Antarctic Heritage Trust is searching for five young New Zealanders to be part of the first official expedition to cross the country’s new world-class ski route.
The Mahu Whenua Traverse is a 50-kilometre route through the Harris Mountains between Treble Cone and Coronet Peak. It features ‘Turk’ accommodation – 26,000-litre water tanks that have been converted into huts.
In partnership with the Mountain Turk Club, the Trust is organising two official parties (who will start at either end) to ski the traverse over five days as part of its grand opening in August. This expedition is part of the Trust’s Inspiring Explorers™ programme and is its first New Zealand-based expedition for 18-30 year olds.
The Trust’s General Manager Commercial and Partnerships Marcus Waters, who will lead one team, says it’s not a job for the faint-hearted.
“This will be a hard slog – there’s 50 kilometres of undulating terrain with some steep climbs. So those we’re taking need to be resilient, competent skiers, be good communicators and have a spirit of exploration. They don’t need to be perfect, just willing to learn.”
Marcus Waters says it will be a trip to remember.
“To be part of the grand opening is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The views from each Turk offer phenomenal vistas across some of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes. It’s easy to mistake the window on the wall for a painting – the view outside is so surreal.”
This expedition is a fantastic celebration of the region’s pristine backcountry, Kiwi inventiveness, and the spirit of exploration.”
Created by the Mountain Turk Club, the traverse is the first to use ‘Turks’ – each featuring four bunks, flooring, and a cooking bench.
The Trust worked on early Turk design with Mountain Turk Club founder Erik Bradshaw as it was developing its field camp in Antarctica at Cape Adare, to support the conservation of the first buildings on the continent. Three Turks were installed at Cape Adare in 2017.
Erik Bradshaw says, “I’m looking forward to this being the first of many traverses to encourage young people to engage with New Zealand’s backcountry. It’s exciting to share what you have learnt from a lifetime in the mountains and wild places and to ensure young people have the strength and mental determination to succeed. We are looking forward to the Mahu Whenua Traverse being a great community asset for New Zealanders.”
Applications for the Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ Mahu Whenua Traverse are now open at nzaht.org – applicants need to be aged between 18 – 30 years, have backcountry skiing experience, good health and a high standard of fitness.
Two students from a local high school in the region will also join the expedition.
Applications close on 19 May 2021.
For more information contact:
P: 020 4023 3838