South Island Traverse


100 days, about 1000 kms, about 50,000 metres of elevation - Allan Brent

I was born and raised in Dunedin and spent all of my childhood holidays in Wanaka or across Otago.  In time this took me into the mountains of the Matukituki where my dad and uncle taught me to climb in the Alpine the old way: through a long apprenticeship building in difficulty and complexity.

I attended Otago University where I got into the hills a lot, but not enough.  On finishing university, I shifted to Auckland and lived in Mount Eden.  I hit the Quarry hard and learned to lead some hard trad, thanks to some wonderful members of the NZAC Auckland Section.  That was 2012/2013.  In the years since then, my work as a solicitor has seen me move to Wellington for a further two years, where seeing my home of the South Island every day was eventually too much.  I moved to Christchurch in 2015 and get out regularly.

We decided to give a South Island Traverse a go at new year 2015/2016, and spent 2016 planning it.  From June to departure in November the trip required almost full-time dedication outside of work, either in research, food preparation or training.

The trip was just over 100 days, about 1000 kms, about 50,000 metres of height gain and loss, and surprisingly, only a few kilograms lost.  The weather was rubbish, but made the trip no less special.