many interesting contributions. All I
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Discretion about family Dogs in Hut's 30 September 201630 September 2016.
    Well this is pertinent and quite interesting:,-new-study-suggests/7893206
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Ruahines access to Wakarara Road end closed 28 September 201628 September 2016.
    In which case a gate to prevent vehicle access would have performed admirably.
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed why carry an ice axe when local rocks do the job? 30 July 201630 July 2016.
    About 1986 a group of us were descending off Maori Saddle between the Blue and Okuru Rivers when I took
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Trail conditions in April 27 March 201627 March 2016.
    By and large April is a great time to be tramping here. It's too soon for much snow and the ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Garmin GPS topo map errors 4 March 20164 March 2016.
    Those are pretty spectacular screwups! And if you were relying on them ... dangerous ones at that. Personally I've owned a ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Solo Tramping 22 December 201522 December 2015.
    Our old dog ... now passed on a few years back ... was great company. Unfortunately being a short-hair she
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Headlamps - How many Lumens 21 December 201521 December 2015.
    @madpom Yes ... totally agree with your experience. My shopping list includes: 1. 18650 Rechargeable batteries 2. A very clean even beam. (This
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Acute torn meniscus 17 December 201517 December 2015.
    @JETNZ I've done both Iyengar yoga and Pilates to a reasonable level. They're close cousins of each other, indeed Joseph Pilates had
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Gunsight Pass 16 December 201516 December 2015.
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Guessing the wind speed 10 November 201510 November 2015.
    @bernieq I can just picture that :-) Still I think of all the elements you face tramping a bitter gale is my ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Hypothermic trampers stranded on Mt Robert, Nelson 12 September 201512 September 2015.
    @geeves Interesting you should mention Elder Biv. (Or at least the old dog box that was about 200m down off the
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Straight Talk about Te Araroa Walk 16 August 201516 August 2015.
    I would imagine that all of the answers to your questions - and much more - can be found here: Plus
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Olivine ice plateau/Marion plateau 8 August 20158 August 2015.
    @antico More than worth it. Try this for what must be the ultimate in alpine tramping!
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed 3 days off. Suggestions? Go! 2 July 20152 July 2015.
    Just back from a 12 day road trip around the SE corner of VIC and NSW. Plus a drive over ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Missing police dog to spend second night in bush 10 May 201510 May 2015.
    It reminds me of a story my partner relates - she knew a family who lost their family pet in ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed PLBs - what did you buy? 7 May 20157 May 2015.
    Mc Murdo FF211 Purchased it about six years ago from KiwiGPS. I think I paid something in the $500-600 range for ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Back Basins Hide to Avoca - 'H&F route' 17 April 201517 April 2015.
    @pipeking. Yeah that did it alright!
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed So. Who the heck are ya? :) 2 April 20152 April 2015.
    "and that all the usual stuff becomes insignificant " Oh yes. I wonder if this is what we all share :-) Keep ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed The Best Dinner Ever! 2 April 20152 April 2015.
    The two of us had just come down off the tops into Supper Cove Hut after four weeks of geology
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed mistakes i've made 14 March 201514 March 2015.
    May School Holidays late 1960's. A school mate and I had caught the night train to Ohakune, and climbed up
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Advice? Multi day solo tramps in South NZ 9 March 20159 March 2015.
    @waynowski I agree the Kepler isn't an 'alpine' tramp - it's a Fiordland one. I've fond memories of it going
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed Aspiring Park Traverse 20 December 201420 December 2014.
    Did this trip as part of a much longer route many, many years ago. It was early winter and we ...
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed RE: Packs 26 November 201026 November 2010.
    Hillbilly, Great to see another happy Aarn camper! I'm afraid I'm quite a bore on the subject... but due to chronic
  • PhilipWPhilipW discussed RE: Boots alpine 9 September 20109 September 2010.
    No such thing as the perfect boot; but as a Meindl man myself since they were first available here in ...
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